And now for something completely different

Hi gang, Craig here today. We rotate our Friday assignments, and today it’s my turn to share a book with all of you. So far, we’ve shared various novels that we’ve enjoyed, but that streak ends today.

Story Empire is all about helping other authors, and sharing what we know. One of us doesn’t know as much as all of us – that kind of thinking. This means that today I’m sharing a craft book with you guys.

Screenwriting Tips for Authors is not as widely known as some of the other texts out there, but it meant a lot to me. I found it after I’d written several trunk novels, and the timing was perfect. I still use some of the lessons I learned here to this day.

This is where I picked up storyboarding as being preferable to outlining. The author spends quite a bit of time showing you exactly how to do it. I’ve modified the process over the years to suit myself, but that’s how everything works in this business.

I also learned about three act structure here, and still try to write using it.

There are good breakdowns of story structure and character arc, and Sokoloff makes her comparisons using movies that everyone is likely to have seen. This made it much easier for me to understand.

The section on fairy tale structure alone was worth the price of admission to me. (Did you know The Godfather is a fairy tale?) I used a lot of these teachings when I wrote The Cock of the South. This is the one where I used a complete (and I mean really complete) storyboard for the first time. Like I said, I don’t go into that much depth today, but this storyboard allowed me to write over 10,000 words in one day.

There are interesting bits that she calls set pieces, and how those are used at pivotal points in your story.

Enough gushing. Check it out, and maybe you’ll find something that works for you too. You can pick up your copy right here.

Note: I used the cover of my copy, and a link to that version. It appears there might be an updated version on Amazon. Sokoloff also re-wrote the text into something called Writing Love, the text is about the same but the examples she broke down are all romance films.

43 thoughts on “And now for something completely different

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  2. This looks really helpful! I found “The Writer’s Journey” by Christopher Vogler really useful too, and it is also a book for screenwriters. I tried reading it when I was younger but didn’t get any of the film references. Reading it in my thirties, with a little more film experience under my belt, it was much more accessible. I’ve added it to my amazon cart!

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  4. Craft books are excellent choices to share, Craig. I do like your storyboard technique and may have to look into this. I did my best to plot on my current WIP, and while some things have worked, the middle is all over the place as usual. Maybe I need to try storyboarding to find that sweet spot between pantsing and plotting,

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  7. Michael Hauge is a strong supporter of storyboarding. It’s visual, right? Jennifer Crusie goes as far as to create actual scenes on poster boards with cut-out characters and everything. Whatever triggers the muse is a good thing 🙂

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  8. Due to a project I have going on at work, I’ve been considering looking into a screenwriting theory book. Author C. S. Lakin at Live Write Thrive has a whole series of posts on writing fiction with the screen in mind. This was (for me) the perfect time for you to provide this resource. Thanks.

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