Screenplay and ROWdate 2-12

Hi everyone! It was an interesting and successful week, but first, a review of the craft book from my Round 1b goal.

Review of Syd Fields “Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting”

The principles that guide strong and effective writing are universal. The hardest thing is knowing what to write. Syd draws examples from a wide range of movies to illustrate through dissection and clear exposition what makes for powerful writing that will pull a reader (or viewer) in and keep them hooked.

Syd teaches a concept he calls the paradigm: Set-up, Confrontation, Resolution (with a pair of Plot Points at the Act Breaks); that is simple and yet complex as one digs into it. Building on this paradigm, Syd takes an in-depth look at what makes a strong character, a blending of their interior and exterior lives and displays it all throughout the book with helpful diagrams.

Two of Syd’s one line tips:

  • Your ending comes out of your beginning.
  • By creating context, you determine dramatic purpose and can build your scene line by line, action by action (content).

I found the movie discussions throughout the book to be helpful for understanding the oft ethereal concepts of dramatic structure and resonance. I would highly recommend this book for all writers.

And now, on to the update…

-7k of fiction per week. I continue to exceed my goal here and for those that have wondered, I have a dedicated two hour block every afternoon for accomplishing this. No kids. No phone. No distractions. Well, occasional distractions. Squirrels happen. All the same, finding a time like this is an essential ingredient to writing success. Yes, I had to be rude a few times to get the time. Yes, it is worth it. No one stayed mad once they saw I was committed to it. Try it out.

-WWBC assignments. I’m still struggling through this one but I feel like I’m making progress, just at a glacial pace. The difficulty is in trying to capture the essence of the story. I would compare this to trying to catch a single small fish while tumbling down a rapids. Anyway – I’m installing Skype in my netbook so that I can hopefully conference with my team leader, Donna Newton, in the near future and diagnose the story.

-30 minutes of treadmill 6 days per week. Yep, all good on this one. Things are firming up nicely (remember #hotwriterbods ) and I even got a compliment from my “athletic” daughter about being on the verge of the famed “six-pack”. Yeah, she’s teasing a bit, but it still was nice.

-Read one craft and three fiction books by March 21. Up above is the review of the craft book. I’m currently sixty pages into Lord of the Flies by William Golding. I’m finding the book to be enjoyable trip and love Goldings’ picturesque verbiage.

-Keep up sponsor duties. Check. I visited 28 ROWers last Sunday/Monday and hope to stop by at least as many today. By the way, you all – yes you – have been doing amazing work so far this round. I am always inspired by each and every one of you and would encourage you to get out there and support your fellow ROWers. And – as a friendly reminder – be sure to link your update into the Linky Tools – kinda difficult to find you without that *smile*

I hope your week was a fantastic one. Keep heading for those goals: A journey of a thousand miles is completed one step at a time, to paraphrase the sage.

Peaceful Journeys!

About Gene Lempp

Gene Lempp is a writer blending elements of alternate history, the paranormal, fantasy, science fiction and horror for dark and delicious fun. He unearths stories by digging into history, archeology, myth and fable in his Designing from Bones blog series. β€œOnly the moment is eternal and in a moment, everything will change,” sums the heart of his philosophy. You can find Gene at his Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, WANATribe, Google+, Pinterest and StumbleUpon.
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16 Responses to Screenplay and ROWdate 2-12

  1. Laura Drake says:

    Thanks for the craft book recommendation, Gene. This is just the kind of help I need. Going to order it now.

  2. Ruth Nestvold says:

    Wow, 7000 words a week, that’s excellent progress, Gene! Keep up the good work. I’m looking forward to when I’ll be done with the editing and can get back to creating new stuff again. πŸ™‚

    The book sounds interesting. I’ll check it out. (Not that I need any more books on craft in my shelves …)

  3. Wow, nice update!
    I’m so glad you’re being able to exceed your word count goal and to keep up with your walks. I hope your proud of yourself!
    Have a great week, Gene πŸ˜‰

  4. Yep you are one dedicated guy. I did the same this week: verged onto rudeness when I was interrupted during writing time even though I gave a pre-warning before I started. But it all smoothed over like you said, once they realize you’re taking it seriously. πŸ™‚ I don’t know how you get everything done in one week, but you must have a schedule down pat. That always helps me. Have a great week.

    • Gene Lempp says:

      Laura: You’re welcome, hope you enjoy the book πŸ™‚

      Ruth: Syd’s book sat next to my desk for six months before I read it and I just added 5 more craft books to the stack that will cycle through over the course of the next six or seven. Read, learn what you can and move on is the best advice. Thanks for the support πŸ™‚

      Juliana: Yes, I am *grin* Enjoy your move, gonna miss you while you’re away.

      Nicole: Yep, I have a schedule. There is some flex built into it but “x” number of hours have to be spent to accomplish every thing, every day. The desire to make this my full time profession is a passion and provides great motivation. Thanks for the support πŸ™‚

  5. Marcia says:

    You have become so disciplined and I applaud you for that! Trying to do that myself. But it ensures that you will be successful at being a full-time writer. You’ll put in the hours needed to get the job done. You’re quite the inspiration, Gene! Same with your walking *high five*!

  6. alberta ross says:

    Lord of the Flies was one of those books that made me sit up and think – amazing book -well worth the read – and your word count was very good – I have a timer on now to get my time – I have found it easier with this block of time also
    all best for coming week

  7. Well, look at you go, Gene.. You are doing fantastic! I am playing with the idea of getting in on Script Frenzy this April. I agree with Marcia on all points.

    Good job.

  8. I’ve always thought that script writing was some of the most valuable training I’ve received, mostly in dealing with the physical requirements of the screen or stage. In both those endeavors, dialogue is pretty much all you have to directly expose your characters. And the necessities of collaboration become evident very early in the process. And it’s good to experiment in other writing formats, if only to find out that the necessary requirements are requirements no matter what format you’re writing. A good choice, Gene, very nice. Thanks!

  9. When you get that “six-pack” the way you want it, you’re going to have to post a picture. πŸ˜‰

    I think it’s great that you’re exceeding your writing goal. You probably have a good thing going there with the allotted time block. I think I would be more productive if I set aside a certain time for writing and stick to it instead of writing just whenever. And I need to get back to writing only in my office instead of with the laptop in my lap in the living room. You’re one of the most disciplined I’ve met writers here at ROW80!

  10. Em says:

    As always impressed with your exercising and your word count. Dedicated time is a must and I am fast making the #row80 sprint hour my dedicated time when I can. Have a great week and keep up the good work, gives me something to aspire to!

  11. That 7K word count is impressive – as are the social media visits. You’re busy this round. I so appreciate that you take your two hour block seriously. I have had to be rude once or twice, too. And you’re right…no one stayed mad at me, realizing that I was working hard. In the end, demanding that my husband and boys (mostly the boys) respect my writing time made them more supportive! My boys will now answer my phone and say, “She’s writing. I’ll tell her you called.” Ha! They don’t even ask …

  12. Love Screenplay and refer to it often πŸ™‚ I wish I had your structure/discipline. Trying. Fabulous work on your goals Gene! All the best for the upcoming week.

  13. Ali Dent says:

    Hey, a compliment from your daughter is the best of all. 7,000 words a week, WOW! How many hours a week are devoted to actual writing, not necessarily the business of writing like social media and sponsor duties (if that’s connected to your writing)? I would love a good perspective.

  14. Okay Gene, I am inspired. I am in awe of your self-discipline. You are meeting all your goals.

    I am hoping that this week will be less chaotic and bring a more settled environment to make things more productive. I think this will be a much better week.

    And since Monday is already gone, have a great rest of the week Gene. πŸ™‚

  15. Stacy Green says:

    Great week as usual, Gene. Your discipline and drive are inspiring and put me to shame, lol. Good for you on managing to block out all distractions and just write. Keep up the awesome work:)

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