The 15-Minute Movie Method [NOOK Book]

Overview

If you’ve always wanted to write a screenplay or a novel, you may be wondering, “What makes a great story?” It’s not just interesting characters, memorable dialogue, or explosive action scenes. What makes a great screenplay (or novel) is a great story.

Every great story, from classic novels and stage plays...
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The 15-Minute Movie Method

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Overview

If you’ve always wanted to write a screenplay or a novel, you may be wondering, “What makes a great story?” It’s not just interesting characters, memorable dialogue, or explosive action scenes. What makes a great screenplay (or novel) is a great story.

Every great story, from classic novels and stage plays to today’s modern films, follow the same basic, proven story structure that alternates between contrasting problems and solutions to maintain and maximize suspense.

In the traditional three Act structure, a story looks like this:

Act I -- Exposition
Act II -- Rising Action
Act III -- Climax

Act I and Act III are roughly the same length (corresponding to a 30-minute length in a 120-minute screenplay), but Act II is typically twice as long as either Act I or Act III. The result is that the traditional three Act structure sets you up for failure by forcing you to write a huge chunk of your story without any guidelines whatsoever.

In contrast, a four Act structure makes each Act manageable while also providing the necessary contrast to create a compelling story. Stories are interesting and suspenseful because they alternate between problems facing the hero followed by solutions that the hero achieves. In the four Act structure, a story looks like this:

Act I -- Exposition
Act IIa -- Positive Rising Action
Act IIb -- Negative Rising Action
Act III -- Climax

Another way to look at this four part story structure is as follows:

Act I -- Problem facing the hero
Act IIa -- Hero solves the problem and appears to achieve success
Act IIb -- New problems occur
Act III -- Hero finally solves the problem

Let’s look at how this four part story structure works in “Star Wars”:

Act I -- (Problem) Luke is stuck in a dead end life on his uncle’s farm
Act IIa -- (Solution) Luke leaves with Obi-wan to deliver the stolen Death Star plans
Act IIb -- (Problem) Luke gets trapped on the Death Star
Act III -- (Solution) Luke blows up the Death Star

The four Act structure clearly lets you tell a story with alternating problems and solutions, which is how you generate suspense to keep an audience glued to the edge of their seats.

Notice that with Act IIa, the action continues to rise, but in a positive direction. Yet in Act IIb, the action also continues to rise, but in a negative direction. This subtle difference is what the typical three Act structure fails to identify, which is why the three Act structure so easily misleads writers to create less than compelling stories.

Once you understand how this four part story structure works, you can use it as a guide to help shape your story into a well-crafted screenplay.

“The 15-Minute Movie Method” isn’t a formula for writing a story, but a set of guidelines that you can test for yourself with your own favorite movies. By following “The 15-Minute Movie Method” guidelines, you can learn how to structure your screenplay to tell a compelling, intriguing story with any idea.

You’ll learn the four basic parts of any story, how to divide your screenplay into eight, 15-minute segments that each tell a mini-story, what type of information each story segment needs to show the audience, how the beginning and end of your story is related, how to create the toughest villain for your particular hero, who the most important character of your story really is (Hint: it's not your hero), and much more with specific exercises that anyone can follow whether you’re a novice trying to write a first screenplay or a veteran screenwriter who needs to know how to fix problems with an existing screenplay.

More importantly, you'll learn the importance of theme and how and why to make your character change emotionally based on a lesson learned from a mentor that leads to the hero facing facts about his life, then experiencing a moment of revelation before finally defeating the villain through the mentor's lesson. If your stories feel flat or dull, chances are good you're missing the emotional spark that will help your audience bond with your hero.

By taking you step-by-step through the process of turning a good idea into a well-structured story, “The 15-Minute Movie Method” can show you how to write a screenplay with less hassle, frustration, and confusion so you can spend more time actually writing and enjoying the process of creating the story that you want to share with the world.

You can write a screenplay and “The 15-Minute Movie Method” can help you get started writing today.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940012318848
  • Publisher: Wallace Wang
  • Publication date: 11/23/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 1,337,530
  • File size: 179 KB

Meet the Author

My goal in writing "The 15-Minute Movie Method" was to create a framework for creating structured stories patterned after the best novels, theatrical plays, and screenplays. Although every story is different, every story follows a similar structure in the same way that every human being is different but we all share the same skeletal structure.

In "The 15-Minute Movie Method," I simply identified the same storytelling patterns that all the best stories use all the time. By following this same story telling pattern, you can learn how to turn your rough idea into a well-structured story. "The 15-Minute Movie Method" is not a formula but a set of guidelines for structuring your story.

As the author of numerous books such as "Breaking Into Acting For Dummies," "Microsoft Office For Dummies," "My New iPad," and "My New Mac," I've written plenty of nonfiction books in addition to the handful of short stories I've published and short screenplays I've gotten produced. Use "The 15-Minute Movie Method" as a way to prod your thinking in certain directions and get your ideas down on paper.

Many people want to write a screenplay but don't know how. Let "The 15-Minute Movie Method" help you get started for less than the price of a typical movie ticket. Whether you're writing the next Hollywood blockbuster film or planning the Great American novel, "The 15-Minute Movie Method" can show you one way to structure your story faster and far simpler than you might have thought possible.
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