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Writing Fundamentals: The Craft of Story
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Example (Uncovering your protagonist's inner issue)


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Writing Fundamentals: The Craft of Story

with Lisa Cron

Video: Example (Uncovering your protagonist's inner issue)

The way to pin-point the specific event that caused the problem or fear that the protagonist must overcome is to relentlessly ask why of everything until you hit paydirt. Here's how such a conversation between two writers might go. (female speaker: Thank you for going over my script with me and helping me with this.) (male speaker: Sure!) (female speaker: So, it's about a woman named Olive, and she cannot make any relationship work.) (male speaker: Okay, why not?) (female speaker: She sabotages every relationship she gets into.) (male speaker: Why?) (female speaker: Um, she starts to fall in love with a guy, and then she pushes them away emotionally.) (male speaker: And why is she doing that?) (female speaker: Because she doesn't feel worthy, she doesn't want to be hurt, um, she doesn't want to be manipulated?) (male speaker: Okay, so is there a specific incident in her past that makes her feel this way now?) (female speaker: I don't know. I guess that's where I'm blocked.
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  1. 2m 40s
    1. Welcome
      1m 45s
    2. How to use this course
      55s
  2. 9m 38s
    1. Explanation (What is a story?)
      3m 34s
    2. Example (What is a story?)
      4m 14s
    3. Story check (What is a story?)
      1m 50s
  3. 8m 46s
    1. Explanation (Hooking your reader)
      3m 51s
    2. Example (Hooking your reader)
      3m 19s
    3. Story check (Hooking your reader)
      1m 36s
  4. 8m 51s
    1. Explanation (All stories make a point)
      2m 56s
    2. Example (All stories make a point)
      3m 54s
    3. Story check (All stories make a point)
      2m 1s
  5. 9m 33s
    1. Explanation (Feeling what the protagonist feels)
      3m 43s
    2. Example (Feeling what the protagonist feels)
      3m 19s
    3. Story check (Feeling what the protagonist feels)
      2m 31s
  6. 7m 6s
    1. Explanation (All protagonists have a goal)
      2m 36s
    2. Example (All protagonists have a goal)
      3m 9s
    3. Story check (All protagonists have a goal)
      1m 21s
  7. 7m 37s
    1. Explanation (Uncovering your protagonist's inner issue)
      2m 53s
    2. Example (Uncovering your protagonist's inner issue)
      2m 27s
    3. Story check (Uncovering your protagonist's inner issue)
      2m 17s
  8. 9m 58s
    1. Explanation (Being specific rather than vague)
      4m 51s
    2. Example (Being specific rather than vague)
      3m 33s
    3. Story check (Being specific rather than vague)
      1m 34s
  9. 9m 3s
    1. Explanation (Suspense and conflict)
      3m 29s
    2. Example (Suspense and conflict)
      4m 6s
    3. Story check (Suspense and conflict)
      1m 28s
  10. 10m 35s
    1. Explanation (Cause and effect)
      4m 0s
    2. Example (Cause and effect)
      4m 16s
    3. Story check (Cause and effect)
      2m 19s
  11. 11m 50s
    1. Explanation (What can go wrong, must)
      4m 42s
    2. Example (What can go wrong, must)
      5m 0s
    3. Story check (What can go wrong, must)
      2m 8s
  12. 10m 59s
    1. Explanation (Setups, payoffs, and the clues in between)
      4m 19s
    2. Example (Setups, payoffs, and the clues in between)
      5m 6s
    3. Story check (Setups, payoffs, and the clues in between)
      1m 34s
  13. 11m 7s
    1. Explanation (Flashbacks, subplots, and foreshadowing)
      4m 56s
    2. Example (Flashbacks, subplots, and foreshadowing)
      4m 20s
    3. Story check (Flashbacks, subplots, and foreshadowing)
      1m 51s
  14. 1m 49s
    1. Next steps
      1m 49s

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Writing Fundamentals: The Craft of Story
1h 59m Beginner Jan 31, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this course, author Lisa Cron digs into the craft of writing a compelling story based on what the brain is wired to respond to in every story we hear. Whether you're writing a story from scratch, or revising your story for the umpteenth time, this course offers practical how-to advice, then illustrates it using before-and-after examples. Discover how to craft a first page, zero in on your story's point, create empathy, find a character's secret goals and inner issues, translate generics into specifics, write for suspense, create cause-and-effect connections, build momentum and tension, and deftly implement setups, payoffs, flashbacks, subplots, and foreshadowing.

Topics include:
  • What is a story?
  • Hooking your reader
  • Feeling what the protagonist feels
  • Being specific
  • Creating suspense and conflict
  • Writing flashbacks and subplots
Subjects:
Business Collaboration Presentations Business Skills Writing Communication
Author:
Lisa Cron

Example (Uncovering your protagonist's inner issue)

The way to pin-point the specific event that caused the problem or fear that the protagonist must overcome is to relentlessly ask why of everything until you hit paydirt. Here's how such a conversation between two writers might go. (female speaker: Thank you for going over my script with me and helping me with this.) (male speaker: Sure!) (female speaker: So, it's about a woman named Olive, and she cannot make any relationship work.) (male speaker: Okay, why not?) (female speaker: She sabotages every relationship she gets into.) (male speaker: Why?) (female speaker: Um, she starts to fall in love with a guy, and then she pushes them away emotionally.) (male speaker: And why is she doing that?) (female speaker: Because she doesn't feel worthy, she doesn't want to be hurt, um, she doesn't want to be manipulated?) (male speaker: Okay, so is there a specific incident in her past that makes her feel this way now?) (female speaker: I don't know. I guess that's where I'm blocked.

Um, okay, so when Olive was thirteen she had a huge crush on her older brother's best friend, Brad, and would do his homework for him, make him snacks, um, and one day she came home, and she overheard her brother and Brad making fun of her, and she was totally heartbroken, really sad, really devastated, and every relationship after that, she put up walls 'cause she didn't want to be hurt.) (male speaker: Okay, good. So we know what started it all.

The question I have for you is what's the issue in Olive's life right now that's forcing her to deal with that?) (female speaker: I know the answer to that one! Okay, so she just me the first man who made her feel the same way that Brad does. It totally feels like love now, and this time she's really desperate to break that pattern. And she's totally terrified, like can she do it?) Bingo! Specific fear versus specific desire. What a better place for a story to start? And you know what else? Asking why can be a great antidote to writer's block.

You can brainstorm like this with a friend, or you even by yourself.

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