Reader Question: How do I know which version of my story to write?

If a story can go in myriad directions, how do we know which way to go?

A tweet from a writer based in London, England:

So…

You have a story idea. You see a scene in your mind. You write it. Great!

But wait. You start to think about it further. Now you see the scene in a different light. You write another version.

Ah, this one feels right.

Uh-uh. Yet another iteration of the scene bursts into your consciousness.

This version… that one… ahhh!

“I don’t know which story it belongs to. How do you know?”

In a perfect world, the story unfolds before you and that’s it. It’s your STORY. Clear. Clean. Obvious.

However…

What if there are two ways to go with your story? Or three? Or even MORE?

There is subtext at work in this question.

How do I know if it’s just ME dictating what the story will be… or the story ITSELF letting me know which way to go?

There is a solution to this problem and it’s simply this…

Your characters.

Immerse yourself in the lives of your characters… individually… collectively… lean into THEM.

After all, it’s THEIR story!

Rely on them to lead you into and through the story-crafting process.

You’ve heard of the old saying, “Seeing is believing”?

Invert it: “Believing is seeing.”

Believe your characters exist. Their story universe exists. And go there. Seek out your characters. Use biographies and questionnaires to dig into them. If that seems arbitrary or inauthentic, then use direct engagement exercises:

  • Interview: You’re a psychiatrist, the character is your patient. Engage them in a therapy session where they must answer your questions.
  • Monologue: Do a sit-down in which you get into the head space of a key character, free type what you ‘hear’ them saying.
  • Inner Monologue: Do a sit-down in which you get into the head space of a character and write down every thought they have.

Lean into your characters. Reach out to them. Listen to them.

If you’re worried about what version of the story should be THE story, rely on your characters because it’s THEIR story.

For more Go Into The Story Reader Question posts, go here.


Reader Question: How do I know which version of my story to write? was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Go Into The Story - Medium

Almost Everything You Need to Know about Lighting in Under 30 Minutes

This beginner’s technical breakdown of lighting is perfect for those just starting out.

If you’ve just started your filmmaking journey, lighting may not be on your radar quite yet—but it should be. It’s one of the most important elements of cinema not only because it’s the very thing that makes it possible, but because it’s one of the most powerful tools a filmmaker has to tell a story. If you’re a little intimidated, don’t worry. Yes, lighting can be complicated and yes, it’s going to take you years of practice to be any good at it, but this 30-minute video from Kevin of Basic Filmmaker breaks down almost every basic technical aspect of lighting, from color temperatures to lighting cable quality, to help give you a more sturdy foundation.

(Kevin highlights one mistake in the video: when he refers to CRI as Color Temperature Index. It stands for Color Rendering Index.)

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No Film School

What You Need to Know about Directing Non-Actors

Understanding the benefits and challenges that come with working with non-actors.

As no-budget filmmakers, chances are we’re not going to be working with Hollywood actors at the peak of their stardom. Actually, in each and every of your films your cast might actually be made up entirely of non-actors, or actors who have little to no professional experience, and that’s not a bad thing. People hear terms like “inexperienced” and “untrained” and immediately think “bad performance,” but non-professional actors actually bring something very special to the cinematic table, and because they do, you as a director need to bring a very special set of skills in order to direct them. In this video from Film Riot, director Ricky Staub (The Cage), offers up some great insight on what that skillset entails.

Whether they’re seasoned pros or bright-eyed first-timers, directing actors is a tough undertaking. There’s a lot of emotional and technical work that goes on between the director and actors in order to prepare for a great performance; if your actor is unfamiliar with this process, it could prove to be a little more challenging.

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No Film School

Stunts 101: 3 Things You Should Know about Using Breakaway Glass

Are you itching to throw someone through a window? Here’s how to do it safely.

Though it’s tons of fun watching our favorite action stars take death-defying leaps through plate glass windows, these types of stunts, which utilize breakaway glass, are well-choreographed and executed by professional stunt performers to mitigate any real danger. If you’re interested in including a stunt like this in your own work, awesome, but before you go toss your lead actor through your living room window, check out this video from The Slanted Lens. In it, host Jay P. Morgan shares a few tips on how to pull it off safely and effectively, including 1.) how to prepare your set, 2.) how to install the glass, and 3.) how to toss a human being through it.

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No Film School

Superhero Bits: Silver and Black Rumors, Nebula’s Past Is Much Darker Than We Know & More

Hulk - Brazilian Car Commercial

Which summer comic book movie took home the most Teen Choice Awards? What other Marvel Comics characters might be appearing in Silver and Black? Why don’t The Defenders meet in the premiere of the new series? Why did Geoff Johns leave Marvel Comics for DC Comics? What darkness is left unrevealed about Nebula‘s past in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? All that and more in this edition of Superhero Bits.

The cast of Arrow discusses what fans can expect from the sixth season premiere coming to The CW this fall.

Wonder Woman took home some Teen Choice Awards over the weekend, but so did Supergirl and The Flash.

Here’s some concept art from Ryan Meinerding showing the inside of the Spider-Man: Homecoming suit.

There’s a rumor that Chameleon could appear in Silver and Black, as well as Tarantula and Tombstone.

Here’s a quick teaser clip from The Defenders with Alexandra (Sigourney Weaver) holding Stick captive.

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Homecoming has officially pulled in over $ 700 million at the worldwide box office.

The Incredible Hulk is being used to help sell Renault cars down in Brazil in this action-packed commercial.

Joe Morton, who plays Dr. Silas Stone in Justice League, confirms his son, Cyborg, has resentment for him.

Continue Reading Superhero Bits>>

Due to the amount of graphics and images included in Superhero Bits, we have to split this post over THREE pages. Click the link above to continue to the next page of Superhero Bits.

The post Superhero Bits: Silver and Black Rumors, Nebula’s Past Is Much Darker Than We Know & More appeared first on /Film.


/Film

Everything You Need to Know About Building a Drug Lab on the Cheap — For Your Movie

Need a seedy drug lab in your next movie? Build it yourself.

Looking back at when I first started filmmaking, I see that one of the most beneficial qualities I had was to never let myself get deterred by thoughts like “I can’t afford that” or “There is no way I’ll be able to do that with the tools I have access to.”

As an aspiring filmmaker, you have to be unstoppable, resourceful, think outside the box, and take risks. Figuring out new ways to create what you see in your imagination with minimal funding or resources will give you an upper hand when you finally get access to bigger/better resources, and it will challenge your creative mind in the ways you look at everyday objects.

Even the smallest details matter and can make or break an illusion.

One of my fondest memories is creating a beautiful drug lab for a little under $ 250. I was in high school at the time and barely had any money to cover the costs of my projects, but I had an extreme desire to make a fight scene inside of a drug lab for a short film. So my friends and I got together and we did.

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No Film School

Everything you need to know about the multiverse in ‘The Dark Tower’

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If you like your fantasy worlds full of ominous black structures and universe-vomiting turtles, you’re probably going to enjoy The Dark Tower.

Chances are you’ve already seen the trailer. For anyone not familiar with Stephen King’s mighty eight-book series, though, you may be a bit fuzzy on some of the details. Where does the story take place, for instance? And what’s the significance of the tower?

From Mid-World to the sprawling concept of the Multiverse, we’ve broken down a few of the key points. Read more…

First, what actually is the Dark Tower?

More about Idris Elba, The Dark Tower, Stephen King, Matthew Mcconaughey, and Multiverse
Mashable

We finally know what the inside of Tesla’s Model 3 looks like, and it’s stunning

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The wait is finally over.

After months of hype and anticipation, Tesla has finally given us our first peek at the interior of the Model 3 and, well, it was worth the wait.

The interior is every bit as sleek and minimalist as we expected. The most prominent feature is the 15-inch digital display, which has more of a landscape orientation than Tesla’s other cars. Note that, as Musk confirmed to a disappointed Tesla fan earlier this year, there is no speedometer (or any kind of gauge, for that matter) behind the wheel.

Close observers will notice that there are very few buttons or controls of any kind, which makes sense considering Tesla’s autopilot ambitions. Read more…

More about Tech, Tesla, Elon Musk, Tesla Model 3, and Tech
Mashable

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