Pride and Prejudice - The STORY GRID edition - Annotated by SHAWN COYNE

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ARCHIVES OF September, 2010

Writing Wednesdays

Writing Wednesdays

Getting to the Flow

By Steven Pressfield | Published: September 29, 2010

The lady plans to seduce her lover. Her object is to create a night of magic. How does she do it?

First the setting, the lighting, the music. The mood, the wine … the lady orchestrates every detail. Her skin, her hair, her scent. She alters her voice, her walk, she paints on those witchy-woman eyes. Ooh, don’t forget those six-inch Manolos.

But there’s more to the spell.

The finishing touches lie in how she greets her lover; their talk, the rhythm of the evening, the dance between them. Almost imperceptibly the moment steals upon the pair. The lady is caught up too. She has created the moment and now it carries her—and her lover–away.

This is magic. This is flow.

If we could achieve this by taking a pill or reading a self-help manual, we’d all do it. (Some of us have tried.) But the reality is that it takes work.

"Dance Is Work": The famous Harvey Edwards poster

Magic takes work.

Flow takes work.

Art takes work.

The athlete and the warrior, the actor and the dancer all spend hours preparing for their moment under the lights. So do you and I. We’re courting the flow. We’re summoning it; we’re seducing it.

We know we can’t order it up like a pizza. We can’t produce it on an assembly line. But we can prepare the stage and the hour. We can prepare ourselves. And we can begin by action. We can act in anticipation of the goddess’s apparition. We can move as if she is already here. (more…)

Posted in Writing Wednesdays
14 Comments

Writing Wednesdays

Writing Wednesdays

The “All Is Lost” Moment

By Steven Pressfield | Published: September 22, 2010

I’ve never posted an interview in this Writing Wednesdays slot (see “The Creative Process” series below on this page), but the following confab with story expert Jen Grisanti seemed to fit so perfectly that I thought I’d feature it up here “above the fold.” Today is Part One of a two-part interview.

Jen Grisanti of Jen Grisanti Consultancy

Jen Grisanti is a Hollywood story consultant and the author of the upcoming Story Line—a book that is sure to become an instant classic and rock the worlds of a boatload of screenwriters, novelists and other storytellers. Jen made her bones in the ‘90s, working for Aaron Spelling and as a VP at CBS/Paramount. She has since gone on to create her own very successful independent consultancy, working one-on-one with screenwriters and novelists, teaching, speaking and in general opening the eyes of us struggling storysmiths to the gold in our own lives and in the tales we tell.

In this interview, I seek wisdom from Jen on the “All Is Lost” moment—a beat that seems to appear again and again in our stories and in our real lives.

SP: Jen, what exactly is the “all is lost” moment? Where does it come in the story, and why is it so important?

JG: In film, the “all is lost” moment happens between pages 75 and 90 of the screenplay. The “all is lost” moment is when our central character is as far away as possible from achieving his or her goal.

The “all is lost” moment in television comes at the second-to-last act break of the episode.

SP: What is the “all is lost” moment’s function in the story?

JG:  The function of this moment is to create, heighten and escalate the stakes and create a moment of what appears to be a point of no return.

SP: What is the “all is lost” moment’s function for the character?

JG:  The function of the “all is lost” moment for the character is to trigger him or her into action to achieve his or her goal. Sometimes we need to hit rock bottom before we see the light. (more…)

Posted in Writing Wednesdays
19 Comments

The Creative Process

The Creative Process

Michael Bungay Stanier

By Callie Oettinger | Published: September 17, 2010

Michael Bungay Stanier does Great—Important—Work. His bio says that he’s the Senior Partner of Box of Crayons, a company that helps organizations and the people in them do less Good Work and more Great Work. It should also say that he’s one of those wonderful people with a gift for telling it how it is, in just the right, positive way. His most-recent book is Do More Great Work: Stop the Busywork and Start the Work that Matters. You can pillage the free chapters, courses, interviews and other resources at Do More Great Work. Check out all the short movies he’s created at Box Of Crayons Movies, too.

(more…)

Posted in The Creative Process
5 Comments
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