Nicholas Reicher

Writing Your Next Blockbuster Film or Novel

Category: Seminar

Writer’s Digest Shop

Hopefully you all saw it! The Writer’s Digest shop had a huge sale a few days ago. I was able to get several of the seminars at a third of the price.

During December, it’s probably a good idea to check both the Writer’s Store and the Writer’s Digest Shop to see what’s on sale daily!

Free Seminar!

No, it’s not mine…. There’s a free seminar tomorrow by Michael Hyatt – by complete coincidence, it’s the one I missed!


How to Build an Engaged Online Following
in Just 30 Minutes a Day

Join me tomorrow! There are three to choose from (I’m not teaching it, I’m just part of it!)

My Future Seminars

What I’d like to do in the future is this… I’d love to host my own seminars about writing.

Writing Novels. I’ve mentally got this one fleshed out in my mind – if I had a way to do it, I’d only need about two days to get it prepped up! I think the very first thing I’d do is  I’d explain about both Scrivener and Evernote. Between the two of them, you’ve got an unbeatable system for research and writing. Probably the first ten minutes alone would go to Scrivener, just because it’s got so many tools that Novelists need. And of course, it’s invaluable for non-fiction writers as well. For non-fiction, I’d add in the need for Zotero standalone as a good citation manager. They haven’t updated it in a while, but there you go. Non-fiction writers need to cite their sources, and there’s nothing more time-consuming than to do it manually.
Then of course, I’d have to go into structure. Recently, I took a seminar where someone explained their structure for writing, and it was good – but I think they were too rushed in their description. They used a four stage process, but yeah, it takes more explaining than two minutes in my opinion.

I’d refer to the Gamera system, where the first five Gamera movies (yes the Giant Turtle!) used a formula of monster, Gamera fights monster, Gamera is hurt and out cold or in hiding, mankind has no solution, mankind comes up with solution, mankind tries solution, does not work, discovers real solution, tries real solution, starts to work, something goes wrong, Gamera wakes up and uses the real solution on the monster. Little kids sing a song to Gamera. (you can mercifully leave the last step out). The Gamera system sounds stupid, until you think about it and realize parts are interchangeable, like Lego blocks. Here we go:
Establish hero. Establish situation. Antagonist. Situation starts going bad. Hero meets villain, things go wrong. Bad outcome. Think of a solution, does not work, but leads to discovery of real solution, try real solution, begins to work, stops working, but that enables the hero, who jumps in and MAKE it work, villain defeated, little kids sing a song to a giant turtle. Again, the last phase is optional. But now I’ve got the Gamera song stuck in my head. And it gives me an excuse to show still images of a giant turtle to people taking notes.
System sounds goofy, until you realize I can name a number of movies I’ve seen where literally this is the same formula – half of them comedies, some of them action thrillers, some sci-fi. Of course, none of them used the optional “sing a song” part, but you get what I mean. If I’d called this the “Deep Impact” or “Alien” formula, you’d take it more seriously, but honestly, the first time I ever saw it was Gamera. The next time I saw it was Star Wars. I read it used in a short story once in school, except it was about the guy who was supposed to win the inter-school basketball game and he finally had to win it by passing the ball to a team-mate who made the final shot. See, you just inter-change a part, and you get a different outcome.
The last half of it would be the writing part… how to get the words in. You’ve GOT to plan it a bit. If you don’t, then you’re going to end up where most novelists end up… working on their first book for 17 years, and you’re still up to page 70. Got a long way to go, buddy, and at this rate you’ll be buried before the book is ready for first re-write.
The next step is the number 1667. You have to write that number of words a day, minimum. You can’t write the way the drugged out rock singer records vocals (sing a couple of notes, it’s not working, leave five minutes later and buy a bottle of whiskey) – you have to know what you’re going to write, know how many words you need today, and have a format in front of you. Once you get into these habits, the book writes itself QUICKLY.

Screenwriting. I’d essentially take you through much of the same, but this time, the only real software I’m talking about is Final Draft. I’m going to save a rant for tomorrow, by the way! Tune in, it should be fun. And of course, there’s a million formulas for writing your movie, I’ll just go through my system, which incorporates Save the Cat, and then moves to my 21 point outline.

I’d like to do these seminars, and I’d love to do them for free. Michael Hyatt recommends SELLING something, and for good reasons. He balked at the idea of selling anything through his blog or seminars, but unemployment beckoned and… (this is the part that actually got my attention) he points out that if you don’t sell anything, people have no investment in it. They won’t do it, they won’t try it, they’ll collect it and that’s it.


However, there’s a lot of people who can’t afford seminars and expensive products! So… what do you think? What would you prefer?

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