The Most Powerful Two Hours You'll Ever Spend as a Storyteller

This post, from Larry Brooks, originally appeared on his Storyfix site on 11/19/09.

I’m about to introduce you to the most exhilarating and useful hands-on writing exercise I’ve ever experienced.  So effective, in fact, that it’s more a tool than it is a way to limber up the ol’ creative muscles.

So which is it?  An exercise or a tool?

Doesn’t matter.  Either way, I urge you – I  challenge you – to try this. 

Why?  Because just sitting there waiting for the blood to emerge from your forehead and plop onto the page in the form of an idea probably isn’t going to do the trick anytime soon.

If you’re blocked, this will unblock you. 

But that’s only one reason to give this a shot.

If you’re fuzzy about story structure, this will clear the fog. 

If you’re looking for a way to turn an idea into a story, this is like growth hormones for that seed. 

It’ll take you two to three hours to complete.  What comes of that investment of time, though, just might change – or even save – your writing life.

Your mission is to generically deconstruct a story.

It’s like shooting video of Tiger Woods’ golf swing.  You’re not ripping him off, you’re breaking down the fundamentals of what works.  When you then apply what you’ve learned to your own game, trust me, nobody will accuse you of plagiarizing greatness 

Because the principles of greatness are always generic, available to everybody.

When you’re finished, you’ll have a generic template for a story from your chosen genre, something you can apply to your own work as you see fit, in part or even in whole.

Or, at a minimum, you’ll have something that will enhance and reinforce your understanding of story architecture.

First step: go to the video store and rent a movie. 

Read the rest of the post on Storyfix.