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Rethinking Your Story for Greatness

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Rethinking Your Story for Greatness

Postby Charles » Sat Dec 18, 2010 11:55 am

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Rethinking Your Story for Greatness
Written by Hal Croasmun

M. Night Shyamalan said that he was stumped on his tenth draft of SIXTH SENSE. He had a good story about a psychologist who helps a kid that sees dead people.

Ten drafts had produced a good story. But Shyamalan wanted a great story. He wanted something that would put him on the Hollywood map and create demand for his work.

So he rethought the story and...

...had the major breakthrough he needed -- the psychologist is one of the dead people and it is the kid who has been helping the psychologist accept his new situation.

There's nothing wrong with rethinking your script. In fact, it is a normal -- and required -- part of the rewrite process.

When Shyamalan made that one change to the end of the movie, he elevated his story to a level of greatness. No amount of wordsmithing could have done that. Before that, he had a good story, but it wouldn't have propelled him into the public stardom and financial success that he received.

So what am I saying?

To be a GREAT writer, you have to be able to RETHINK your story ending.

This isn't an optional skill. It is a necessary one. Even if there is nothing wrong with your story, until it is great, there is value that can come from rethinking it.


Rethinking starts with a decision, then a set of questions, and ends when you have a breakthrough.

FIRST, the decision...

Decide that you want to elevate your STORY, not your words. This is a decision to reconsider your structure, your plot, and maybe even your concept.

Read about the next steps here.

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