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
“What are the techniques to hook readers so that they can’t put down your next novel or screenplay?”
Transform your next story and win by using suspense. Suspense keeps audiences, studio executives, and readers hooked on your every word. When you unleash suspense, they can’t stop reading your novel or screenplay. Instructor Vik Rubenfeld created the trailblazing hit CBS prime-time drama EARLY EDITION.
@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
Check out this awesome interview Kara did with me on her site. Thanks Kara! I loved doing the interview.
@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
@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
@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
@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 book … Read More
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
@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
Eric asks: @VikRubenfeld how can I use the Three Act Structure to the best of my ability? — Eric (@DeSantis_Eric) April 27, 2015 This is an excellent question, and surprisingly important. Here’s how it was described recently by the writers of the classic comedy, AIRPLANE. Jerry Zucker (director/co-writer): We’d never heard of Zero Hour! before then, and at first we … Read More
Here is another great example of how a work of art communicates something that can’t be communicated intellectually. There’s no communication of information only, that can convey what this so vividly conveys. It’s from a novel by Willa Cather that is often found on lists of the greatest novels of all time—”Death Comes for the Archbishop.” Set in New Mexico … Read More