March 23, 2017

    Horror movies are obviously about fear. But the best horror movies are not just about scaring the audience. They’re…

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    March 15, 2017

    One of the truly interesting things about Inception is that its structure is actually based upon the principles of…

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  • ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY – What’s Your Structural Focus?

    March 2, 2017

    This week we’ll be looking at Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Which is about as far as…

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  • REVISION TIP #8 – Follow Your Character’s Want

    November 20, 2014

    Oftentimes, in early drafts, we’re so concerned with what happens in our story (the plot) that we end up…

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  • Writing Comedy: More Than Just The Jokes

    August 24, 2014

    An old adage in the comedy world reminds comedy writers that “comedy is just tragedy without empathy.”

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  • VIDEO – The Difference Between Plot and Structure

    January 30, 2014

    The Difference Between Plot and Structure

    By Jacob Krueger

    The words plot and structure are often used interchangeably by writers and screenwriting teachers alike.  But the truth is, there’s a profound difference between plot and structure, and confusing the two can be devastating for your writing. No matter how brilliantly it may be executed, plot, on it’s own, is almost always boring.  If you want to prove it to yourself, just go to imdb.com, read the synopsis of your favorite movie, and notice how incredibly boring it all sounds when boiled down to plot alone. It’s not the plot, but the structure, that makes these movies so compelling. So what’s the difference between plot and structure?  And how can you make your writing more compelling by shifting your focus from one to the other? Find out in this new video.  Or read the transcription below.
    VIDEO TRANSCRIPTION It’s important to understand that events in themselves are not structural.  The crap that happens to your characters is not structure. The events in themselves don’t matter.  They are not exciting.  The only thing that’s exciting is the choices the character makes in relation to those events. One of my favorite recent fight sequences is from a really silly movie called The World’s End by Simon Pegg & Edgar Wright.   It’s about a guy, and the only thing he wants to do is to have a drink at 10 bars with his old friends. There’s a fabulous fight sequence, and the thing that makes it great that the only thing he’s trying to do during this crazy fight sequence is finish the pint. And this whole fight sequences is going on, but the fight sequence is just the event that’s happening.  Just the plot. The choice he’s making is to keep trying to drink the beer, as opposed to actually engaging in the fight or trying to escape.  Because the thing that he wants… the holdfast ego… the thing that he wants more than anything is this: He started this 10 bar run with his friends, and he’s going to finish it if it costs him his life.  It’s not the event of the fight, who hit who, that makes the scene good.  That’s kind of  boring no matter how you write it.  It’s the choice the character makes in relation to the event that makes it exciting.  Because it’s those choices that allow us to change. So if structure is built around change, it’s not the events that are our structure.  It’s the choices we make in relation to those events.
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  • Are You Planning Your Script?

    April 24, 2013

    If you’ve ever read one of the popular books on screenwriting, there’s a good chance you’re well on your…

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  • VIDEO – Is Your Screenplay a Fish?

    June 5, 2012

    If Hollywood is a giant shark tank, then what does that make your script? In this video, Award Winning…

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