- You admire a character more for trying than for their successes.
- You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer.
- Trying for theme is important, but you won’t see what the story is actually about ’til you’re at the end of it. Now rewrite.
- Once upon a time there was a _________.
Every day, ________.
One day, _________.
Because of that, ________. Because of that, ________.
- Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours.
- What is your character good at? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them.
- Come up with your ending before you work on the middle.
- Finish your story, let it go even if it’s not perfect.
- When you’re stuck, make a list of what wouldn’t happen next.
- Pull apart the stories you like. What you like in them is a part of you.
- Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it.
- Discount the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th thing that comes to your mind – get the obvious out of the way.
- Give your characters opinions.
- Why must you tell this story?
- If you were your character…
- What are the stakes? Stack the odds against.
- No work is ever wasted.
- Story is testing, not refining.
- Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out are cheating.
- Take the building blocks of a movie you dislike. How could you rearrange things into something you’d like?
- Identify with the characters/situations.
- What’s the essence of your story?