Soul of Screenwriting: 16 Story Steps: On Writing, Dramatic Truth, and Knowing Yourself

Soul of Screenwriting: 16 Story Steps: On Writing, Dramatic Truth, and Knowing Yourself

by Keith Cunningham
     
 

ISBN-10: 082642869X

ISBN-13: 9780826428691

Pub. Date: 09/19/2008

Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic

Uniquely inspired by the work of mythologist Joseph Campbell and psychologist Jean Houston, The Soul of Screenwriting demonstrates how the "screenwriting by numbers" approach that offers templates into which the writer may mechanically drop his or her story idea is fundamentally incomplete. Keith Cunningham maintains that in doing so, one ignores the process of

Overview

Uniquely inspired by the work of mythologist Joseph Campbell and psychologist Jean Houston, The Soul of Screenwriting demonstrates how the "screenwriting by numbers" approach that offers templates into which the writer may mechanically drop his or her story idea is fundamentally incomplete. Keith Cunningham maintains that in doing so, one ignores the process of writing. Screenwriting is a long journey and even the most gifted screenwriters get lost along the way. Getting lost, Cunningham reminds us, is part of the process too.

What the writer experiences in the act of writing has never been taken into account, yet this is where the screenplay comes from: the writer's here-and-now experience while working on the story. Information-left-brain concepts and techniques about plot structure, character development and orchestration, the dynamics of scenes and sequences-is all necessary. But it is what one does with the information that makes a truly great screenplay. In The Soul of Screenwriting, Cunningham demonstrates that good screenwriting is more than hitting the big "plot points" with exciting action. G ood screenwriting also has integrity and authenticity. It has a "voice," and because it has a voice it speaks to the audience. To gain a voice, the writer needs the heat of creative imagination: passion, commitment, enthusiasm, a drive to know the truth of the characters, and an urge to get to the core of the dramatic conflict without resorting to escapism. These are qualities of the heart, and as Cunningham argues, screenwriting can indeed be, in Carlos Castañeda's phrase, a path with heart.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780826428691
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date:
09/19/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
496
Sales rank:
335,254
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Part One : The Living Story
Chapter One: The Night of the King Coho

Chapter Two: Mirrored in the Story



Chapter Three: The Mythic Dimension of Screenwriting



Chapter Four: Need vs. Mode, The Core of Conflict
Chapter Five: The Story Molecule
Chapter Six: Character Webs and Story Worlds

Chapter Seven: Orchestrating Character and Style



Part Two: Plot and the Dynamics of Creation

Chapter Eight: The Soul of Screenplay Structure

Chapter Nine: The Journey in Four Movements

Chapter Ten: Act, Sequence, Scene, Beat: The Dramatic Present

Chapter Eleven: The Sixteen Story Steps
Chapter Twelve: The Creative Journey of Story Development

Epilogue: Writing Practice is Life Practice

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