How to Use Suspense in Any Story—Even Comedy

Vik Rubenfeld#AskVik0 Comments

When talking about suspense, the first things most people think of are spine-tingling moments in action movies and thrillers. But suspense is key to the success of every kind of story—even comedies. Here’s an example from Anchorman 2: The video used to be on YouTube, but has since been removed. If you have seen the movie, or plan to see it, … Read More

How Late In Your Story Can You Introduce a Main Character?

Vik Rubenfeld#AskVik2 Comments

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@burtabreu asks: @VikRubenfeld Also how late in novel is typically ok to intro new 'main' characters. (rule of thumb). Thanks for taking time to answer. — The Mismatched Man (@burtabreu) October 9, 2015 Burt, this is a great question, because it brings up the topic of ACT STRUCTURE. Without going into all the detail that I talk about in my … Read More

I’m Honored to be Keynoting Book ‘Em NC!

Vik RubenfeldUncategorized2 Comments

We are very excited about your upcoming appearance @VikRubenfeld at our #writers conference #book fair! http://t.co/KMo5klyin7 — Book Em NC (@BookEmNC) June 11, 2015 I will be giving the Keynote speech at the February 2016 Book ‘Em NC Writer’s Conference and Book Fair. The Book ‘Em Foundation was founded by suspense author p.m.terrell and Waynesboro, Virginia Police Officer Mark Kearney as a partnership between authors … Read More

Do You Need an Ending Before You Start?

Vik Rubenfeld#AskVik2 Comments

@seanpetermusic asks: @VikRubenfeld do you think you need an ending before you start? — Sean Peter (@seanpetermusic) August 27, 2015 Thanks for asking this great question, Sean. You don’t need to know the ending before you start—in a moment we’ll look at some very famous examples. But you must know the effect you want to have on your audience, in order … Read More

How to Set Up a Twist Without Giving Too Much Away

Vik Rubenfeld#AskVik0 Comments

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@mercblues asks: @VikRubenfeld what's the best way to introduce a plot twist without giving too much away? #mycurrentproblem — Amy H (@mercblues) August 5, 2015 I asked: @VikRubenfeld Yes, I'm trying to set up main character w/some mystery to who he is for the reader but not a mystery to the other characters — Amy H (@mercblues) August 5, 2015 … Read More

Using Foreshadowing to Build Suspense

Vik Rubenfeld#AskVik1 Comment

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@tdmiller820917 and I were having a conversation on Twitter: @tdmiller820917 Thanks Tracy! Have you read Joseph Conrad yet? A good friend of mine once pointed out that Conrad foreshadows EVERYTHING. — Vik Rubenfeld (@VikRubenfeld) June 11, 2015 She asks: @VikRubenfeld Question:How can you effectively balance foreshadowing throughout the story & maintaining a surprise payoff at the end? — Tracy Diane … Read More

How Slow or Fast to Pace Your Story—Here’s the Key to Making Any Story Pace Work

Vik Rubenfeld#AskVik2 Comments

@mercblues writes: @VikRubenfeld getting my story's pace/timing messed up… #tooslow #toofast #ack — Amy H (@mercblues) June 25, 2015 @tdmiller820917 agrees: @littlemisszero @vikrubenfeld That's my problem, too. I have trouble with pacing my stories. — Tracy Diane Miller (@tdmiller820917) June 28, 2015 For purposes of this post, I watched Solaris (1972), which while being highly-regarded, is considered to be one … Read More

The Big Picture, A to Z, Self-Publishing Checklist

Vik Rubenfeld#AskVik7 Comments

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@ClaraRicks1 asks: @VikRubenfeld Hey. 🙂 I've been seeing so many new writers publishing their books. I wanted to ask, is it a complicated process? — ClaraRicks (@ClaraRicks1) June 24, 2015 Thanks for this great question, Clara. There is a lot that goes into it. On the plus side, it’s getting easier all the time. Here is a big-picture checklist. Get your … Read More

The Most Important Hollywood Writing Technique You’ve Never Heard Of

Vik Rubenfeld#AskVik8 Comments

There’s an extremely important writing technique that is well-known in Hollywood, called “storybreaking”. Yet when I did a Twitter search for “film storybreaking” and “tv storybreaking”, here’s what came up: No tweets found! Yet this is a technique that is widely talked about and used in Hollywood. Here’s the definition of storybreaking on screenwriting.io: Breaking story basically means figuring out the screenplay’s blueprint — … Read More

How to Make the Audience Care About Your Protagonist

Vik Rubenfeld#AskVik3 Comments

@Sylent_steel asks: @VikRubenfeld hey Vik! I love my protagonists. How do i know if i did enough for readers to feel the same way? — R Cox (@Sylent_steel) April 30, 2015 I replied: @Sylent_steel That is a giant subject! I'll post with a few thoughts on it. :0 — Vik Rubenfeld (@VikRubenfeld) April 30, 2015 As I tweeted to @Sylent_steel, … Read More