This week’s video is not specifically writing advice, but I definitely wanted to hear this and so y’all are getting it too. Considering the popularity of the character in the latest Captain America: Civil War I have a feeling a lot more folks are going to learn about T’Challa.
This week’s Video Saturday is from Spike Lee. The loud music in the video is a bit annoying but I love what he has to say about storytelling, and I love even more where he pushes the interviewer about defining his terminology and the importance of being clear.
On October 5th, I posted a video from Malcolm Gladwell that alluded to the idea that perhaps writing does still have that bit of mystery; that it is art. Today’s video is from bestselling mystery author Jeffery Deaver and he talks about how writing is craft. It is about the planning, the down-and-dirty work and the rewriting to get a finished, polished product.
Jeffery Deaver is the international bestselling author of more than 26 novels including the Lincoln Rhyme series (the latest of which is The Kill Room). His books are sold in 150 countries and have been translated into twenty-five languages. His book Am Maiden’s Grove was made into an HBO movie starring James Garner and Marlee Matlin and his novel The Bone Collector was a feature film from Universal Pictures starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. Deaver was born outside of Chicago, attended the University of Missouri and received his law degree from Fordham University.
And just as a personal note, Jeffery is an all around good guy. When asked, he wrote a great blog post for the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act about his character Lincoln Rhyme and writing a protagonist with a disability.
Joanna Penn’s Video Interview of Philippa Ballantine on fantasy and first drafts. New Zealand born fantasy writer and podcaster Philippa (Pip) Ballantine is the author of the Books of the Order and the Shifted World series. She is also the co-author with her husband Tee Morris of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences novels. Her awards include an Airship, a Parsec, the Steampunk Chronicle Reader’s Choice, and a Sir Julius Vogel. She currently resides in Manassas, Virginia with her husband, daughter, and a furry clowder of cats. The video is a bit old and mentions Geist first hitting the shelves but that just makes it better for us. We can not only read Geist but also the NEXT three books! Yay!
You can find these books on her Amazon page. What’s also cool is that she has written additional short stories that include some of the characters. For those of you slackers who don’t want to watch the video:
1. Just keep writing and not look back.
2. Include something that highlights the senses – color, sound, or scent. It’s evocative and helps the reader get in the mind of the character.
3. The characters are the lens through which readers get in to the story. Better to have an imperfect character that allow you to empathize with them.
And of course what makes me squee…her favorite source of information and inspiration for writing is history. Geist is based on Tsarist Russia of the 19th century. Yay!
First drafts are never easy. In addition to Pip’s great advice, what would YOU suggest?
Writer/producer Mark Boal and editors William Goldenberg and Dylan Tichenor discuss the making of “Zero Dark Thirty” at the Academy event “Turning the Page: Storytelling in the Digital Age” on May 15, 2013 at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater.
Lots of great discussion/thought: Trusting the audience, dispensing with exposition, and taking a page out of All the Presidents’ Men – it isn’t about the history but the personal story (the clash between Maya and Jessica.)
Check out Bill Desowitz’s blog post discussing both last week’s video AND this week’s video.
Video Saturday – Star Trek: Into Darkness, Storytelling Secrets (Damon Lindelof, Mary Jo Markey, and Maryann Brandon)
The Storytelling Secrets of Star Trek: Into Darkness – Writer/producer Damon Lindelof and editors Mary Jo Markey and Maryann Brandon discuss the making of “Star Trek Into Darkness” at the Academy event “Turning the Page: Storytelling in the Digital Age” on May 15, 2013 at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater.