Thursday, May 23, 2013

Book Review: Lights! Camera! Fiction! by Alfie Thompson

ISBN: 076242401X
Published: June 13th, 2006
Publisher: Running Press
Read from May 17th to 22nd, 2013
Synopsis from Goodreads:

How many times have you watched a popular movie and thought, "I'd like to write something like that," or "Even I can write better dialogue!" Here's your chance to learn how to write a watching movies like "Speed," "The Sixth Sense," "Clueless," "Die Hard," "While You Were Sleeping," and more! For the first time, a professional writing instructor and movie buff will take you through the steps necessary to craft your own commercial novel using techniques found in your favorite films. What can Hollywood's biggest features teach you about writing? How to watch movies with a writer's eye. Infusing character traits into scenes and plots. Using material goals to show internal motivation. Techniques for making scenes do double duty, including foreshadowing and flashback. What is a credibility gap, and how you should bridge it.
Plus: Three 'tricks' for fixing holes in your plot, characters or anything else in your story. Thompson guides you frame by frame through the ins and outs of writing a hit, in a text that is packed with "Quick Tips" and "Quick Fixes." This is an indispensable reference work that will have you polishing your prose--and preparing it for publication--in no time!

First of all, you're asked to watch a certain movie before reading each chapter of this book.  I'm going to be completely honest and say that I didn't watch any of them (although I'd seen one of them before) because I didn't have access to them.  I'm definitely going to try and watch them at some point though, and come back to this book.  Even without having watched a lot of the movies the author referenced to help make points, I still greatly enjoyed this book.

Movies really do provide really good examples of how to tell stories, and I think any writer could benefit from this book.  I know I learned a lot.  It's written in a very entertaining way.  Without having even seen a lot of the movies I could still follow along with everything, and there were quite a few things that really caused me to think in this book.  I highly recommend this to any writer out there.  It really is an amazing book.

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