Do you find your story climax and work backwards?

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  • Do you find your story climax and work backwards?

    I've been hearing about his a lot lately. Do any of you work like that? How do you do it? Are there any articles on the web I can read.

  • #2
    Re: Do you find your story climax and work backwards?

    Don't read an article...watch a film, read a screenplay/book, learn how to tell a story.

    I sometimes know 100% how my story ends...sometimes I only partially know. The fun is getting there. The ending is the payoff.
    One meets his destiny often in the road he takes to avoid it. - French Proverb

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    • #3
      Re: Do you find your story climax and work backwards?

      I know what my ending is going to be before I start writing, and I plan out how I'm going to get there. But if you want to see a DVD about how to do what you ask, go to the Creative Screenwriting section of this board. If the offer still stands, they were promising free copies of their various DVD lectures for people willing to write reviews. I attended a few of the sessions where they were making the DVDs, and there was one by Jeff Kitchen where he explained how to figure out your story from the ending.

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      • #4
        Re: Do you find your story climax and work backwards?

        I won't write until I've got my climax. Too many seventy page wonders in my trunk! I don't need all the details, but I've got to have a character and the action he'll take that would never seem possible at the start of the story. If I have a character, I ask: What's the last thing on earth my character would do? If I have an action, I ask: Who would do anything else to avoid doing it?

        For example, in ABOUT A BOY, what's the last thing Will -- Mr. I am an island, don't care about no one but myself -- would do? How about get up in front of a packed auditorium and embarrass himself by singing "Feelings," to help out a nerdy kid he's come to care for?

        So, yeah, I like to have a climax. A clear second-act want and flaw are high on my list, too. And a solid scene outline. I hardly ever stick to it -- I like to surprise myself along the way -- but I won't start without one.

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        • #5
          Re: Do you find your story climax and work backwards?

          Yep, regarding the climax, know your ending!

          The girls will always complain, but keep that ending.

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          • #6
            Re: Do you find your story climax and work backwards?

            I never start a trip until I know the destination.

            Fortune favors the bold - Virgil

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            • #7
              Re: Do you find your story climax and work backwards?

              You're a trip, Deus. Or are you trippin'? Or am I trippin'?

              Charli

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              • #8
                Re: Do you find your story climax and work backwards?

                I don't sit down to write a story without knowing the beginning, the end, and the arc in between. I might not know what the climax is, but I know what story I am trying to achieve.

                Second acts are the hardest for me personally. Act one and three, are usually my best. I always know what my destination will be, I just don't have a map.

                I take the scenic tour, allowing myself to get lost. I just know I have a few places I plan to stop and check out before my final destination.

                The rest I discover as I write.

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                • #9
                  Re: Do you find your story climax and work backwards?

                  Pretty much. If you know what your ending is going to be then I think you can do a much better job of setting up throughout the course of the script.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Do you find your story climax and work backwards?

                    I usually know what will happen at the end, but work out the specifics as I outline.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Do you find your story climax and work backwards?

                      I use this technique so I can layer things into my characters. Sometimes I write a scene and something interesting pops up. A mannerism, a flaw, a word, whatever. When that happens, I can work my way back and explain why that happens to the character. It helps me flush out my characters. So, it applies to every scene not just the climax. Once you know the scene, or climax, you can explain how you got there. That process is fun once you see opportunities to layer in cool character stuff.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Do you find your story climax and work backwards?

                        Originally posted by OzFade
                        Don't read an article...watch a film, read a screenplay/book, learn how to tell a story.

                        I sometimes know 100% how my story ends...sometimes I only partially know. The fun is getting there. The ending is the payoff.
                        I also typically know what I want out of my story. Then the writing starts, and new possibilities spring up. Or another idea. Sometimes the story changes quite a bit.

                        The end result is what's important.
                        Writer / Director available for your project.

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