General Question

krazed's avatar

What makes a good book or script for movie?

Asked by krazed (21points) August 19th, 2007 from iPhone

I want to become a good writer, but I need tips on how to make a book. I want to combine comedy, action, and thriller. Any tips?

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7 Answers

juicyful's avatar

A good plot! Understand your subject matter and write a plan of how the script, book or whatever will 'look' like before starting to add the bones of characters. Always have a start point and an end point before you start to fill in the middle bit!

lilakess's avatar

Obstacles. Your protagonist needs obstacles to overcome.
All movies ask a question that can be answered with a yes at the end.

finkelitis's avatar

There has to be something moving the story. Someone has to want something--in other words, motivation. Conflict comes from these motivations conflicting.

A good book on this topic is "Backwards and Forwards," which discusses how each moment in a story comes from the last moment, mostly through a close reading of Hamlet. Once you have this framework, watch movies that you like, and would like to emulate. Watch them closely: if they're truly excellent films (or books, etc.) you'll see how there's always a reason each character says what they say, or does what they do. Moreover, every action adds something or changes something in the story.

Good luck.

figbash's avatar

Strong character development. Your readers need to either identify with your characters or be fascinated by them enough to stick around, or care about what happens to them.

rovdog's avatar

What makes a good book and what makes a good script for a movie are by conventional wisdom considered two different things. Generally, they differ in plot structure: Novels unfold in series of chapters that are episodic, while film scripts usually conform to a three act story structure. This isn’t absolutely the case, nor do I agree it should be the case, but these are the conventions that are usually upheld to get the book published or the film made. When a novel gets adapted into a screenplay it’s structure is often changed into what is conceived of as a better script- usually by a screenwriter and not by the author of the novel. Again not something I really agree with, but something that generally happens. Even ignoring these conventions, I think that learning to be a screenwriter and learning to write prose are very different. If you were interested in screenwriting I would recommend any of Syd Field’s books (they are all the same) to learn the structural principles. He says a good bit about character in there too. Robert McKee’s Story (lampooned perfectly in the movie Adaptation) is less about structure and more about character, genre, and the principles of good storytelling, which I think is what you are into. As far as books about novel writing- I’m not sure- I’m sure someone else on here can help you- I enjoyed Ann Lamont’s bird by bird, but that is not practical but inspirational. You might also try writing a treatment of your story- a four to however many page summary of your story before you begin- it depends how you write but this may help you get your thoughts together. If you want to become a better writer the best thing to do is write and keep writing.

lilakess's avatar

The best book about how to write a screenplay is The Screenplay Writer’s Bible.

carolinasummers's avatar

Keep it real. Write about what you know first. Master what you have on-hand. If you can’t master what you know about, you won’t be able to craft a believable story about anything else.

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