The Write Focus

2:74 / November Writing Challenge part 3 /3 Films Every Writer Should Study

November 17, 2021

What's a quick way for writers to study the elements of story? No, it's not reading and discussing novels. It's studying film! Yes, movies!

First in this episode, we check-in with the November Writing Challenge.

Topics in this episode include A] why do we study through films, B] what are the elements of story to study, and C] how do we know which films to study.

Films to choose ~ any that are popular, either in book or film for, but hopefully in both forms ~

* We recommend Jane Austen's Persuasion, with Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds, better at presenting interior character stresses and desires.

  • The dance
  • characters we love to hate
  • the motif of travel

*Our second recommendation is Last of the Mohicans, with Daniel Day Lewis.

  • conflict with Magua, with his goals, motivations, and desires revealed scene by scene
  • the foil to Nathaniel
  • Redemption of a character

*Our third recommendation is 13th Warrior, a flawed film that still manages to teach lessons for writers.

  • the importance of a logical progression of events
  • the story arc of Stranger in a Strange Land
  • mentors
  • theme of Deception

Finally, we give the nuts and bolts of how to study films.

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