Storyclock Notebook: a notebook for screenwriters


A lot of people think writing
looks like this: “I just got an idea for a great movie.” “Done.” Which is wrong. In real life, the powers that be don’t just
send you an idea from above. They send you, like– fifty. Big ideas, small ideas, weird looking half-baked
ideas– and they’re coming at you faster
than you can write them down. And then they’re… not. And suddenly it’s up to you to get from this… …to this… …using only this. And this part’s the worst. Because it’s gross. And really hard. Why is it so hard? Writing shouldn’t be this hard, it’s just writing. I mean, if this cat can do it, then surely
I should be able to. I’m probably just not trying hard enough. I should try harder. Or maybe I need to Instagram a picture of
my coffee next to my laptop with a caption about the beauty of the blank page hashtag
writer’s life hashtag blessed… This is the Storyclock Notebook. It’s a notebook purpose-built for turning
your ideas into stories. I’m Seth Worley. I’m a Los Angeles-based writer and director
of online shorts and commercials for clients like Bad Robot and Red Giant. The Storyclock Notebook was created by me, designed by Micah Lanier, and produced by Anne Fogerty. Picture your story like a clock. Say you’re writing a two-hour movie. 3:00 would be the 30-minute mark, 6:00 would
be the hour mark, and so on. Chances are you have at least a vague idea
of when some of this stuff should probably happen. So drop your ideas into those places, and
now we’re working with something. Seeing your story this way can quickly give
you a bird’s eye view of it and reveal where your gaps are. Here’s a gap. So rather than filling these gaps by making
stuff up and dropping in arbitrary ideas from the outside, we can extract ideas from what
we already have using SYMMETRY. What’s happening on the opposite sides of
the clock? Anything over here you can set up? Anything up here you can build on or pay off? This is a simple and effective exercise to
fill the gaps of your story with relevant and meaningful material, born from what you
already have. So we’ve designed a notebook to help you do
just that. The first half of the book contains templates
for studying and analyzing existing stories, with the second half devoted to developing
your own! And on the inside covers, we’ve put a bunch
of nerdy storytelling resources to help guide you in your quest. We developed the Storyclock Notebook for screenwriters,
but it works for any storytelling medium. Like: novels, blog posts, corporate presentations, book reports, wedding toasts, random notes, or even Kickstarter videos.

Daniel Ostrander

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