Tag Archive - cinematic technique

Using Close-Ups in Your Scenes to Get Personal

For this week’s Throwback Thursday, we’re looking at excerpts from past posts on Live Write Thrive that tie in with our exploration on scene structure.

From Close Up and Personal—One Stationary Camera Shot:

There are plenty of shots that specify a particular distance the camera should be positioned from the action, but I like to break them up into three basic distances, and these are covered by the following camera shots: The Close-Up (CU or Close Shot, sometimes called a 2-Shot for two people in the shot), Medium Shot (MS, or Full Shot), and Long Shot (LS). These are the staple shots.

You may also find Extreme Wide Shot, Very Wide Shot, Over-the-Shoulder Shot, etc. It may be superfluous to say that you want to use a Close Shot when you want to get in close and see things you can’t see from far away. Same goes for the Long Shot in aiming to show a wider scope of what’s happening in your scene. Sometimes you want to “see” something far off and not see the details. This is a choice. Continue Reading…

3 Ways to Not Lose Your Readers on Your First Page

Readers will often stop reading before they finish the first page of your story. While this has always been true, in this fast-paced age that foments impatience, it’s even more true.

If a writer doesn’t deliver what a reader hopes for on that first page, it’s going to be tough to convince the reader to stick around for the whole chapter—let alone the whole book.

We’ve been looking at all the things needed on a first page of a novel or short story. And while it’s not a hard-and-fast rule that all these elements have to show up on page 1, the more elements a writer includes, the better.

This, of course, is going to vary a lot. And if a writer is starting with a prologue or some scene that doesn’t introduce the protagonist, that makes a difference as well. But the overall objective, regardless of opening scene, isn’t going to change. And that is to engage the reader. Continue Reading…

How Novelists Can Benefit from Using Cinematic Scene Structure

We’ve covered a lot of diverse topics in this mulit-month look at scene structure. I mentioned in January how weak scene structure is a plague in manuscripts, especially those of beginning writers. My goal here with this series—which includes in-depth (read: long) looks at best-selling novels’ first pages and back posts via the Throwback Thursday section—is to leave no writer behind.

Meaning, I want all of you to nail scene structure. Let’s make 2016 the year you never write another rotten, boring, nothing scene again. Deal?

It’s doable! If you haven’t read all the posts on Live Write Thrive this year so far, consider doing so. We’ve been using my scene-structure checklist on Mondays and my first-page checklist on Wednesdays. I’m going to have to come up with some new checklists after this—these two will be so worn out, I won’t be able to read them when we’re done! Continue Reading…

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