Part two of The New Yorker
's article "Coal Train" begins with a weird little italicized paragraph
(An armadillo is a van sent out on highways to replace train crews whose regulated hours of service have run out. Dick Eisfeller makes and sells Warholian movies of freight trains. Scott Davis is an engineer, Paul Fitzpatrick a conductor...
It reads like a "previously on."
Gee, now that The New Yorker
has them, maybe I should have a page at the beginning of my new book:
Previously, in Crafty Screenwriting:
You need a hook. A script is an element in a package. A story is a character with a problem, opportunity or goal, who faces obstacles and/or an antagonist. He has stakes to win, and faces jeopardy. Get stories by paying attention or stealing. Tell your story out loud. Three act structure is overrated. Only write what you can see or hear. Direct camera, but don't get caught at it. Lose the Rubber Ducky. Drama is conflict. All drafts are first drafts. Genre is the goods you must deliver. Spend a week on your title. Find the truth. Don't write from hunger.
Or would that be giving too much away?
Oh! That looks very much like something I should print out and frame on my wall.
I like the idea, because it fits well with contemporary TV. I have to admit I feel a little tingle when I hear the words "Previously on Battlestar Galactica..." The only thing that might be a drawback: it sets Crafty TV Writing as part of a series, a sequel to Crafty Screenwriting, rather than its own work on its own merits for a different purpose. Starting it with "Previously" might dissuade someone from buying the book if they haven't read Crafty Screenwriting.
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