Thursday, January 13, 2011

Renovating a WIP

Alex Sokoloff's online screenwriters course for authors is nearing to a close. It was a great course for many reasons. Understanding the structure of the 3-Act play, originating 2000 years ago, is an essential writing tool for writing "great" novels. Grasping the mechanics of storytelling will lift a "good:"manuscript to the next level; and who doesn't want that to happen? That's why I took the course, and that's why I'm feeling gung-ho about my latest work-in-progress.  Understanding story premise, story question and story action are a sure fire way of renovating myself out of a WIP wreckage. Composing a logline for any story I write will aid me for the rest of my career.

If you're struggling with your current WIP and need help renovating, spend some time at Alex's blog or order her book Screenwriting Tips for Authors. On her blog you'll find post links on story breakdown, the 3-act structure, and analyzing movies in your genre. Start with her Table of Contents. Invaluable stuff.  

Now for something completely off topic. We received more photos of Bandit's puppies.



They live with their mum and her family about one hour east of here, hence the unenthusiastic response from their dad. "Puppies? Whatever."

ps. Tomorrow's forecast for Bulkley-Nechako is -31 C.!

"The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read. -- Mark Twain.


  1. Pretty near impossible not to comment on the puppies. They are SO cute!

    I think I'm safe in saying that no matter how long we write, to how much, there is always more to learn and someone to teach us if we are willing. Nice that you had such a positive experience with this course.

    PS. My Mom gave "Dead Witness" two thumbs up! She says she knows I'll enjoy it!

  2. Hi Laura. Please tell your mum that I'm thrilled. My parents were never able to read the final draft, which is probably good considering there's sex in it! OMG, I couldn't face them. LOL. I can barely face your mother.

  3. Hi Joylene,
    I've no doubt that Alex's book on 'Screenwriting Tips for Authors' is a most valuable read for those perhaps struggling with their 'WIP'.
    It's so heart warming to see those puppies. Do stay stay warm, Joylene.
    In kindness, Gary :-)

  4. Thanks, Gary. I've got on extra socks, a hoodie, and when it's really really cold, I wrap a scarf around my neck. Brrr.

  5. You know, I would never have thought of studying screenwriting in order to empower my own writing.

    Thank you so much for the suggestion! I'm going to look into that.

    And those puppies. What beautiful, adorable babies!

  6. Thanks, Susanne. I haven't actually seen them yet. Which is probably a good thing.

  7. Hi Carol. Yes, the screenwriter course has been a huge help. I've actually been studying Alex's articles for some time, but this was my first chance to work with her. It has already made a world of difference.

  8. Cute puppies!

    A couple other writer friends have taken screenwriting classes to improve their novel-writing skills. All seem pleased. Thanks for sharing the tip.

    And the cute puppy pictures.

  9. Bandit's puppies are adorable!!! Puppies are always hard to resist. We haven't had a litter around here in quite a few years, since the last of our Shelties have been gone, and I do miss them. They were a lot of work, but it was rewarding to see them develop into happy, healthy miniatures of their parents. Our bitches weren't too keen on letting the sires get too close, so Bandit is probably just as well off to be keeping his distance.

    Glad to hear you found Alexandra's course so beneficial. I've read about the three act system of plotting but haven't deliberately tried to put it into practice. You can sure see it at work in movies and many novels.

  10. Hi Keith. Another thing Alex helped with was the premise and understanding the story action. I'm still working on my premise, but I'm thrilled to have learned so much. As you know, I'm struggling with this current WIP because I decided to challenge myself. Sometimes I wonder what I was thinking. LOL.

  11. Hi Carol. That's why I'm glad they aren't here; I can't resist puppies or kittens. Best thing is to stay away from them, I figure.

    I really enjoyed Alex's class. Bells went off while I was studying the course outlines. Then when we started tackling story action, question and premise, I had that wonderful feeling that comes when you finally understand something. I love to write, but I truly believe understanding the mechanics of writing will take my prose to the next level.

  12. Challenge is good. I remember my challenge in Above Haldis Notch was to write almost the entire novel from a female pov. You, my first critiquer, reached the point in the novel where I switched to a male pov, and you wrote something like: I've loved it so far, but it's obvious how much more comfortable you are in the male pov. My challenge lingered, and I persisted. Challenge is good.

  13. That was a long time ago, Keith. You should try again, especially considering how far your writing has come. I'd love to read a story with a female protagonist written by Keith Pyeatt. I'd stand in line.

  14. I'm sorry, but I couldn't take my eyes off the puppies, so will just say - what little darling!

  15. PS. Would you mind if I downloaded the photo of the daddy? A truly magnificent animal.

  16. Wendy, hi! Yes, aren't they adorable. I think there's a story somewhere in these snaps. I look at the last photo and can almost hear them scheming. LOL

  17. Go right ahead, Wendy. If you look up Bandit under Labels, you'll find more.


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