This week:Edited by: Nikola-Spring in the Plains
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Men fear death as children fear to go into the dark; and as that natural fear in children is increased with tales, so is the other.
~Sir Francis Bacon
No passion so effectively robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.
When you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you.
The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.
-- H. P. Lovecraft.
Fear of monsters attracts monsters.
Using Television and the Movies as a Writing Tool
Do you ever watch a television program or a movie and think about how it is put together? There is a mulitude of ideas to be gleaned from that area of the arts!
Pay attention to how the plot progresses. Does it keep you interested? Not? Why? Half hour and hour long series on TV are great for short story comparisons while full-length movies can be looked at as novels. Many movies are, in fact, based on novels. Television series, unless it is a continued storyline, are required to tell a full story in a short time. Note the different genres and how they are paced. Comedy and action tend to be faster paced while mysteries and dramas want to keep the viewer in suspense.
The movie For Love of the Game moves around one of the biggest games of baseball pitcher, Billy Chapell's life. While we experience the the entire game with him, we are also treated to his thoughts which go back to the beginning and progress through his relationship with Jane. We also see Jane's moments through the same ballgame as she makes her way through an airport only to get caught up watching the game on televisions throughout the airport. I love how the writer(s) wind the storyline throughout the game, which does have a plot in itself. It's something I'd love to try.
Watch the characters closely. Are they multifacted? Can you relate to them, want to be them? What about their quirks? Some characters have obvious habits that the audience notices easily. Some quirks are not as pronounced. In Under a Tuscan Sun, the main character subtlely stomps her foot if something doesn't go her way. It's not a trait that is thrown at us yet it is a part of the character's makeup.
Pay attention to the way a character dresses also. A lot of thought goes into that. What type of person are they? What kind of job do they hold?
Setting is also a part of the experience, both in writing and television/movies. Where is the story taking place? There are three different CSI's on television, each set in a different location, each with a distinct flavor. Some settings are entirely indoors. They may mention the city in which they are located. Their job then is capture the feel of that particular city. If the setting is in the country, that must be captured also. Even the sets are carefully thought out right down to the smallest photo displayed.
This is a mere sampling of what you can glean from the media arts. You know what you like or don't like about something you watched. Use that to your advantage as a writer!
Until next time, Happy Halloween!
Nikola-Spring in the Plains
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From angelaalsaleem: Thanks for showcasing my story Nikola. Woohoo!
You're most welcome!
From xuereb : I like writing horror but I don't know if it is that good could you give me reviews. I have one story in my portfolio that I try to update weekly.
Reviews help to make us better writers. Write, write, write!
From dejavu_BIG computerprobs : An interesting and helpful newsletter issue, this one is definately going to get printed off for reference when I review.I liked your suggestions on including how the story itself works, rather then simply focusing on spelling.
I have a question for fellow horror writers, how big a part does writing to a theme play when your planning stories? Do you just let theme come naturally while writing or do you generally work it out first like the main plot?
I'm glad you found it useful. My answer to your question is that it depends on the story. Some just jump out at me, others take some work.
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