Think Like a Camera and Increase Your Odds of Selling Streaming Rights
This practice will make your writing more compelling, too
Happy Friday! In the last newsletter, I wrote about five craft books for memoir writers. I promised that in this edition, I’d share five memoirs to read when you’re writing memoir. Well, life happens, and this was a particularly busy and people-y week. Friday rolled around much sooner than I expected (whoops!). So instead, I’m dusting off a post from 2014 that has a whole new kind of resonance today.
When I first wrote the post nearly a decade ago (with the decidedly non-SEO title “Cinematic Writing”), I was talking about how to use camera techniques to immerse the reader in the experience of a story.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve worked with an increasing number of clients who are writing books that they hope to sell to streaming networks (or traditional broadcast networks, or cable, or film studios).
The good news is that the same techniques that captivate readers also serve to help film and television people visualize the potential for a movie or series. It’s not the only technique that counts (the quality of characters, scenes and dialogue are important, too), but it’s a great addition to any writer’s toolkit.
In the original post, I wrote:
One of the benefits of having worked in so many mediums – print, television, stage, online, stand-alone interactive and film – is that I’ve learned a variety of storytelling techniques that are transferable among platforms.
There’s something in the combination of having been a stage manager, a TV writer/producer and a film critic that combines to make me a highly cinematic writer. I don’t mean screenwriter, or that I write epic, sweeping stories easily adapted to the screen (I don’t); I mean that I’ve learned the art of visual storytelling, and when I write, it’s as though there were a camera in my head. I tell the story as I see it in the screen of my mind.
To read the rest of the post, click here.
For those who are interested in selling to Hollywood (or Bollywood, or…) Jane Friedman has a few excellent posts on selling film rights:
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Have a great weekend, and I will write a newsletter with memoir recommendations soon-ish-ly.