Tag Archives: Writing Structure

Neil Gaiman on Writing

Considering I shared some interviews of Rod Serling on writing earlier, what are the odds that I’d share an interview with Neil Gaiman after last week’s post?

Pretty darn good.

So here’s a good 100-minute interview with Tim Ferris from 2019 where Neil Gaiman goes into all sorts of things from his formative years to fountain pens to his writing process (and I have to say, I do like the change in format enforcing the editing phase).

Rod Serling on Writing

I was recently writing a short story that I purposely wanted to have a “Twilight Zone” feel for both the structure my overall understanding of how the story would unfold. I mean, I linked to it above, but the phrase “Twilight Zone” and its implications has permeated culture so thoroughly that, even without an impressive three follow-up series, I think it would still occupy a place in people’s minds.

So, after finishing the story, I came across this video in my “stuff to check out” folder and enjoyed it immensely. It appears to be a mash-up of at least two sessions Rod Serling had with students in the 60s or 70s (so if anyone finds the uncut versions posted, let me know). In it they discuss creativity, the writing process, Serling’s very definite views on the subjects, and –as comes as no surprise– more than a little autobiographical info on what made Serling tick.

Incidentally, if you’re interested in a bit more of how the whole manner of putting an anthology show together from the producing side, (you know, if one were to work on anthology shows themselves…) Buck Houghton wrote a book all about it which I still find myself referencing and recommending.

Video

Get Some Writing Inspiration

Last weekend… I did a bunch of chores. But I also did said chores while watching multiple panels and some breakout sessions for the Online Writer’s Conference I talked about last week.

If you missed it, good news! You can check out the panels from both days on the same website.

Day One
Day Two

Combined, it’s over 13 hours worth of insights and techniques from working novelists, screenwriters, and others.

So check it out! Perhaps while you’re taking care of a bunch of chores. I’m going to do that because I’m sure I missed a few things. Whatever works!

Writing Like an Angry God

I have often mentioned Scriptnotes, the screenwriting podcast hosted by John August and Craig Mazin, as a source from some really good information and inspiration for writing.

On the one hand, I could arguably link to them just about every week, but if I had to pick just one this year, this week’s unprecedented solo effort by Craig Mazin is one you should listen to if you’re about to embark on writing a feature film anytime soon.

They’ve called it “How to write a movie,” but I contend the title above is more apt.

You’ll see. It’s good stuff. (Unlike what’s about to happen to your characters.)

Four Act Structure and the Twist

As something to shake things up with your writing, consider this piece on “still eating oranges” I see pop up from time to time. It’s about Kishōtenketsu, a storytelling structure familiar in many Asian narratives.

The article here focuses a lot on how it’s different from the Western focus on conflict, but I think it’s also worth looking at simply for the notion of the third act twist. Within a given narrative, say a narrative chock full of conflict, having these four beats happen can make for some fun plotting.

Happy writing!