Revision Techniques 1

Cheryl Klein discusses some of her revision techniques, honed through years of editing award-winning work at Arthur Levine Books, including Harry Potter. This discussion will be useful to prose and script writers alike. We also reference Anita Nolan’s excellent essay on revision. For many more revision ideas, check out Cheryl’s book, Second Sight. As an […]

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Character Hooks

We discuss brainstorming Character Hooks – instantly intriguing character traits that are full of dramatic and/or comedic potential. When you read a book’s flap copy or see the trailer for a movie it’s not just the the plot conceit, world, tone, style, and the talent involved that makes you want pony up your hard-earned cash. […]

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Generating Characters for an Ensemble Cast

Matt Bird joins us again for a look at stories that have an ensemble cast of characters. We brainstorm how to go about generating multiple main characters, focused vs. unfocused ensemble stories, and polarized traits vs. full dimensionality. Plus, a digression into a racially-related subtopic helps make this the most controversial episode yet. See you […]

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Scene Construction 2 > Power Dynamics and Beats

In our sexiest episode yet, Cheryl and James break down the popular train scene from the James Bond film Casino Royale between Bond (Daniel Craig) and Vesper (Eva Green). Topics include scene construction, power dynamics, scene beats, character tactics, dialogue, sexual tension,and Cheryl’s unabashed weakness for quality banter and Daniel Craig’s perfectly formed…nevermind. Links: The […]

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Character Morality

How can you make your characters more interesting via their morality? How do you define the morality of your character? And how can you play with moral status and use it to tell a good story? Cheryl and James look at Harry Potter and his virtues and flaws, the moral grey of Severus Snape, Katniss […]

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Character Contrast (Foils)

Cheryl and James look at how Character Contrast and the use of Foils can help you better define your characters and make them more compelling. Some questions we address: How likable do your characters have to be for us to care about them? What are some different types of foils?  What uses of character contrast […]

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