Shaken and Stirred
bond, gwenda bond

i said, Step. Off. Rain. (8 steps to brilliance, workshop anyone?)
Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Read/Post Comments (3)
Share on Facebook
This is going to be a ramble, with mercifully few links. Perhaps even no links at all. We'll see.

It continues to rain on my parade. I have my flowery blue helmet (and Christopher has one with gray and white flames) yet my bicycle remains at the shop, due to rain, and rain, and rain for six more years they say, meaning I can't ride. I repeat: Step off, rain. I want my bicycle! (Am channeling PeeWee in the Big Adventure here.)

Terry Rossio breaks down in eight steps going from idea to best story you can over at Wordplay, and I reprint here for your edification. This is targeted to scripts, but seems pretty across-the-board applicable to me.

1. Know your genre, so you know what's cliche, and you know what's cool, and you know what's really cool.

2. Figure out the 'first draft theater' version of the story. And don't do it.

3. Come up with every possible cool ramification and aspect of your concept. See if they cluster. Try to organize the top five together.

4. Write an entire cool structure for a film. Then compress it by leaving most of it off screen and the rest in act one ... and go further.

5. Imagine what people expect. Give them at least that, and more.

6. See what social issues, or personal issues, can be supported by the concept. Divide and distribute the issues by character, see if any relationships evolve.

7. Stare at the clouds. Take a shower. Go for a drive.

8. Try like hell to not write the story. Only go back to it if the damn thing just won't go away.

I love Wordplay because the things you get there are practical. I think this is extremely practical advice... someday I may even try following it. (wink)

So, when my screenwriting workshop moved we set up our shop in private office space provided at Zoetrope. (Each member gets 1.5 meg of private space for discussion and file storage with other members of their choice.) I've been sticking my toe in the waters of the open short story section... There seem to be lots of good writers there; though there are also lots of absymal ones and I won't even go into the first review I got on my first submitted story. But it seems like a place with potential and the set-up is very handy. I'm half-contemplating trying to recruit some people, some of you people, to join and form a little critique group within it. The infrastructure is quite spiffy.

This could theoretically happen either in the main section or in private offices, as the screenwriting workshop I'm in does. I'm feeling the need for a little more formal workshop structure for feedback on some short stories I have that have been sitting, in need of rewrite, for some time. (Not to mention the ones that are almost done, in need of finishing, and then in need of rewrite.) People at Zoe also workshop novel chapters. Thoughts? Interest?

And sort of related, the fabulous Stacey Richter's "Twin Study," from this month's Zoetrope All-Story, has been republished at Salon.

UPDATED: I've since gotten a really solid review so I'm feeling better about the Zoetrope site. But still, interested parties looking for a net-based workshop email me or post in the comments.


"I passionately hate the idea of being 'with it.' I think an artist is always out of step with his time. He has to be." -- Orson Welles

worm: "Widow's Walk," Suzanne Vega

thingy/s to check out: what Mumpsimus would rather see more of in the major genre magazines

namecheck: Jessi "Going to teach me to knit" Fehrenbach

Read/Post Comments (3)

Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Back to Top

Powered by JournalScape © 2001-2010 All rights reserved.
All content rights reserved by the author.