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Emotional Structure: Creating the Story Beneath the Plot: A Guide for Screenwriters Paperback – September 1, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
On the other hand, he does write for film and not for general readers -- maybe no one told him to be more attentive to the reader and less attentive to himself?
If you are a seriously creative writer of fiction or film, buy the book and X-out the paragraphs that are empty of the content you seek.
You will find a lovely concept of emotional flow for you story telling -- great stuff that no one else has addressed in the many "how to write" books that I have read.
He makes good distinctions between Plot [what happens] and Story [the emotional impact on the characters as well as the film viewer or fiction reader].
And he details the emotional path your character must travel.
Dunn is only focused on film scripts but I bought the book as an aid to working on novels.
Get the book and go mining for the good stuff -- take a deep breath and pass over the gunk.
Learning the principles in this book has been an awakening for me as a writer. I feel I have gained the insight I needed to tell the stories I want to tell in a way that connects with and moves my reader on an emotional level. If you are writing lots of cool stuff that "happens" but it doesn't feel like it holds together as a script, this book will teach you how to bring together the plot and the story into a cohesive script and hopefully a cohesive movie.
This is a great book for the beginner or the advanced screenwriter and applies to any genre. A great reference to have on your desk while you're writing. Highly recommend!
Dunne approaches his subject with an incredible amount of arrogance. That is, in short, his experience is the universal experience. What he believes is what all screenplays should be about. What works for him is the only way to write a screenplay.
His take on the three-act structure is especially absurd. In his approach, every film must be a buddy picture in which the end result is the restoration of faith. Every film must have a happy ending. "If the point of your script is not some human's recovery," Dunne writes, "then go write poems." Because God forbid you should try to branch out to other topics.
I'm a strong believer in the three-act structure. Adapting your concepts to the skeletal structure of the screenplay, and making it work in a beautiful, organic way, is a major factor in what makes the art of the screenplay so fascinating. But Dunne's version of the same is so tedious and mechanical--you must start use notecards, you must have a co-protagonist, you must make grand statements--that any result from this book will be purely mechanical, not emotional.
And Dunne proves it himself. I've read a lot of these books, but only Dunne has the balls and the arrogance to use his own screenplay, in full, as his primary example. But his screenplay is flat-out terrible--unintentionally hilarious at times.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a book that builds on Lajos Egri's classic "The Art of Dramatic Writing," insofar as it focuses on character development and theme. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Dave
Read the first few chapters then the rest is what you've read before in just about every other screenwriting book. Read morePublished 9 months ago by underglass
I found this to be simply the best book on writing I've ever read, and am on my second read-through now, using it as a guide to a complete re-write of my current novel. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Lynetta Anne
the author is very difficult to read but once you clear out the un-direct path to indications
it becomes clear what an emotional dynamic might be; there are also some terms... Read more
I have read another book about emotional structure. It covered writing from the emotional viewpoint, while this book is more about the practical application of how to apply... Read morePublished on September 14, 2013 by Lawrence Maturo
As a seasoned writer, I must say that this book is a must-have book for all writers. Whether you start with an outline or start with drafting, at some point you must look at the... Read morePublished on February 5, 2013 by Manhattan Daisy
This book is so badly written it is largely unreadable. Many sections are pure babble.
I hoped for exercises but it is a "Tell, don't show" book. Read more
I quote from the book: "When, for example, The Terminator has a scene between the action sequences it is not of any meaningful nature... Read morePublished on August 16, 2011 by K. Dye