Originally Posted by Moejoe
Lester Dent is a personal favourite of mine, not particurly for his fiction, but for the Lester Dent Pulp Fiction Master Plot
. He broke down stories in such a simplistic fashion and the weird thing is the actual plot fits about almost all of commercial fiction, TV and Movies. Broken into 4 acts, it shows exactly how to go about writing a 'yarn' as he calls it. Warning!!!
, you'll probably never read another book, or watch another TV or Movie and not see this plot as applicable after you've read it.
The earliest television shows being necessarily encapsulated in short bursts of time, it was necessary to devise a standard formula for episodic TV writing. Dent's formula worked as well as anything else (better than most) to do exactly what TV wanted from the beginning: To draw you in early, keep you dangling at each cliffhanger, and deliver a meaty climax at the end. How else to sell that detergent?
Keep in mind that there is plenty of TV that never used this formula... the soap opera, for example. Many sitcoms used a derivation of it (substitute "funny" or "embarrassing" for "danger"), though most of them use vaudevillian formulas of setup-punchline with no appreciable plot. And "message" or "relevant" programs (much of it sci-fi) often used a twist of it, though it was often just to demonstrate that there isn't always a happy ending.
Oh: I generally do about 10 pages a day, given a free schedule (which I rarely have, anyway).