Unlocking Structure: Using Films to Give Your Story Shape
There’s nothing more frustrating that arriving halfway through your story or novel and having no idea what should happen next. As writers, we peer into the miasma ahead, hypnotized by the vast wilderness of options or paralyzed by a lack of them. Fortunately, there is a road map to figure out what to do at any point in our story, but also guides us, step-by-step, to the thrilling showdown and satisfying conclusion.
The cinematic three-act structure is a cornerstone of storytelling. By understanding and dissecting it, we can find our way out of the “wilderness.” In this two-part class, we’ll discuss how films can help us navigate narrative structure and use this knowledge to unlock the structural issues in our own writing. There will be an opportunity to workshop students’ work, so bring your work-in-progress, be it a novel or a short story. You should also plan to bring a loose list of favorite films you have recently seen or like to watch often.
Previous Students Say
- In-Class Writing Prompts
- Class Discussion
- The Novel
- Short Fiction