Monday, October 03, 2011

Writing Excuses: The Screenwriting Formula

I'm a guest on episode 6:18 of the marvelous Writing Excuses podcast, talking about "the Hollywood Formula." They write of this episode:

Lou Anders, Hugo-winning editorial director from Pyr books, joins Mary, Dan, and Howard at Dragon*Con for a discussion of the Hollywood Formula. Lou shared this with Mary originally, and she used it to tighten up some of her work. It’s useful enough that we decided to invite Lou onto the ‘cast to share it with everybody else, too.
The formula centers around three characters – the protagonist, the antagonist, and the relationship character. Lou explains how these terms have, in this formula, different meanings than we might be accustomed to.

Among the things that we learn: The Dark Knight has an antagonist none of us could guess, Die Hard and Stargate are third-act movies, and Howard is criminally ignorant of classic cinema.

7 comments:

Wes Harris said...

I am a long time listener of writing excuses and enjoyed your visit. Your protag, antag, relationship character take on the Dark Knight blew my mind.
I'm going to have to think more about the relationship character to make sure I understand it.
Do you have a write-up on it?

Howard Tayler said...

Thanks for being our guest, Lou! This was definitely one of our top 10 episodes, and probably one of our top 3.

Jordan said...

Great episode! I agree with Howard that it was one of the best ever. And I'm quite proud of myself, because as soon as you asked which character was the antagonist in The Dark Knight, I turned to my wife and said, "That's easy. Two Face." Any chance of you publishing an essay or book on this subject?

Kristy Stewart said...

Brilliant, as usual. This is definitely one of my favorite Writing Excuses episodes. Thanks, Lou!

Lou Anders said...

Thank you all. I've given this talk three times, all within the last two months. No write-up yet, though the positive reaction has set my wheels spinning.

CNHolmberg said...

Oh, I love Writing Excuses. I'll be sure to listen!

Sean Hannifin said...

Great episode, I really enjoyed your talk on "the Hollywood formula"! I had never heard that sort of take before; it certainly sets my mind brainstorming new story ideas. As others have said, a write-up would be awesome.