Story Nerd Episodes
There is so much storytelling goodness to be learned from The Godfather, it kinda boggles the mind. Even if you’re writing a light-hearted romcom, believe it or not, your novel/screenplay will benefit from the way Coppola and Puzzo approached the craft. The stakes start out high and get even higher. And when it comes to
The biggest problem facing writers who are trying to understand theory and learn how stories work, is that there is no standard lexicon. This leads to no end of problems…and frankly, arguments. How do we deal with this lack of consensus? Tune in to find out.
This may not be the worst movie ever made, but it’s certainly among them. The filmmakers have completely ignored storytelling basics and boy, does it ever show. It’s based on Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, so you’d think it would be brilliant, right? Wrong. Without the fundamentals in place this is nothing more than
On this brand new season of the podcast Valerie and Melanie are diving deeply into EMPATHY and STAKES. How did the makers of The King’s Speech get us common folk to empathize with a king? How did they get an American audience to empathize with a British king when they fought a war to win
Are you writing a novel with more than one protagonist and/or plotline? Are you using flashbacks or writing a series? If so, this is an episode you simply must check out. This week Valerie and Melanie review their key takeaways from ten weeks of study into story form (plot structure) and resonance.
The shape of this story (the film version, anyway) changes dramatically depending on who you think the protagonist is. It’s Jay Gatsby, right? Ah, maybe! Or the protagonist could be Nick Carraway! And exactly why are we still reading, watching and studying this story 100 years after it was written? In this week’s episode of
Seriously, what the heck is a quasi antiplot story? It sounds pretty fringe; like some crazy, obscure little bit of story theory that writers will never, ever, need to know. Sure, story theorists can fill their boots with it but if 99% of audiences expect an archplot story, why should we bother with quasi antiplot
As we saw in the Aliens episode, resonance is a powerful tool for anyone developing a series. But what happens when resonance is used ineffectively? In this episode, Melanie takes us on a deep dive into the Star Wars universe and explains why The Force Awakens did a face plant. (Because she’s a superfan, she
Well this is one wild ride of an episode! Wayne’s World is an antiplot story that offers up plenty of writing lessons that surprised the heck out of Valerie and Melanie. It gave them the giggles too (be sure to listen all the way to the end). So sit back and enjoy this episode with
If you’re writing a series (no matter what the genre), this is one episode you won’t want to miss. How did James Cameron use Resonance to create a sequel that viewers love? And, how does understanding a character’s arc help writers keep a story fresh from film to film, or book to book? Valerie and
Hold on to your hats! Robert Altman’s 1975 classic, Nashville, has 24 main characters and more storylines that you can count. If you’re writing a story with two or more POVs and/or storylines, you can’t afford to skip this episode! Mind blown. 🤯
Melanie loves this film but it gives Valerie the creeps. They’ll never see eye-to-eye on this one, but thanks to story theory, their subjective opinions don’t get in the way of appreciating what this story has to offer. Guillermo del Toro has innovated the heck out of a courtship love story in a way that
It’s easy to think that a Miniplot story is simply one where the protagonist has a strong internal arc. But that’s only part of it. There’s much, much more to it than that. So if your novel features a main character who changes over the course of the story, you definitely want to give this
The marketing people at Lego are geniuses. In 2014 they released The Lego Movie, launching a lucrative movie franchise and driving sales of their product through the roof. The storytelling isn’t fancy, but it sure is solid. In this week’s episode Valerie and Melanie look at Lego Batman (2017) and how the company uses resonance
We’ve all heard this advice from A-List authors…if we want to be better writers we have to read more. What they don’t tell us is that reading like a writer is an entirely different activity than reading like a reader. In this episode, Melanie explains her approach to reading actively, deeply, widely and consistently.
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