PHS editor and self confessed writing craft bookoholic Michelle Styles explains about the latest book in her writing toolkit: Writing Love:Screenwriting Tips for Authors for Alexandra Sokoloff.
Alexandra Sokoloff offered her booking sricks for Authors for free for a limited time. Nicola Marsh swears by her and tweeted about it, so I duly downloaded as I am ever anxious to learn more. I also know that Tessa Shapcott, Harlequin UK series Executive Editor believes that series romance and screenwriting has a lot in common. e book that I downloaded Sokoloff's second book which is specifically aimed at Romance authors.
Both books have huge simialrities and I would therefore recommend Writing Love over her first one as it does expand on her ideas.
Sokoloff is very good at what she does -- she provides a framework for an author to think about plotting her book. She is not very strong on characterisation and so if characterisation is a problem, this may not be of much use. But for what it does, it does very well.
Sokoloff articulates the three act/eight sequence system. She details various elements that belong in each act and why as well as using various movies as explanations.
If you have read Robert McKee, Christopher Vogler, or Blake Synder et al, right now, you will be thinking and so...
Sometimes it can be in the way people explain things. Her explanations really clicked with me and made me see areas where my story was weak. She also gave me the confidence to try using the index card method again as another way to see how the story fits together.
She very usefully recommends writing out lists of movies and scenes that you like. The creation of master lists can help when you are stuck. She also details certain elements that can help you as you build your story. For example, it is the actual detailing of the plan that hero/heroine have and how that plan changes that really helped me with my recent revisions. Her other brilliant words were -- I use post it notes for my index cards. For some reason, the idea just clicked with me. It is far easier for me to jot things down and move the post it notes about, than to count out my index cards.
So I have definitely added Alexandra Sokoloff and her words of wisdom to any writer's toolbox.
Michelle Styles writes warm, wiotty and intimate historical romance for Harlequin historical. Her next book An Ideal Husband? will be publishedin April 2013. You can read more about Michelle and her books on www.michellestyles.co.uk