Logline Workshop: Jurassic Park (SDFW, Part 3)

by John Robert Marlow
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Logline Workshop: Jurassic Park
(Story Development For Writers, Part 3)
by John Robert Marlow

Let’s walk through the process from start to finish, working up a logline for a story that most people already know. Jurassic Park was a hugely successful novel that went on to become one of Hollywood’s biggest hits. Keeping that logline mantra in mind—Who, Goal, Obstacle (see Building the Perfect Logline for Your Book, Screenplay, or Other Story for more on this)—how do we build a logline for this story? Building the Perfect Logline for Your Book, Screenplay, or Other Story for more on this)—how do we build a logline for this story?”> Read more at Make Your Story A Movie .com…

Building the Perfect Logline (SDFW, Part 2)

by John Robert Marlow
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Building the Perfect Logline for Your Book, Screenplay, or Other Story
(Story Development For Writers, Part 2)
by John Robert Marlow

THE ONLY QUESTION THAT MATTERS

When you’re selling a story (or trying to), there’s one thing everyone wants to know. To find out, they will ask you a simple question. And they will pre-judge your tale not on its merits, but on the answer you provide. Read more at Make Your Story A Movie .com…

Story Development for Writers, Part 1: The Basics

by John Robert Marlow
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Story Development for Writers, Part 1: The Basics
by John Robert Marlow

HOW NOT TO WRITE

Most writers, when they get around to writing, sit down and do just that—start writing. The story grows with no real plan or, at best, a fuzzy idea about where things are going and (maybe) how they’ll get there.

I know this because, as an editor, I see the less-than-stellar results. And when I ask how things wound up this way, the answer is most often the same: “I just started writing.” For most of us, this is not the way to write things worth reading.

Jumping The Gun

by John Robert Marlow
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Jumping The Gun: Suicide by Submission by John Robert Marlow

FORGIVENESS AND DAMNATION

When it comes to writing, most mistakes are—in and of themselves—forgivable. No professional is going to round-file your manuscript or screenplay because of a few isolated mistakes. Unless, of course, they’re Really Big Mistakes. This post is about one of those Really Big Mistakes…

Just Do It

by John Robert Marlow
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Just Do It: False Starts, Late Deaths, and Appearances
by John Robert Marlow

PUSSYFOOTING AROUND

There are several things wrong with this sentence: “Frank was visibly upset when he started to cross what appeared to be a street.” Strictly speaking, there may be nothing grammatically incorrect here. Stylistically, though, it’s a train wreck—and would be even if Frank hadn’t died fifty pages back. Simply put, the sentence pussyfoots around, wasting time and space. This post will help you to avoid doing the same…

Blah, Blah, Blah

by John Robert Marlow
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Blah, Blah, Blah: Overdescription, Exposition, and Stage Direction
by John Robert Marlow

THE BLAHS

Have you ever attended a lecture, or sat in a classroom, or watched a video where the speaker droned endlessly on about what should have been an interesting topic? After a while, the eyes and ears glaze over, and all you really hear is “Blah blah blah…” Don’t let that happen to your writing…

Coming to a Bad End

by John Robert Marlow
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Coming to a Bad End: Rabbit-Hats, Cliffbangers, and Other Cheats
by John Robert Marlow

Few things in life are worse than a bad story. One of them is a good story with a bad ending. At least with the bad story, it’s pretty clear what you’re dealing with, often in the first few chapters. So you really can’t blame the writer when, despite numerous warning signs, you slog all the way to page 347 before throwing in the towel. In a sense, you knew what you were getting into.

Snucking Threw the Poring Reign (Part 2)

by John Robert Marlow
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Snucking Threw the Poring Reign: Mechanical Errors in Writing (Part Two)
by John Robert Marlow

As mentioned in Part One, writing mechanics are dull, but essential—like checking the oil and brake fluid when you’d rather be cruising down the coast. You can’t do one without keeping an eye on the other. So let’s take a look at another batch of common mechanical errors…

Snucking Threw the Poring Reign (Part One)

by John Robert Marlow
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Snucking Threw the Poring Reign: Mechanical Errors in Writing (Part One)
by John Robert Marlow

“Mechanical errors” have to do with the nuts and bolts of writing. If concept is your flashy car, plot the engine, characters the driver and passengers—then story mechanics are the fasteners holding your engine together. They’re not exciting, glitzy, or personable, and no one pays them any mind. Until something goes wrong.

Hey, Look at Me!

by John Robert Marlow
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Hey, Look at Me! Intrusive, Chatty, and Explanatory Writing
by John Robert Marlow

Authors have a single, overriding function: to connect reader and story. At our best, we immerse the reader so thoroughly in the world of our story that the “real” world disappears and, for a time, there is nothing but the story. That’s the kind of experience readers hope for and deserve. It’s a zen-like state that is not easily achieved.