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Writing Love: Screenwriting Tricks for Authors II: Story Structure for Pantsers and Plotters [Kindle Edition]

Alexandra Sokoloff
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99

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Book Description

A revised and expanded second volume of award-winning author and screenwriter Alexandra Sokoloff's Screenwriting Tricks For Authors workbook, with a special emphasis on writing love stories.

Contains all the general story structure lessons of STFA I and much more, but with special attention to key story elements, techniques, and examples from romantic comedy, romantic suspense, and romantic adventure, including ten full story breakdowns.

Screenwriting is a compressed and dynamic storytelling form that carries enormous emotional power, and the techniques of screenwriting are easily adaptable to novel writing. You can jump-start your plot and bring your characters and scenes vibrantly alive on the page - by watching your favorite movies and learning from the storytelling tricks of great filmmakers.

You'll learn how to use techniques of film writing such as:

- the High Concept Premise
- the Three-Act, Eight-Sequence Structure
- the Storyboard Grid
- the Index Card Method of Plotting

- as well as tricks of film pacing and suspense, character arc and drive, visual storytelling, setpieces, and image systems - to structure and color your novel for maximum emotional impact, suspense, and pacing, no matter what genre you're writing in.

"Sokoloff's advice is spot-on, and her teaching style is direct and effective. A must-have book for authors and screenwriters."
- JA Konrath, A Newbie's Guide To Publishing

Join the Story Structure Extras mailing list for free bonus material such as full story breakdowns:

Editorial Reviews


"Sokoloff's advice is spot-on, and her teaching style is direct and effective. A must-have book for authors and screenwriters."
--- Bestselling author JA Konrath, A Newbie's Guide To Publishing

"Sokoloff is a generous mentor with the gifted ability to address a storyteller's practical concerns while encouraging artistic integrity and every author's unique voice.  Only three of my half dozen novels have been written with her unwitting guidance, but I can guarantee that with this book at my fingertips, all my future work- and my reading audience - will benefit from her advice. Recommended without reservation. "  
--- Vicki Pettersson, author of the Sign of the Zodiac series

"I loved this book! Alexandra Sokoloff breaks down the screenwriting process in easy-to-understand steps with examples from current movies and the BEST practical examples. Her unique and always lots of fun lessons are empowering for first-time writers as well as those with finished screenplays looking to take their project to the next level. Indispensable."
--- George LaVoo, co-writer Real Women Have Curves, writer/director A Dog Year

From the Inside Flap




1. The Master List
2. What's Your Premise?
3. First, You Need an Idea
4. What KIND of Story Is It?
5. The Three-Act, Eight-Sequence Structure
6. The Index Card Method
7. Story Elements Checklist
8. Elements of Act I
9. Plan, Central Question, Central Story Action
10. What's The Plan?
11. Hero/ine, Protagonist, Main Character
12. Hero and Heroine, Lover and Loved One
13. What Makes A Great Villain?
14. Elements of Act Two
15. Elements of Act Two, Part 2
16. Elements of Act Three
17. Top Ten Endings
18. What Makes a Great Climax?
19. Act Climaxes Overview and Examples
20. Expanding on the Key Story Elements
21. Expanded Story Elements Checklist
22. Love Story Elements
23. Fairy Tale Structure
24. Meta Structure
25. What is "High Concept"?
26. The Rule of Three
27. Voice
28. First Chapters
29. Theme and Thematic Image Systems
30. Visual Storytelling
31. Creating Suspense
32. Plants and Payoffs
33. The Big Twist
34. Character Introductions
35. Using Character Clusters
36. Your First Draft is Always Going to Suck
37. Top Ten Things I Know About Editing
38. A Process for Writing


39. The Breakdowns
40. Leap Year
41. While You Were Sleeping42. Notting Hill
43. Four Weddings and a Funeral
44. The Proposal
45. New in Town
46. Groundhog Day
47. Sense and Sensibility
48. Romancing the Stone
49. Sea of Love


50. Life is a Pitch Meeting
51. How Do I Get a Literary Agent?
52. Internet Resources for Writers
53. So You Want to Know About Screenwriting
54. Recommended Reading

Figure 1: Story Grid

Product Details

  • File Size: 1125 KB
  • Print Length: 440 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005DB81F2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #187,304 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rehash if her first book August 4, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Wow, was I ever disappointed. I read and really enjoyed the first in the series, Screenwriting Tricks for Authors. It was really useful. Since I'm working on a project that has a strong romantic element, I decided to try part two. She should have called it part 1.5. 90% of it is a word-for-word retread of the first book. She goes in and adds a couple of references to romance, but that's basically it. She could have condensed the new material into an appendix.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You really need to buy this book!!! October 27, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I purchased this book because after taking Alexandra's online class, Screenwriting Tricks for Authors (amazing class BTW), I wondered, how could she expand on the rich nuggets of information already presented? Well I should have known better than to wonder. Ms. Sokoloff's description of this book does not do it justice, not by a long shot. To say it's a revised and expanded version of her excellent book, "Screenwriting Tricks for Authors", is selling this volume short.

Now I've read a ton, and I mean a ton (my husband will vouch for me) of fiction writing books and there are some amazing books out there but this book, not only gives you in-depth descriptions of book and movie structure, it also gives you bullet-point lists you can follow from the opening image to the end of your story. In addition, Sokoloff covers different types of stories (i.e Fairy Tale, Love Story, Meta Structure), breaking each down completely. And she has tons of examples, she talks about high concept, voice, rule of 3, etc.

I could go on for a long time but it boils down to this. This book has sooo much helpful information for writers, I recommend you run, don't walk to buy this book for yourself. At only only $2.99 USD, this book, ladies and gentlemen, is a BARGAIN.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful book June 22, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a really useful craft book. I don't have any intention of writing screenplays, but I bought it for help with organizing and plotting my novels. I refer to it over and over and have learned many helpful tricks, so thanks Ms Sokoloff!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A reference, not just for romance writers January 26, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I need this book on hand in the event of writers block! Ok, maybe it could be of use for each book I write, but for me that would seem like a lot of work almost forcing the book out instead of letting it flow at its own pace. Think snow ball rolling down hill, repetition, repetition, stop to pack on more snow, then repetition, repetition, etc. About half way through the book I was looking to see how much longer it was! But the repetition made for some skipping and skimming knowing that when/if the need be I could come back and find the `way'. It also makes each section complete unto itself. I understand that repetition is a good way to learn but it is a pet peeve of mine, I suppose, rather than a fault of the author or book. I'm not prudish; I don't mind a few light naughty words in a non-fiction book but they are not needed, especially the f word. However, I suppose that, along with the author's choice of stories, tells us something about her and that she is comfortable with herself and her readers. I agree with her that often an author leaves the reader in the dark about visual references; I often am left wondering where a story is taking place and what era is being depicted. I'm glad so many story breakdowns were included in this book as I would not like to cannibalize my favorites like that. This is an excellent reference overall, especially for writing screenplays, but applicable to other types of writing as well. It is almost as though "Writing Love" doesn't say enough about this book, as though the title should be more encompassing somehow. Very thorough. Many references are included: how to find an agent, book references, and helpful web sites. I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for a review.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is the first one that's ever made the structure of plot really clear for me. Linking the elements to movies I've seen over and over again (especially the detailed recounting of "You've Got Mail," which is my all-time favorite movie) is what turned the light bulb on for me. I wish this book was available in hard copy, because I would use it again and again as a reference. Much as I like straight reading on a Kindle, it's a pain to try to find things that way. I like reference books that I can flip through, write notes in the margins, and highlight. Please consider printing this in the future, Ms. Sokoloff!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Writing Reference October 24, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I first purchased Writing Love to assist in plotting out a love story. Not only did Writing Love prove useful in outlining an effective and tight romance novel, it has been helpful in all of my other works (even those that do not fall in the romance genre).

There are many how-to books available to writers--I've read a great many of them over the years. But Alexandra Sokoloff's is my go-to book whenever I'm in the planning and plotting process. I highly recommend it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great textbook August 31, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
The second of two books for Alex's West Texas A&M Writers Academy class. Alex lays out step by step the craft of plotting a novel, and Writing Love includes a LOT of movie analyses. Those serious about writing fiction/narrative non-fiction need this book. Get the other book as well as it, too, has much to say, plus offers more analysis of movies. Approachable and readable, this volume merits way more than the 5-star max.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent information on the craft of writing from a screenwriter's...
Excellent information on the craft of writing from a screenwriter's brain. This is a keeper book for every writer's bookshelf.
Published 1 month ago by Doug Fullerton
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely a keeper
Lots of great tips. I'm constantly referring back to it as I attempt to write my first screenplay. Also her reading reccomendations have been very helpful. Read more
Published 2 months ago by DG
5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful writing tips !
Sokoloff's books are full of helpful tips I've read two of them and they both delivered !
Published 5 months ago by J A W
5.0 out of 5 stars Every writer needs to read
She breaks down the story structure in a way that make it easy to understand how to put a good story together for your reader.
Published 22 months ago by Jolene
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read!
I'm so happy I bought this book! What I found extremely helpful was a comprehensive list on which elements should go where in the three acts. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Jules Morris
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book.
This book is full of exercises and material that is actually helpful and easy to understand. It is clear the author loves writing and knows her craft well.
Published on May 10, 2013 by Scarlette
5.0 out of 5 stars Get it!
Alexandra is a wonderful writer. She is concise, easy to understand and she makes learning story structure intesting and fun. Read more
Published on September 14, 2012 by Karen Ray
4.0 out of 5 stars Good value
This is worth reading if you're interested in structure regardless of the medium you write for. Very good value for the price.
Published on March 13, 2012 by Liz
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More About the Author

Alexandra Sokoloff is the Thriller Award-winning and Bram Stoker, Anthony, and Black Quill Award-nominated author of the supernatural thrillers THE HARROWING, THE PRICE, THE UNSEEN, BOOK OF SHADOWS, THE SHIFTERS, and THE SPACE BETWEEN, and the Thriller Award-nominated, Amazon bestselling Huntress/FBI series (HUNTRESS MOON, BLOOD MOON, COLD MOON). The New York Times Book Review called her a "daughter of Mary Shelley," and her books "Some of the most original and freshly unnerving work in the genre."

As a screenwriter she has sold original horror and thriller scripts and adapted novels for numerous Hollywood studios. She has also written two non-fiction workbooks: SCREENWRITING TRICKS FOR AUTHORS and WRITING LOVE, based on her internationally acclaimed workshops and blog (, and has served on the Board of Directors of the WGA, west and the Board of the Mystery Writers of America.

Alex is a California native and a graduate of U.C. Berkeley, where she majored in theater and minored in everything Berkeley has a reputation for. In her spare time (!) she performs with Heather Graham's all-author Slush Pile Players, and dances like a fiend. She is also very active on Facebook. But not an addict. Seriously, it's under control.

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