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Spotlight on Structure: How To Use The Rashomon Storytelling Technique

What Is The Rashomon Storytelling Technique? If you haven’t heard of the Rashomon storytelling technique, you’ve almost certainly watched a movie or TV show or read a book that uses it. Named after the 1950 Japanese film by Akira Kurosawa’s groundbreaking Rashomon, this technique is known for its use of multiple perspectives to tell a single story. By allowing different characters to share their individual versions of events, the truth becomes subjective and open to interpretation. Examples of films and TV shows that use the Rashomon technique are … Pulp Fiction (1994) The Usual Suspects (1995) The Simpsons, Trilogy of… Read More »Spotlight on Structure: How To Use The Rashomon Storytelling Technique

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Focus On Format: How Do I Write A Flashback Within A Flashback?

Flashback And Format First up, many thanks to Anna who asks ‘How do I write a flashback within a flashback?’  In the first instance, I have to ask Anna … are you sure you WANT to write a flashback within a flashback?? I must confess, flashbacks within flashbacks are one of my very few pet peeves as a script reader. I don’t understand them in a story sense. If something *is* UNreal in the story (like memory, dreams, or whatever) then how can something create something **further unreal** within it?? It makes my brain explode. The other one that irks… Read More »Focus On Format: How Do I Write A Flashback Within A Flashback?

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10 Quick Tips About Writing Non Linear Stories

Non Linear Stories My non linear novel, Never Have I Ever, is out this week. To celebrate, I thought I’d put non linearity under the microscope, since Bang2writers LOVE to write books and screenplays with this much misunderstood craft element. Ready? Then let’s go … 1) It’s all about story, not stylistics If you want to write a non linear story because it’s ‘cool’, STOP. Does your story *need* to be non linear?? This is one of the questions I ask as a script editor … and 9/10, the answer is NO. Don’t think stylistics, but STORY here – concept… Read More »10 Quick Tips About Writing Non Linear Stories

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7 Things Readers Can Tell About Your Script On Page 1

Page 1 Is Everything I can’t stress this enough … what’s on page 1 of your screenplay could sink your chances of getting a full read. I’ve lost count over the years of how many writers have told me readers *can’t* know their story from the first ten pages. Those writers complain it’s not enough time and that readers are nasty creatures who form premature and false assumptions about the writing in front of them. It’s not fair, etc. Well I have news for you. Readers don’t just form a judgement in ten pages – they form it in ONE… Read More »7 Things Readers Can Tell About Your Script On Page 1

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How To Use Plot Devices – Voiceover, Flashback, Montage, Intercut and Dream Sequence

Plot Devices With A Bad Name … There are lots of plot devices in scriptwriting we hear are “frowned on”. We shouldn’t use voiceover or flashback is the usual (or voiceover WITH flashback!). I’ve also heard montage maligned in a similar fashion, as well as intercut and dream sequence. This is a load of rot as far as I’m concerned. You can use what you like. These accusations we see levied like “flashback is a lazy way of telling a story” is just another generalisation. Flashback can be an amazingly dramatic way to tell a story. … For A REASON!!… Read More »How To Use Plot Devices – Voiceover, Flashback, Montage, Intercut and Dream Sequence

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