Subjects are nouns, their actions are verbs, their appearances adjectives. A sentence is a single shot, while a paragraph is a sequence of them. Paragraphs are built into chapters, and sequences are built into stories. Then chapters are assembled into books; stories into films.
The viewfinder is my vocabulary. The focus ring and exposure dial are my spelling and grammar. These are basic things that I’d better get right. And I need a good mixture of context and detail, otherwise my tale will become muddled and hard to understand.
Now I’m an editor, looking from afar at the creative mind’s raw vision. I point out that it might be better without this chapter or that story. This shot would work better here; that sentence might be more effective there. I’m confused, because I don’t know what this character’s motivation is for doing that. This bit is boring and unnecessary. And that section is really effective. Let’s see if we can draw it out a little more.
The editing is done. All that remains is to add the final polish, which will set off the passion that’s gone into producing this work of artistic endeavour. And finally, let’s put the finished story in front of our audience.
Are book‐writing and film‐making the same thing?