Saturday, February 15, 2014
Writing With Cinematic Style Part I
Before I was a writer, I was a filmmaker. But the problems that I faced were always budget. Granted, with a reasonable budget, you can make a decent film. And that's if you have that cinematic eye. Which, sadly, not many people have but continue to make films.
So when I stashed all my ideas in a box, I let them sit.
Then I got the idea of adapting one of them into a short story.
Then I began on a novel.
Now, whenever I adapt one of my ideas into a book, I feel like I am working with unlimited sets and billions of dollars in budget.
So for this series, I figured on showing you how you can take your film-making skills and adapt them to novel writing.
Let's start with the first chapter.
Think of the first chapter as your first scene or a cold open. This is your first impression. Your first chance to win the audience. You have to hook em. In order to hook em you have to toy around with thier emotions, make the scene visceral and cause an emotion. Because if the audience feels nothing, why would they continue with the rest? Your 1st chapter or prologue is what comes before the title credits. And in that short amount of time you have to establish the following:
SETTING, TIME PERIOD, CHARACTERS, GENRE, THEME, CONFLICT, HISTORY, RELATIONSHIPS, MOOD, DIALOGUE, NARRATIVE VOICE, PACING, IMAGERY, DIRECTION, STRUCTURE, SURPRISES, ETC.
It's a lot to set up in a short amount of time, but if you have a clear view of what the story will look like and the direction it will take, then you will succeed in transporting the reader there.
I tend to focus on imagery the most. My wife and my in-laws have told me that I write with a cinematic style and, knowing that, I have a better understanding on not only how to write but how to keep the audience engaged.
Even though writing can be a solitary venture on just using words to tell your story, it is a very visual medium.
So start your first chapter today.
Take us to another world.
The world of your imagination.