Writing: On Not Giving Up, But Taking a Break

rabbit horror cannibal in the woods writing story plotAs of writing this, I’ve finished the draft of a project I started in 2012. This is the seventeenth draft, and after struggling and thinking I’d never finish a coherent draft of this story, I did it. And I’m incredibly happy about it.

I just looked through my emails. For context, when I would go to my grandparents’ pretty blue house in Ellijay, right by the apple barn and surrounded by woods, I’d write stories in email and send them to myself. This way, I wouldn’t forget the stories on the computer, which was rather old and only had Wordpad as its word processor. (Ah, Wordpad. Many a fanfic was conceived on there.) This was also before I was aware of Google Docs, then called Google Documents. Read more “Writing: On Not Giving Up, But Taking a Break”

Setup, Reminder, and Payoff: A Case Study of The Ritual

the ritual horror film movie writing story plotHi, bats, ghouls, and spirits! I wanted to give some brief thoughts on a film I saw a few weeks back, particularly a specific aspect I keep thinking about. David Bruckner’s The Ritual is a solid horror movie about a group of friends going into the woods as strange events occur. It is a film best seen without reading much on it, so if you haven’t seen it, I would recommend doing so because I will mostly be writing about the ending. Many will compare this to The Blair Witch Project, though it at times reminded me more of Evil Dead.

Overall, I thought the film was good, and it was the first good movie I saw in 2018, and the first decent Netflix original horror offering of 2018 (after such films like The Open House and The Cloverfield Paradox). There were great camera choices, especially the use of slow zoom ins, though I felt as if the script could have been stronger in some parts. I will speak about the story concepts of setup, reminder, and payoff, with regards to a plot line in the film. If you haven’t seen the movie, I would recommend not reading the rest of this post because I will go into details that are not revealed until the last thirty minutes of the film. (And really, even the opening is a tad of a spoiler.)

So, SPOILERS below.

Read more “Setup, Reminder, and Payoff: A Case Study of The Ritual”

Writing: Plot vs. Story

Okay, spooky ones. I’ve noticed when some writers, even those who teach writing, speak about plot or story, they tend to use these terms interchangeably. However, I’m here to tell you something important:

Story and plot are not the same!

“So then, creepy one,” you ask, “what’s the difference?” Here it is, bats and ghouls:

Story: What your characters want, and what gets in their way. What gets in their way and creates the conflict can be an internal or external force, typically both that dovetail at some point.

Plot: What happens in the story. Read more “Writing: Plot vs. Story”