Last week, I gave a workshop for The BET network’s unscripted and scripted development departments called the Remarkable Creative Workshop: Four Foolproof Storytelling Tools. I shared my writing system, which acts as a universal translator between storytelling and how we frame our experience.
The workshop’s goal was to teach one set of tools to be used to create better in both areas. What are the similarities and the differences in the creation process between scripted and unscripted TV? In Scripted, you create a story and imagine the events needed, while in Unscripted, you cull the story from what’s actually happening. The result in both cases is a compelling story, well told.
The Four Magic Questions of Screenwriting can be used at both ends of the creative spectrum, including as a tool to help cast better characters in an unscripted show BEFORE it’s shot. I so appreciated working with a group of talented, creative people!
Later, when I was working on my novel and looking for inspiration, I found myself at Housing Works. I found a copy of The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr, who wrote a series of three memoirs, the most well-known of which is The Liar’s Club.
Award-winning poet and memoirist, Mary Karr.
She’s also a professor at SUNY Syracuse. She is passionate about memoirs, which I equated with Unscripted TV and fiction as Scripted TV. I found a great interview on YouTube. She was working on a television series and discussed the differences between memoirs and fiction. I loved what she said about how fiction creates events to express meaning, memoir extracts meaning from events.
Time is the place where we writers are challenged. In Unscripted, the events happen during the time that the show is being filmed, whereas, in Scripted, we use structure to create time. To this end, my writing system is based on the premise that there is a universal story, and my Mythic Journey Map® is a Rosetta Stone between storytelling and reality and allows for excellent time management in storytelling.
Please join me for the bi-weekly Scripting Writer’s Room, where we will learn how to use the Word of the Day to create a complete story. Join me on this journey to originality and productivity.
Here’s to your successful writing,
Professor Marilyn Horowitz