Tuesday, May 8, 2018

How Neflix Can Help You Become a Better Writer

Understanding Plot Points Through Netflix Movies

So you love to read and write, right? But you also love a good story in movie format. So break out the popcorn and get comfy. It's time to tell a story, Netflix style. You don't have to binge-watch Netflix to figure out how to get your character from Point A to Point B. All you have to do is know the 5 Marathon Mile Markers of a Novel and learn how to use the pause button.

How Netflix Can Help You Become a Better Writer: Understanding Plot Points Through Netflix Movies || how to write a novel, how to understand plot arc and story arc, what is narrative arc, https://christiewrightwild.blogspot.com/2018/05/how-neflix-can-help-you-become-better.html

The Power of the Digital Age of Movie Watching

The age of digital streaming is amazing, although the local theatre in my town would have to disagree. Once the industry required movies to stream digitally (and no longer offered filmstrips in the Old School style), they had to close their doors. It was going to cost over a million dollars to convert the theatre to be digital compatible. So now when we want to watch something on the big screen, we have to drive to the town on either side of us. That's okay though because when there's only two screens, there's only two choices.

The digital age of movie watching via Internet streaming has brought more movies into the homes of America than ever before. Like ever. With hundreds of thousands of options available with the flick of a wrist and the press of a button, you can be watching your favorite flicks in no time flat. While there are certainly pros and cons to family life and procrastination and societal niceties, the novelist has much to rejoice about!

The Power of the Pause Button When Watching Netflix

While reading novels are still a writer's best friend, if you're struggling with understanding plot (story arc, plot arc, narrative arc, or story structure), watching a movie is much faster.

The whole point of watching "TV" at home is so you can hit the pause button.

"Hey, pause that! I've gotta use the bathroom."
"Pause it, I need to get some more popcorn."
"Rewind that. I missed what she said."

As a writer, it's a lot easier to take notes about plot if you know you have the capability to pause when needed.

Beginning, Middle, and End

If you know the only 5 plot points you need to write a novel, then you will be happy to also know that the only notes you need to take when watching a movie are those 5 plot points. Let me break it down for you.

This graph shows a typical three-act plot structure for movies and books with a classic hero's journey plot line. The beginning is the first 25%, the middle takes up 50% of the story, and the ending is the final 25%.

As a quick review, the first plot point is the inciting incident, aka The Sign Up. It happens at the end of the beginning and starts the journey of the second act. The next three plot points happen in the middle of the story: The Gun Shot, The Halfway Point, and The Wall. The final plot point is The Finish Line.

When you press pause on a Netflix movie, you can see the red timeline bar at the bottom that tells you how long the movie you have left. Sometimes, it shows the 25%, 50%, and 75% markings, depending on how and where you're watching the movie and what device you use to stream it with. A Roku device will show the percentage markings.

The really cool thing is that the plot points for a lot of movies align with with the actual 25, 50, and 75 marker points. So, if you're struggling with which event in the story matches the main plot points (sometimes it can seem a little tricky), just hit pause and see where the percentage marker falls on the timeline.

Now that you know the correlation, what movie will you begin with? A new one? Or a classic favorite. I recommend a favorite because the story is already familiar and it will be easier to pinpoint.

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What's one of your favorite movies? Share in the comments!

Keep on keepin' on...


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Ratatouille for Writers: Advice as Good as Chef Gusteau's

Anyone Can Write...

"Anyone can cook, but that doesn't mean they should..." ~ Remi, Ratatouille

Anyone can cook, but only a chef can create award-winning meals at a restaurant for the general public.

Anyone can run, but only a competitive athlete can get sponsors to run in a race - for a living.

Anyone can write, but only an author can publish multiple books and create a raving fan base of readers.

Anyone Can Write

So, yeah, anyone can write, but does that mean they should? Chef Gusteau would say, "Yes!"

If you want to write, then write.

Just because a person writes does not necessarily mean they are seeking publication.

Perhaps you write a blog to help others learn how to garden or cook or make leather belts.

Perhaps you journal for self reflection and to save money by not needing to see a therapist.

Perhaps you write fun stories for your family members and simply enjoy the act of creating a story for your loved ones.

No matter the reason, if you want to write, then write!

Mentors Make a Difference

When you're writing for publication, it's important to work on craft and make your writing the best that it can possibly be.

You can do this through critique groups, multiple revisions, and paid professional critiques.

If you're looking to become an author and generate a fanbase over time, you need a mentor, or several. In the movie Ratatouille, Remi the rat was Linguine's mentor.

Your mentor will likely be a critique partner (or an entire group of CPs). Over time, your mentor may shift to the role of an agent or editor.

Even published authors continue to work with mentors.

Persistence Pays Off

Writers who write are writers who become authors.

Being persistent about getting published will help you get a book deal. But before that happens, being CONSISTENT will help you become a better writer, so start there.

One tip to make your writing more consistent is to pick a time and/or place to write daily (or at the very least, once a week). Make it a part of your daily routine, even if it's just for 15-20 minutes.

Even though most people dream of writing a book and getting published, very very few people actually finish writing a book, and even fewer see it through to publication.

Anyone can write... Are you?

Who is your favorite author? Share in the comments!

Keep on keepin' on...



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