How does a working writer keep improving?

John August, suc­cess­ful Hollywood screen­writer and blog­ger, posts some thoughts on how to raise your game as a writer while work­ing.

My advice for you is to ded­ic­ate one day a week to dis­as­sembling good movies. Take exist­ing films (and one-hour dra­mas) and break them down to cards. Think of your­self as an ordin­ary mech­an­ic giv­en the task of reverse-engin­eer­ing a space­ship. Figure out what the pieces do, and why they were put togeth­er in that way.

Visual storytelling is a crit­ic­al skill in the novelist’s arsen­al too, and one that is, I think, often under­developed.


Author: Ian Hocking

Writer and psychologist.

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