The Pleasures of Structure: Learning Screenwriting Through Case Studies by Julian HoxterThe Pleasures of Structure: Learning Screenwriting Through Case Studies by Julian Hoxter

The Pleasures of Structure: Learning Screenwriting Through Case Studies

byJulian Hoxter

Paperback | February 26, 2015

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The Pleasures of Structure starts from the premise that the ability to develop a well understood and articulated story structure is the most important skill a screenwriter can develop. For example, good structure requires a great premise and rigorous character development. Without clear character motivations and goals--which are themselves indicative of key structural beats--your story is going exactly nowhere. Using the simple and flexible 'W' model of screenplay structure developed in the prequel Write What You Don't Know, Hoxter sets this out as its starting point. This model is tested against a range of examples which are chosen to explore the flexibility not only of that model but of movie storytelling more generally. Writers and students often worry that they are asked to work 'to formula'. This book will test that formula to breaking point. For example, the first case study will offer the example of a well written, professional, mainstream movie against which our later and more adventurous examples can be compared. So the lessons we learn examining the animated family adventure movie How To Train Your Dragon lead us directly to ask questions of our second case study, the acclaimed Swedish vampire movie L¿t den R¿tte Komma In (Let The Right One In). Both movies have protagonists with the same basic problem, the same goal, and they use the same basic structure to tell their stories. Of course they are very different films and they work on their audiences in very different ways. Our linked case studies will expose how simple choices, like reversing the order of elements of the protagonist's transformational arc and shifting ownership of key story beats, has an enormous impact on how we respond to a structural model that is otherwise functionally identical.
Julian Hoxter is the Screenwriting Coordinator and Associate Professor of Screenwriting in the Cinema Department of San Francisco State University, USA. He is an award winning educator and filmmaker whose films have been shown in festivals around the world. He has taught screenwriting and filmmaking in the US and the UK for over 15 yea...
Title:The Pleasures of Structure: Learning Screenwriting Through Case StudiesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:312 pages, 8.51 × 5.51 × 0.73 inPublished:February 26, 2015Publisher:BloomsburyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:144110139X

ISBN - 13:9781441101396

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Table of Contents

Preface Introduction: American Screenwriting Today Section One: Principles of Movie Storytelling The Origins of Story, Part One: Evolution, Storytelling, and Selective Advantage The Origins of Story, Part Two: Written Culture, Ring Compositions, and the Principle of Parallelism The Skeleton of a Story: Internal Story Logic Putting Flesh on a Story's Bones: Narration and Pleasure in the Telling of the Tale Keeping the Story Flowing: Narrative Economy and Screenplay Format Modeling Movie Structure: The 'W' Model of Story Structure Alternative Approaches to Scripting Revision: What Have We Learned in this Chapter? Section Two: Case Studies Act One: First Down Angle (Recognition) Act Two: From Avoidance to Commitment Act Two: First Up Angle (Avoidance) Act Two: Second Down Angle (Commitment) Act Three: Second Up Angle (Resolution) How to Train Your Dragon as a Ring Let the Right One In as a Ring Winter's Bone as a Ring Section Three: Screenwriting, A Critical Glossary Part One: Screenplay Part Two: Development Part Three: The Screenwriting Industry Part Four: Story Structure Part Five: Character Development Conclusion Index

Editorial Reviews

Julian Hoxter is a great teacher and an always entertaining writer. His deep knowledge of the history and practice of American screenwriting makes his latest book another 'must read.' In The Pleasures of Structure he embeds simple, helpful story concepts into a wide range of detailed and up-to-date case study examples, making them relevant for aspiring writers who want to work in every aspect of cinema from the mainstream and genre, to the wilder worlds of indie and microbudget screenwriting. The excellent critical glossary of screenwriting terms at the end also makes this book truly unique--it is worth the purchase price alone.