Story Development

Concepts like Story and Plot are important in filmmaking or creating a series of episodes. They can also be useful, to a lesser extent, when planning out other content such as a blog post. A story is a sequence of events. “The King died. The Queen died.” A plot is a story with causality. “The King died. The Queen died of a broken heart.” Causality makes stories more interesting to the audience.

Blog posts

Practical Tips for Structuring Stories

I have found the Writing Excuses podcast (and archives) very useful to learn about the art of story writing. One I found particularly useful was episode 10.13 (“Where is my story going?”) on structure. (The episodes before and after it are all pretty good. Series 10 they started making the episodes more like teaching content.)…

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Writing Great Dialogue

In a movie (or in my case, an animated cartoon), dialogue can make or break a scene. For animation, the visual aspects may take a lot more time to create, but poor dialogue or poor voice acting can have just as much impact even though they take less effort. So I always find posts or…

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Entity Extraction for Screenplays with ChatGPT

6:15 PM I am exploring assembling scenes for computer animation from text based on AI. This is partly because I would like to speed up my workflow, and partly as a learning exercise to understand the challenges of applying AI to real life problems. This time I am looking at GPT to see how it…

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Sympathetic vs Engaging Characters

Are sympathetic characters the same or different to engaging characters? This was a topic on an old Writing Excuses podcast (episode 9.10). The answer is they are different. Here is what resonated with me from the episode in terms of how can I think about my characters to make them more engaging. To help characters…

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Conflict vs Tension in Storytelling

To make stories more interesting, do you need conflict or do you need tension? Can you create tension without conflict? I was just listening to the Writing Excuses podcast (episode 18.5, An Interview with Mary Robinette Kowal) and she raised a current thought she was working through on whether it was conflict that made stories…

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How to Write an Anime Script (2022 Q4 update)

I have been working on creating my own animated cartoon using 3D computer animation. This is a personal hobby project, so I have been taking short cuts like no voice actors. I have the first few episodes completed, which means it’s a good time to sit back and review before I launch back into the…

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MICE Outlining

Another masterclass series from the Writing Excuses podcast that I found interesting on script writing as M.I.C.E. This stands for The basic premise is that stories are easier to understand when you nest the starting and ending of parts of the story. For example, you can start a storyline for A, end A, start B,…

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Emotional Impact in Scriptwriting

This is my summary of a podcast I found on YouTube (its available on multiple platforms) from “Bulletproof Screenwriting”, an interview with Karl Iglesias (author, teacher, and consultant in scriptwriting). The whole Bulletproof series looks great if you want to learn more about screenwriting (I just subscribed to the podcast myself), but here are my…

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Great advice for writing a good story, by some old guy

There are probably some great books on how to write good drama scripts, but I came across a reference to ‘The Poetics’ written by Aristotle in 330 BCE. I was curious how much story telling has changed over the years. I found it a surprisingly interesting read with concrete actionable advice. I might not have…

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Plot and Story Structure

If you search online for how to structure Manga, Anime, a Webtoon comic, or more you will find various discussions on what terminology to use to describe the structure of content. In this post I describe the terminology that I think makes the most sense for web stories, the format I am planning to use…

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Note: The hosts on the Writing Excuses podcast described that they believe the Heroic Journey (Joseph Campbell lists 17 stages) is useful to understand, but don’t use it verbatim (as a checklist) when writing your own script / screenplay. They also pointed out several of them found Dan Harmon’s Story Circle more useful as it was more generic.