Developing Story Ideas
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Developing Story Ideas : The Power and Purpose of Storytelling

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Description

The vast majority of screenplay and writing books that focus on story development have little to say about the initial concept that inspired the piece. Developing Story Ideas: The Power and Purpose of Storytelling, Third Edition provides writers with ideational tools and resources to generate a wide variety of stories in a broad range of forms. Celebrated filmmaker and author Michael Rabiger demonstrates how to observe situations and themes in the writer's own life experience, and use these as the basis for original storytelling.ã


This new edition has been updated with chapters on adaptation, improvisation, and cast collaboration's roles in story construction, as well as a companion website featuring further projects, class assignments, instructor resources, and more.


ã




Gain the practical tools and resourcesã you need to spark your creativity and generate a wide variety of stories in a broad range of forms, including screenplays, documentaries, novels, short stories, and plays
Through hands-on, step-by-step exercises and group and individual assignments, learn to use situations and themes from your own life experience, dreams, myth, and the news as the basis for character-driven storytelling; harness methods of screenplay format, dialogue, plot structure, and character development that will allow your stories to reach their fullest potential
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Product details

  • Paperback | 218 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 15.24mm | 320g
  • CRC Press
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • 3rd New edition
  • 9 Tables, black and white
  • 1138956236
  • 9781138956230
  • 776,134

Table of contents

Part I


OVERVIEW


Chapter 1: This Book, Its Goals, and Getting Started


You and Your Resources


Why We Work in Outline Form


Ideation and Originality


Identifying with the Main Character


Jump-Starting the Imagination


The Assignments


Concerning the Writing Samples


Having Fun


This Book's Layout and Goals


Getting Started


The game called CLOSAT


Chapter 2: You and the Creative Process


The Journey of the Self


Wanting to Tell Stories


Self-Exposure and Giving Support


What is Therapy and What Is Art?


What Stories Mean


Theme and Variation


Just Do It


Outline and Expansion


Collaboration





Part II


SELF-EXAMINATION, OBSERVATION,


AND IMPROVISATION ASSIGNMENTS


Chapter 3: Artistic Identity


Displacement


Assignment 3-1: Survey of Yourself and Your Authorial Goals


Assignment 3-2: Presenting Yourself and Your Storytelling Goals


Assignment 3-3 Listening and Reacting


Going Farther


Chapter 4: Introductions and Playing "CLOSAT"


Improvising


Maintaining Focus


Pitching


If You are Working Alone


Assignment 4-1: Five-Minute Self-Introduction.


Assignment 4-2: Play the CLOSAT game.


Assignment 4-3: Develop your Own Pitching Guidelines.


General discussion


Chapter 5: Autobiography and Influences


Assignment 5-1: Autobiographical Survey


Assignment 5-2: Presenting your influences.





Chapter 6: Observing from Life


Assignment 6-1: CLOSAT preparatory work and the writer's journal


Assignment 6-2: CLOSAT with 2 characters, 1 location and 1 Object


Assignment 6-3: CLOSAT with 3 Characters, 2 objects, an act and a theme


Going Farther


Assignment 6-4: CLOSAT Variations for a Group/Class


The Power of Imagery.


Going Farther




ã



Part III


USING THE TOOLS OF DRAMA


Chapter 7: Developing Your Characters and the Dramatist's Toolkit


Checklist for Developing Your Characters


The Tools of the Dramatist


Tools #1-4, Four Hats


Tool #5, the Questionnaire


Tool #6, the Diving Mask


Tool #7, the Key (the Dramatic Premise)


Tool #8, the Pressure Meter (Detects and Measures Conflict)


Tool #9, the Stopwatch (Represents Time Progressing)


Tool #10, the Cake Slice (Separates Drama into its Components)


Tool #11, the Set of Boxes (Representing the Three-Act Structure.)


Tool #12, the Telescope (Finding Point of View)


Chapter 8: Analyzing a Scene


Using tool #5, the Questionnaire


Using tool #6, the Diving Mask.


Using tool #7, the Key (finding a dramatic premise)


Using tool #8, the Pressure Meter (Detects and Measures Conflict)


Using tool #9, the Stopwatch (Represents Time Progressing)


An Analogy for Drama


Using tool # 10, the Cake-Slice (Separating Drama into its Components)


Assignment 8-1: Character and Destiny


Assignment 8-2: Volition and Point of View


Assignment 8-3: Acting on volition.


Assignment 8-4: Scene Divisions for "The Fisherman's Wife."


The Fisherman's Wife


Chapter 9: Assessing a Complete Work


Using tool #11, the Set of Boxes


The Three-Act Structure.


Character Driven versus Plot Driven Drama


Using tool #8, the Pressure Meter Again (Sources of Pressure, Identifying Genre)


Drawing a Dramatic Arc for a Whole Work


Drama and Point of View


Assignment 9-1: Dividing "Little Red Riding Hood" into Scenes and Acts.


Assignment 9-2 Character Types and Story Meanings.


Going Farther


Chapter 10: Testing a Story Idea and Deciding Point of View


Exploring a Story's Effectiveness


Story Effectiveness Questionnaire


Exploring a Story's Meaning and Purpose


Story Editing Tools in Summary


Assignment 10-1: Impressions and Feedback.


Assignment 10-2: Critical Communication.





ã


Part IV:


CREATIVE WRITING ASSIGNMENTS


Chapter 11: A Tale from Childhood


On Discussion


Assignment 11-1: An Event from Childhood


Assignment 11-1: An Event from Childhood


Assignment 11-3 Developing a childhood film or photo scene.


Example 1 (Vilka Tzouras)


Example 2 (Alex Meillier)


Example 3 (Chris Darner)


Example 4 (Amanda McCormick)


Discussion


On memory


Going Farther


Chapter 12: Family Story


Assignment 12-1: A Story Told in Your Family


Assignment 12-2 Family Story as Comic Strip


Assignment 12-3 The Untold Story


Discussion


Example 1 (Margaret Harris)


Example 2 (Amanda McCormick)


Example 3 (Peter Riley)


Going Farther


Chapter 13: A Myth, Legend, or Folktale Retold


Interpreting Oral Tales


Adaptation Problems


Assignment 13-1 Free Choice of Tale.


Assignment 13-2 Myth


Assignment 13-3 Legend


Assignment 13-4 Folktale


Discussion


Example #1: The Legend of Pretty Boy Floyd Retold (Michael Hanttula)


Example #2 (Tatsuya Guillermo Ohno)


Example #3: Sisyphus Cries Dixie: A Modern Story (Michelle Arnove)


Discussion


Going Farther


Chapter 14: Dream Story


Assignment 14-1: Writing up a Dream


Assignment 14-2: Surreal Narrative


Assignment 14-3: Linking Dreams into One Narrative


Assignment 14-4 Dream and Myth


Discussion


Dream Sequence #1 (Chris Darner)


Dream Sequence #2 (Michael Hanttula)


Dream Sequence #3 (Cynthia Merwarth)


Going Farther


Chapter 15: Adapting a Short Story


Evaluating a Story for Adaptation to the Screen


Assignment 15-1: Short Story Analysis


Assignment 15-2: Adaptation Issues


Assignment 15-3: Dramatic Breakdown


Discussion


Example 1: "An Encounter," from Dubliners, by James Joyce (Peter Riley)


Example 2, "Le Diner de Cons," by Francis Veber (Louis Leterrier)


Overview


Going Farther


Chapter 16: Ten-Minute, News Inspired Story


Making a Working Hypothesis


Assignment 16-1: A picture and its consequences.


Assignment 16-2: Reality TV show.


Assignment 16-3: Docudrama.


Assignment 16-4: Based on a Real Story...


Assignment 16-5: Behind the Facade


Assignment 16-6: This Far, and No Farther


Assignment 16-7: Analyze Four News Items.


Assignment 16-8: Develop Interpersonal Difference


Discussion


Going Farther


Chapter 17: A Documentary Subject


Assignment 17-1: A Documentary Subject


Assignment 17-2: Simple Voice-Over Personal Film


Assignment 17-3: Simple Voice-Over Historical Film


Documentary Subject (Angela Galyean)


Going Farther


Chapter 18: Thirty-Minute Original Fiction


Assignment 18-1: Treatment for an Original Thirty-Minute Fiction Piece.


Assignment 18-2: An Original 30-minute Fiction Piece Inspired by an Image.


Assignment 18-3: An Original 30-minute Fiction Piece Inspired by CLOSAT Cards.


Assignment 18-3: An Original 30-minute Fiction Piece Inspired by CLOSAT Cards.


Example #1: Thirty-Minute Original Fiction Idea (Michael Hanttula)


Example #2: "Eggs Benedict" (Michelle Arnove)


On Comedy


Going Farther


Chapter 19: Feature Film


Assignment 19-1: Idea for a Feature Film (Featuring Two Points of View)


Example: Feature Film Idea (Paul Flanagan)


On The Writing Process and Receiving Criticism


Going Farther




Part V



COLLABORATIVE STORY DEVELOPMENT


Chapter 20: Wholly Improvised (Scenes and story construction in the vein of Cassavetes, Fassbinder, Linklater)


Chapter 21: Screenplay generated from Improvisation (Screenplay generated from a core of ideas, cast collaboration and improvisations, then best material transcribed and shaped into a screenplay, in the vein of Bergman, Leigh)






Part V


THE EMERGING WRITER


Chapter 22: Revisiting Your Artistic Identity


Your Creative Direction


Assignment 20-1: Revisiting your Artistic Identity.


Assignment 20-2: Say Where You'd Like to Go.


Assignment 20-3: Ideas and Ambitions.


Assignment 20-4 Setting a Personal Agenda.


Discussion and Retrospective





Part VI:


EXPANDING YOUR WORK INTO ITS FINAL FORM


Chapter 23: Story-Editing Your Outline


Structural Options


Transitions


Stream of Consciousness


Troubleshooting


Yielding to the Dramatic Conventions


Chapter 24: Expanding Your Outline


Writing for the Screen


Standard Screenplay Format


Camera and Editing Directions


Sound and Music Directions


Documentary Film Proposal


Plays


Standard Playwriting Format


Novel or Short Story Format
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Review quote

"Whenever a book's lifespan makes it through several editions, you know that it must be doing something right...Now in it's third edition, Michael Rabiger's Developing Story Ideas serves an area of creative development which is normally not addressed in most storytelling/screenwriting manuals; how to come up with an idea for a story in the first place."


--Jonny Elwyn, freelance film editor and creator of jonnyelwyn.co.uk
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About Michael Rabiger

Michael Rabigerã began in the cutting rooms of England's Pinewood and Shepperton Studios, became an editor and BBC director of documentaries, and then specialized for many years in the US as a production and aesthetics educator. At Columbia College Chicago he was co-founder, then chair of the Film/Video Department, and established the Michael Rabiger Center for Documentary. He has directed or edited more than 35 films, given workshops in many countries, and led a multinational European workshop for CILECT. Additionally, he won the International Documentary Association's Scholarship and Preservation Award, served as a Fulbright Specialist in South Africa, and is an honorary professor at the University of Buenos Aires. He is the author of Directing the Documentary, and the co-author of Directing: Film Techniques and Aesthetics, both published by Focal Press and available in multiple languages.
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