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: 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

Webinar: How to Add Irresistible Suspense to Any Novel/Screenplay/TV Script. Starts July 19th

Vik Rubenfeld#AskVik

“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.

Trouble Pacing Your Stories? Here’s What to Do

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@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#AskVik2 Comments

photo by Maria Elena

@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

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

Vik Rubenfeld#AskVik3 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#AskVik2 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

Three Act Structure And Why You Need It

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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

Vivid Emotional Insight from Willa Cather

Vik RubenfeldArt Talk, NovelLeave a Comment

Mules

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

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

Vik Rubenfeld#AskVik2 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 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#AskVik3 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 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#AskVik6 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