The Art of Plotting: Add Emotion, Suspense, and Depth to your Screenplay [NOOK Book]

Overview

The complete, clear guide to creating compelling plots for film
-Integrate plot, characterization, and exposition to make stories real
- Examples from new and classic movies examine great plots in action

Plot must be as much about the emotions of the characters as it is about the events of the story....
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The Art of Plotting: Add Emotion, Suspense, and Depth to your Screenplay

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Overview

The complete, clear guide to creating compelling plots for film
-Integrate plot, characterization, and exposition to make stories real
- Examples from new and classic movies examine great plots in action

Plot must be as much about the emotions of the characters as it is about the events of the story.

That’s the message of The Art of Plotting, which teaches screenwriters how to integrate plot, characterization, and exposition to make stories compelling. Using examples from recent and classic movies, author Linda J. Cowgill demonstrates how the plot springs naturally from the characters--and how that technique makes audiences connect with the story on a more intimate level. Examples include American Beauty, Shakespeare in Love, Erin Brockovich, Spider-Man, Chinatown, Jaws, and more. Easy exercises reveal common plot problems and help writers overcome them. Clear and easy to understand and to use, The Art of Plotting shows exactly how great plotting evolves from characters caught in life-changing conflicts--and how to create great plots driven by that idea.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307875136
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press
  • Publication date: 12/8/2010
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 1,264,629
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author



Linda J. Cowgill teaches at the Los Angeles Film School and Loyola Marymount University. Her books Secrets of Screenplay Structure and Writing Short Films are used in writing programs across the country. She lives in Los Angeles.
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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     viii
Introduction     x
The Three Requirements of Drama     1
Plot: Event and Emotion     9
So What Exactly Is Plot?     9
The Emotional Pattern of Plot     12
Great Movies Are Based on Strong, Simple Story Lines     17
The Role of Conflict     23
At the Start: Conflict and Tension     24
Characters in Conflict     26
Meaningful Conflict     29
Unity of Opposites: Locking the Conflict     30
The Third Force: The Agent for Change     31
Emotional and Physical Conflict     35
Important Conflict vs. Big Conflict     36
Conflict Develops Positively and Negatively     37
The Importance of Failure to Your Protagonist's Character Arc     39
The Principles of Action     41
Cause-and-Effect Scene Relationships     43
Rising Conflict     50
Foreshadowing Conflict     61
The Tools of Plotting     65
Action Tools     66
Character Tools     74
Exposition Tools     87
The Sequence of Story     95
The Outline of Events     97
Feature FilmsAre Structured in Groups of Scenes     98
Film Segments     106
The Real Art of Plotting     113
Transforming Plot Points into Plotted Points     114
Deepening Our Characterizations along with Audience Involvement     119
Plotting for Emotion and Not Sentimentality     122
Preparations and Consequences     125
Plotting for Suspense     131
The Relationship between Anticipation and Surprise     140
The Obligatory Scene     143
Common Problems in Plot Construction     147
Scripts Overplotted in Action     147
People Can't Relate-Why?     152
Understanding When the Audience Knows What     160
To-ing and Fro-ing: Using Too Many Beats to Accomplish the Task     162
The Passive Protagonist: Moving from Conflicted to Compelling     163
Tools for Analysis     167
Discovering the Passive Protagonist     167
Identifying the Core Conflict to Serve as the Story Spine     169
Identifying Positive and Negative Scene Values     171
Identifying the Key Relationship the Audience Can Root For     172
In the End     177
Referenced Films     180
Bibliography      182
Index     183
About the Author     184
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2009

    Great book that's about a whole lot more than just plotting

    Great book that's about a whole lot more than just plotting. Clearly written, with lucid explanations that take the reader into the professional writer's world of plot and character. Cowgill does an amazing job of clarifying how to deepen the world through cause and effect plotting, explaining what exactly this means. Her how-to chapter, called The Real Art of Plotting, is filled with much useful information, as is her last two chapters on recognizing problems and overcoming them. All in all, a terrific book! Buy it!

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