Friday, August 6, 2010

Billy Wilder's top ten tips

Over at Sterling Editing, we have our usual list of links for writers. Regular readers of AN will recognise two of the posts linked to but there's other good stuff, tips from experts, including my favourite, this list of instructions from Billy Wilder--about screenwriting, of course, but applicable to fiction.

  1. Grab 'em by the throat and never let go.
  2. Develop a clean line of action for your leading character.
  3. The more subtle and elegant you are in hiding your plot points, the better you are as a writer.
  4. If you have a problem with the third act, the real problem is in the first act.
  5. Tip from Ernst Lubitsch: Let the audience add up two plus two. They'll love you forever.
  6. The audience is fickle. Know where you're going.
  7. In doing voice-overs, be careful not to describe what the audience already sees. Add to what they are seeing.
  8. The event that occurs at the second act curtain triggers the end of the movie.
  9. The 3rd act must build, build, build in tempo until the last event, and then...
  10. ...that's it. Don't hang around.

-- Billy Wilder

(Thanks to GITS)

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