My Festival of Books Panel, Written Up
Posted on April 14, 2014 Posted by John Scalzi 11 Comments
For those of you who were wondering how my panel at the LA Times Festival of Books went this weekend, there’s a short writeup of it here. It’s accurate with the small clarification that that I didn’t say I wrote in screenplay format, rather that my books often have three-act structure (which is a standard screenplay format).
You’re back! Yay… avoiding Whatever withdrawal for yet another day.
Should that be screenplay structure? I thought screenplay format was the style in which screenplays are typed/presented…
The talk was a lot of fun, and it was nice to see you again! I’m really looking forward to Redshirts The Miniseries. Sounds like everyone involved is going to have a lot of fun.
[Deleted because off-topic, and yes, I know of the ad, Frankly. It’s, well, silly. – JS]
my books often have three-act structure (which is a standard screenplay format)
You are in good company there. Many of Steinbeck’s best works (and a couple of his stinkers) were written in a format that combined a novel with a play; Burning Bright is the most obvious example but not the only one.
So how come only a three act structure. The greatest English playwright ever always wrote five act plays. Where did the other two acts go?
There are many fine plays that were three acts (or two acts, or however many acts). Also, of course, I’m not writing a play. Movies are commonly three acts, and structurally my novels tend to follow that form, because I am familiar with that structure.
So, do you actually sit down and make a 3-act outline, or do your stories end up as 3-act stories via organic subconscious magic? And, does the 3-act structure relate to the trilogy format?
I just write ’em and they tend to organize themselves.
Thanks for the plug, and sorry I didn’t clarify it better. It was hard to write up what you meant while still trying to stick to the story.
No worries, Angie!