May 31-June 1 2013 The Great American Pitchfest, Burbank
I'm going to be giving a class at The Great American Pitchfest in Burbank on 1st June. It's on why, when, and when not to use flashbacks, nonlinear storylines and ensemble casts. I think the weekend will be great fun and I hope you can come. When I'm not teaching I shall be sitting at my booth, and I hope you'll come up and chat. You can recognise the booth by the photo of Salvidor Dali's wonderful giant Dreaming Egg.
Buy 21st Century Screenplay now!
Linda on The Rise of Parallel Narrative
Is the Three Act Structure dead?
Not at all.
It's great for one-hero, fast-set-up chronological stories. But scriptwriters don't have to stick solely to that kind of story (and actually we never have).
The great news is that there are many structural models out there working to clear patterns, so you can plan them. Flashback, flash forward, multiple plots, nonlinear and ensemble cast films have always existed, but the guidelines I've isolated mean that venturing beyond the conventional model is no longer a step into the unknown. Yes, it's perilous, but we have a map.
Instead of feeling safe only with one protagonist we can use many. We can use multiple plots, either running side by side as in TV series, or in fractured form, as in Babel . We can use a whole range of flashback and time jump structures. Even films as apparently aberrant as Pulp Fiction or 21 Grams turn out to be written to patterns.
21st Century Screenplay gives you the tools and structural elements necessary to construct your own non-linear story. Don't let anyone tell you you can't write outside the three act structure - you can, people do and it is just as valid as writing within it.
Use this Site as a Resource
Use this site as a resource This website can only be the start of your investigations into parallel narrative. Navigate the site to get your head around the principles of parallel narrative (plus my take on conventional narrative). You'll find articles, advice, tricks of the writing trade and a blog in which I analyze parallel narrative films, or comment on craft issues generally. I hope you find it useful and I look forward to seeing all of the terrific films that flashback, multiple plots, ensemble casts and non-linear story lines can help to you to write.
What people are saying about Linda Aronson
'Linda Aronson is one of the great and important voices on screenwriting.’
Dr Linda Seger, author of Making a Good Script Great
"Anyone who has heard Linda Aronson speak about screenwriting knows that the insight that she can offer YOU, about YOUR screenplay, is extraordinary. I have personally heard all of the so called ‘script gurus’ speak, and I can tell you, if you want advanced professional script insight, Linda is the person for you. This is especially true if your story is struggling to fit into the traditional three act structure, or if you have multiple protagonists. "
Chris Jones, organiser, London Screenwriters' Festival
“Linda Aronson (Non Linear) - The most prepared session I witnessed by far. She ran out of time, which was a shame because I would have sat there all day”.
Chris Marshall - Writer
“Linda Aronson - really dug her enthusiasm, man. Again, unique subject matter that you wouldn't normally find at a festival”.
“Linda Aronson, by far. I know the business of screenwriting is just as important, but this is the kind of hands-on writing stuff that can inspire me to write all the way until next year”.
Jonathan Bart - Writer
“I was struggling with the re-write of my feature - thanks to Linda Aronson's workshop on non-linear structures I've figured out a new structure that captures the effect I am trying to achieve”.
Lorren Boniface - Writer
'A lucid and eminently useful atlas of screenwriting technique. At last you will understand "Pulp Fiction! All the vague confusing things that teachers and studio executives say about flashback, turning points and multiple protagonists are whipped into coherent shape here, in a comprehensive, precise and extremely practical theory. Clear structural diagrams, up-to-date examples and thought-provoking analysis of failed films make this an essential tool in any writer's kit.'
Christopher Vogler, Author of The Writer's Journey, On Linda's book Screenwriting Updated.
“Linda Aronson - gave me an unexpected insight into solving a major problem on one of my scripts”.
Paul Brodrick- Writer
“Linda Aronson’s Non-Linear storytelling provided amazing insight into new ways of storytelling. After the session I completely revised one of my ideas for a script and now it will turn out way more interesting!
Christina Georgiou - Writer / Composer
“Linda Aronson- genuinely stimulating”.
Annie De Muynck - Writer
“Linda Aronson’s session applies significantly to my dissertation topic this year and was just downright brilliant”.
Richard James - Writer
“Linda Aronson - absolutely sensational. So many ideas crammed in an hour and a half and she is a brilliant communicator and I could understand even the most complicated structures she was talking about. It was quite eye-opening and very inspiring. Even the stuff she flung in there as asides rang true and made me think”.
E J Fisher - Writer
“Linda Aronson - concise, well presented, busting with clear information on the exciting subject of non linear”.
Gordon Slack - Writer