Frank Fiore – Novelist & Screenwriter

September 20, 2012

A Radical View on Writing

Filed under: Uncategorized — Frank Fiore @ 11:51 AM

What Reading Fiction Watching Movies Means to Me.

I don’t read many books anymore.

Yeah, I know you’re shocked. I just broke one of the most important rules of writing. Read other author’s works.

Sorry, watching movies has influenced my writing style more than anything else.  From movies I learned how to plot, how to twist a plot, how character behavior drives the plot and thus the story in 120 minutes.

Sure, my narrative is thin and my dialogue clipped. But that’s how screenplays are written.  That’s my beef ‘Indie’ movies. A small budget leads to long dialogue and deep character development.

My writing ‘ain’t’ literature. I’m no Hemingway.  But Hemingway was no Faulkner and didn’t want to be. Neither do I.
If you’ve spent any time on the writing discussion boards, you’ll see that the majority of comments about writing style seem to fall into two groups. Those that believe the flowery prose of the literati is real writing and those that feel authors should write to be marketable and choose to eschew obfuscation.

Now there are those who believe that paragraphs and even pages of narrative are necessary for successful story telling.

I don’t.

I believe that the necessary information about a concept or a character should be brought out through dialogue.  A rule of thumb here is think movie scenes and not chapters.  Write the story in such a way as how it would look on the big screen.
But that’s my opinion.

What I am saying is that we can all learn something from Hemingway. He had some tips for writing well. Use short sentences, use short first paragraphs, (I would add all your paragraphs should be short, sweet and to the point), use vigorous language, say what something is rather than what it isn’t.

Here’s what one commenter said about Hemingway.

After he finished “The Old Man and the Sea,” he wrote his brother, Leichester, telling him that he did not think there was single wasted word in the book. He may be right. It is a lean, powerful tale. So lean that it may well be the only book ever written to have very nearly every scene transposed into the film version.

“Nearly every scene transposed into the film version.” Hmm…Didn’t’ I say that?


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