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

Vik Rubenfeld#AskVik2 Comments

@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

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#AskVik1 Comment

@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#AskVik2 Comments

@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#AskVik8 Comments

@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#AskVik10 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.L. 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

Vik Rubenfeld#AskVik0 Comments

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