This has been an exciting week! Two of my private students, one a novelist and one a screenwriter, had major breakthroughs in their work.
1. My novelist learned an important trick: to use the events around you as jump-off points for scenes in your current novel. The closer you get to your own feelings, the better you’ll be able to convey your characters’ emotions. Your goal, when finished, should be to give the reader a visceral experience of the story as they read your words. People imagine that they have to literally make things up out of nowhere, but the truth is that using the prosaic events that occur in your life will inspire you to enhance them for your stories.
2. My screenwriter produced a very good first draft and asked what a rewrite would do? My answer: the first draft is written for the self and the second for the audience. A successful revision is a translation from what you first wrote to what you want your audience to read so that they will have the experience you intended.
In both cases, part of what made the improvement was convincing both writers that they needed to create a timeline to understand their stories as if they were happening in real life. Having to organize the events so that they make common sense allowed both students to quickly see how their stories are actually happening.
The next Word of the Day webinar will be on Wednesday, June 29. Email me at email@example.com if you would like to attend.
Here’s to your successful writing,
Professor Marilyn Horowitz