L.A. Kennedy

Beyond the story

Adapting a true story requires research, honesty, and sometimes, a little bending of the truth. Jeanne Veillette Bowerman shares tips on writing a screenplay based on a true story and the importance of finding the balance between fact and fiction. Jeanne Veillette Bowerman In theory, adapting a true story should be simple. The writer documents …

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Alex Bloom, founder of the Script Reader Pro screenplay consultancy, explains how to bulletproof your story idea and logline using one simple template. Alex Bloom The number one reason why most story ideas, loglines (and consequently scripts) fail is simply because the stakes aren’t high enough. In other words, it’s not clear enough what the …

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The Writer’s Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week’s writing mistake writers make is lacking conflict. Moriah Richard Everyone makes mistakes—even writers—but that’s okay because each mistake is a great learning opportunity. The Writer’s …

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Robert Lee Brewer A narrative arc (or story arc) is the general shape (or structure) of a story as a whole. While you might dig into the details when sketching an outline for your story, the narrative arc looks at everything from a distance. For instance, the narrative arc of George Orwell’s Animal Farm on …

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Powerfully portrayed settings seem to have a life of their own, but how is that effect achieved? Here are five keys to teach you how to make your setting a character in your story or novel that goes beyond invoking the five senses in description. Donald Maass In great fiction, the setting lives from the …

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Don’t discount the power of a schedule. James Clear Franz Kafka is considered one of the most creative and influential writers of the 20th century, but he actually spent most of his time working as a lawyer for the Workers Accident Insurance Institute. How did Kafka produce such fantastic creative works while holding down his …

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The key to unlocking your most prolific self lies in consistency of action. Thomas Oppong Creativity is a central source of meaning in our lives. The world needs more creators, not consumers. We have come this far because a few bold innovators and creators chose to create, build, make, do, or start something. In “Body …

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You’ve probably heard steps one and two before, but the others might surprise you. Scott Young Writing matters. It matters for your career. Even if you’re not a journalist or J.K. Rowling, being able to communicate clearly will determine how people see you. Writing matters for your life. Futuristic visions from the early days of …

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This common affliction is behind so much unclear and confusing writing in the world today. Inc. Glenn Leibowitz “Why is so much writing so hard to understand? Why must a typical reader struggle to follow an academic article, the fine print on a tax return, or the instructions for setting up a wireless home network?” …

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Using examples from William Peter Blatty’s iconic horror novel The Exorcist, Dustin Grinnell explains how to craft truly frightening horror fiction by blending the believable and the unsettlingly extraordinary. Dustin Grinnell “Fantasy, abandoned by reason, produces impossible monsters; united with it, she is the mother of the arts in the origin of marvels.” —Francisco de …

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