Writing Tip & Prompt: Focus on the Narrative

On Fridays, we like to share writing tips and tricks with our readers. We hope this section will encourage and inspire you to continually improve as a writer.

Writing Tip – Focus on the Narrative

Improve your author voice by watching movies. Movies cram as much narrative, spoken and unspoken, into a frame as possible. Pay close attention to the unspoken elements. Look for what is happening in the frame overall through the use of colors, set design and lighting. The invisible art of cinema wordlessly evokes emotion and is the voice of the scene or film. Try applying the tonal techniques of master filmmakers to your writing. If you can do that, you’ll control the invisible, yet critical, art of emotionally moving people.

Writing Prompt – Take Notes from a Movie

Put a DVD in your DVD player, turn the volume completely down and take notes while you watch. You might want to try it with a movie you are familiar with and already know the underlying tone so that you are able to pay close attention to the details that help create it. Or, adventurously try a new movie and feel your way through each scene. Either way, write the unspoken elements that contribute to the overall tone of each scene as you watch it. Look for patterns. When the movie is over, go back to your latest scene and refresh it using some of your newly discovered special effects.


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