How to Use Suspense in Any Story—Even Comedy

Vik Rubenfeld#AskVikLeave a Comment

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: Ron is fired—now how will he recover? Viewers are in suspense, waiting to find out. Here’s the first scene from Superbad (warning: super-offensive … Read More

Why You Need to Pay Off Your Theme in the Ending of Your Story

Vik Rubenfeld#AskVik1 Comment

@TeresaSantoski asks: @VikRubenfeld I have one. How do you make the ending satisfying for the viewer/reader without it becoming unrealistic? Thank you! — Teresa Santoski (@TeresaSantoski) January 28, 2015 This is such a good question that I’m answering it in three separate blog posts. I talked about the first item—it must be believable—in this previous post. I talked about how to make the … Read More

How to Craft a Twist Ending

Vik Rubenfeld#AskVik1 Comment

@TeresaSantoski asks: @VikRubenfeld I have one. How do you make the ending satisfying for the viewer/reader without it becoming unrealistic? Thank you! — Teresa Santoski (@TeresaSantoski) January 28, 2015 This is such a good question that I’m answering it in three separate blog posts. There are four keys to a satisfying ending: It must be believable, i.e. accepted by the audience … Read More

The 4 Keys to a Satisfying Ending

Vik Rubenfeld#AskVik4 Comments

@TeresaSantoski asks: @VikRubenfeld I have one. How do you make the ending satisfying for the viewer/reader without it becoming unrealistic? Thank you! — Teresa Santoski (@TeresaSantoski) January 28, 2015 This is a great question. There are four keys to a satisfying ending: It must be believable, i.e. accepted by the audience as making sense.  It must be surprising It must be … Read More

When to Use a Prologue

Vik Rubenfeld#AskVik4 Comments

@sylent_steel asks: @VikRubenfeld ah. Is the beginning off 1st Peter Jackson lotr movie considered s prologue? When movie intro'd sauron & how ring was lost? — R Cox (@Sylent_steel) January 25, 2015 I hadn’t seen the first LOTR since the film came out in 2001—but I was able to find the beginning on YouTube. Here it is: Yes, this is a … Read More

Distinguishing Features of Film/TV/Play Plots

Vik Rubenfeld#AskVik2 Comments

@wmdogar asks: @VikRubenfeld What're the distinguishing features of film/tv and play plots? — Waqas Masood (@wmdogar) January 10, 2015 An excellent question. Film, TV and plays are all forms of drama. The top characteristics of plot are identical to all three. (BTW, I teach how to break story for film/tv/plays/novels so as to maintain suspense and plot in all scenes.) … Read More

Using Criticism To Your Advantage

Vik Rubenfeld#AskVik2 Comments

@LordMatahari asks: @VikRubenfeld How do you deal with 2 different views (good & bad) about the same manuscript? I wanna fix it but some said it's not broken? — Mat Atahari (@LordMatahari) January 10, 2015 This is an excellent question. People offering criticism are providing great input. It’s up to us to make the best possible use of it. It … Read More

How Much of the World Do You Include in a TV Pilot Script?

Vik Rubenfeld#AskVikLeave a Comment

from Marco Polo

@imagechaos asks: @VikRubenfeld when conceptualizing an idea 4 a pilot, how much of the world do you plan 2 include in the script? How 2 avoid narration dump? — Andrew Eckhart (@imagechaos) January 7, 2015 This is an excellent question. It’s a great idea to have a world that is far bigger than can be included in the pilot script. This … Read More

How Many Characters is Too Many?

Vik Rubenfeld#AskVik6 Comments

Ray asks: In world building for an epic fantasy. I’m using the characters thoughts and actions (both heros and villains) to reveal more off the world. My biggest problem is too many characters. I already cut like 6. How can i tell if there are still to many? …and adds: @VikRubenfeld ty! Please keep in mind that i intendon writing … Read More