5 Ways To Spice Things Up When You’re Writing From A Formula – Raindance

Writing is like sex.

By that, I mean several things. First, it’s better to do it than talk about it. Second, there are more people talking about it than people actually doing it. Last, and definitely not least, it’s okay to do it the traditional way, but sometimes you want to spice things up. I now realize I could have gone with “sex is like cooking” and lead with “sometimes, you want to spice things up” but I don’t think it would have caught your attention as well.

There are several formulas (screen)writers have at their disposal to bring a story to life: the three-act structure, Save The Cat, the 22 steps from John Truby’s Anatomy of Story and of course, a personal favourite, the hero’s journey, as fleshed out in Joseph Campbell’s The Hero With A Thousand Faces and again in Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey. Love them or hate them, they can be useful weapons in a writer’s arsenal.

Yet we feel like we’ve seen it all, by now, right? Perhaps it’s happened to you too, taking a look at your watch during a movie and going “Inciting incident in 3…2…1… There it is!”

Sometimes formulaic writing feels that predictable watching it, yet for those of us struggling to get that story we love onto the page, it’s definitely a great help. If Oprah asked me what I know for sure right now, I could only tell her that my script is going to be a hero’s journey, but that’s about the only certainty I have.

So how do we do to write from a formula without being obvious about it? Here are a few pointers.

Read the rest on the Raindance blog.

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