Friday, January 22, 2010

BOOK CLUB: Power of Suggestion (Ch. 16)

[Today we're reading Ch. 16 "It Scared Me Because I Saw It Coming" ...The Rolls Royce of Complex Plots, from Aristotle's Poetics for Screenwriters, by Michael Tierno (2002).]

The Rolls Royce of plots is a predictable surprise.

What? That's right. I meant exactly what I wrote.

We've all seen it before: a clue in plain sight trips up the bad guy, or you saw hints that Rosemary had a devil spawn, but SHE didn't realize it until WHAMMO! Predictable surprise.

The trick is what PRECEDES the predictable surprise, i.e., suggested hints, suggested clues, grey suggestions, on-the-fence suggestions.

ex. I saw a script that had a great surprise, but no hint dropping through the script. The problem was that to drop hints, the writer would have to entirely change the dynamic of the protagonist & antagonist. The traits had to be redone. The writer had to figure what each really had at stake & who would want to hide the clues the most.

Not easy work.

WHAT I’VE LEARNED: I whammmy you to send me a million bucks for more blog posts. Did it work? Oops. Didn't start early enough with the suggestions.

[DISCLAIMER: I have not been asked, nor paid, to read or comment on this book.]

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