Esperanto: The Language of Hope

Esperanto: The Language of Hope

The idea of a universal language is praiseworthy but not without drawbacks—including the potential loss of meaning drawn from common human experience in the deep past. Guarded Praise for a Global Language As I was walking in downtown Chicago a few years ago with a...
Finding Theme in the Inciting Incident

Finding Theme in the Inciting Incident

Considering the importance of theme to a story, it behooves you to practice finding its hiding places and identifying its species—not to coax it into a cage, but so that you can fully explore the story environment in which it lives. The Importance of Theme One...
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

A young boy attempts to hold onto a friendship that he forms with a creature from another planet. Medium: Film Writer(s): Melissa Mathison Director: Steven Spielberg Production Co.(s): Universal Pictures; Amblin Entertainment The Story on the Screen In E.T. the...
Babette’s Feast (1987)

Babette’s Feast (1987)

A pair of never-married sisters attempt to keep true to the religious teachings of their father and maintain the health and spirit of remote Danish community he helped create, even at the cost of their own desires. Medium: Film Writer(s): Gabriel Axel Director:...
Yesterday (2004)

Yesterday (2004)

A young Zulu woman perseveres nobly through the hardship of a personal AIDS diagnosis and attempts to make a significant difference in the lives of her daughter and husband before she dies. Medium: Film Writer(s): Darrell Roodt Director: Darrell Roodt Production...
The Gold Rush (1925)

The Gold Rush (1925)

A likeable prospector in the Klondike Gold Rush attempts to survive the elements and pursue love. Medium: Film Writer(s): Charles Chaplin Director: Charles Chaplin Production Co.(s): Charles Chaplin Productions The Story on the Screen In the silent film The Gold Rush,...
Noontime in the Garden of Characters

Noontime in the Garden of Characters

When you get the idea for a story, characters may come calling in droves, begging to be let in and put to work. The question is: How do you identify which one is the main character—and who is her supporting staff? Finding and Supporting Your Main Character It's not...
Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

A young man from the slums of Mumbai attempts to achieve the life that he feels destined to live with the girl whose love he feels destined to share. Medium: Film Writer(s): Simon Beaufoy Director(s): Danny Boyle, Loveleen Tandan Production Co.(s): Celador Films,...
Stories from Idioms | Numbers

Stories from Idioms | Numbers

Some idioms contain a quality or value that can provide an easily extractable basis for a story theme. But even those that are merely descriptors can serve as excellent story starters if you know how to find them. Applying the grok Approach to an Expression Some...
Alien (1979)

Alien (1979)

A crew member returning home to Earth on an interplanetary mining vessel attempts to rid the vessel of a vicious alien creature that has inadvertently been brought on board. Medium: Film Writer(s): Dan O'Bannon, Ronald Shusett Director: Ridley Scott Production Co.(s):...