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Showing posts with label Writer Tips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Writer Tips. Show all posts

Pixar has skilz - and Here they are

Love Pixar and these tips have been around for a few years now, originally Tweeted in '12 by Emma. I happened on them again today and find them just as valuable now as they were the first time I read them through. -- Keep in mind though - These are not Gospel, nor were they meant to be. Laying them out on your desk and checking them off is not their purpose, nor how Pixar views them. They are tips from collective experience, and you should find plenty of room to add to the list from your own experience.

Discovering Mood and Feel through Grammar

Words fascinate me. They always have. If I never sold a article, or novel, I would still be a writer. What amazes me more, is the words we have to describe modes of speech/text.  Like when the restaurant host has reached the point that -- he doesn't care that this is your first date with the love of your life anymore, and comes to your table an hour and a half after he locked the door, to say "You need to leave in ten minutes, we have to close." That has a name. It's called a "boulomaic modality."
boulomaic modality
Definition - A type of modality that expresses what is possible or necessary given someone's desires.
And my recent interest:
Hendiadys: express a single idea by two nouns instead of a noun and its qualifier. The effect of this method is an amplification that adds force.

"He came despite the rain and weather."
-- Instead of --

"He came despite the rainy weather"

The first has a stronger sound. You don't want to use Adjectives anyway. Adjectives, especially the -ly words drag the story down. The sounds actually build up inside the mind like backwash, bogging everything to a dead crawl after a while. Though, to be honest that example has the draw back of sounding a little clunky, so the right words need to be found, and I advise reading your phrase out loud a few times so you can hear the tonality.

"The distinction and presence of the dignitary moved his audience."

By separating the term “distinctive presence” into “distinction and presence” we accentuate the adjective by transforming it into a noun, and giving the 'dignitary' a feeling of greater stature by the amplified feel of the hendiady -- kind of cool huh?

I began my career as a Copywriter under the rules:
  1. The Theme: Should be based on two principles -- a man's interest in himself and his interest in other people. 
  2. Headlines: "Wife fires cannon off Hitler's Bow" -- make it more interesting than that.
  3. The Visualization: Visual yes, Emotional - a must. 
  4. The Copy: The introduction can almost always be eliminated. Copy should fit space. It starts In-Action, and moves to the Call to Action without pause or distraction.
  5. Adjectives: Once finish, go back and cut all the adjectives. 
  6. A Purpose: Never write without knowing who you are selling to and why. No one buys nails. Ever. They buy a smile from their daughter when her picture is on the wall. Who the hell wants a nail?
But like the propaganda I've been discussing, Copy too has become stronger, more challenging and sexier than it was when I started 35 years ago. Details are the dwellings of devils, but we have to go in there none the less.

There are skills you simply have to acquire in today's massive text and content world of Internet and Social Media. Framing is one of them. We never thought about framing thirty-five years ago, but you have to catch your reader, and keep her attention. She's not easy to keep either. She's trained herself to scan thousands of words an evening. For a hesitant breath she will hover over your copy if it looks like you are interesting -- and within that hesitation you either catch her completely, or become invisible.
"Be bloody, bold, and resolute" (Macbeth)
Have to keep up with her expectations
Have to keep up with her expectations

The Malleable Variance of What We Call Time

In his Rhetoric, Aristotle acknowledges that it would be better if we could make our case without either browbeating or flattering the audience; nothing should matter except "the bare facts." He laments, "other things affect the result considerably, owing to the defects of our hearers."

Your perception of time does not adhere to "world time." You might have the opinion that I should have said, 'does not always adhere to world time', but that's a lie. Your sense of time is as easily disturbed as a puddle of mud, and just as transparent.

If a man with a bass voice reads a script at exactly the same speed as a man with a tenor voice, the bass voice feels slower, by a notable degree.

When your body temperature is high, your sense of time is also slowed. In one experiment, subjects with fevers were asked to count to 60 at one number per second. Without exception, they counted much faster.

Having a low body temperature  you would count slower, as the sense of time moves much faster.

Under the influence of blue light, time is underestimated -- which is why nightclubs use it, to give you the sense that you really haven't been there that long.

Under the long wavelengths of red light, time is overestimated and every thing feels like it is in slow motion.

GTP and ME and Chess

You: Give me an annotation of the following game, noting and highlighting tactics, positioning, shifts in momentum and their causes, as we...