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The Heart of the Film: Writing Love Stories in Screenplays [..]

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The Heart of the Film: Writing Love Stories in Screenplays, 1st Edition
By Cynthia Whitcomb Routledge
204 pages
Paperback: 9781138201101 pub: 2017-04-12


Most movies include a love story, whether it is the central story or a subplot, and knowing how to write a believable relationship is essential to any writer's skill set. Discover the rules and laws of nature at play in a compelling love story and learn and master them. Broken into four sections, The Heart of the Film identifies the critical features of love story development, and explores every variation of this structure as well as a diverse array of relationships and types of love. Author Cynthia Whitcomb has sold over 70 feature-length screenplays and shares the keys to her success in The Heart of the Film, drawing on classic and modern films as well as her own extensive experience.

Table of Contents
Introduction: Love Story Anatomy
Part One: The Meet (Cute and Otherwise)
1. Romantic Comedy Cute Meets
2. Other Meets
3. Old Flames Re-Ignited
4. Married Love Stories

Part Two: The Crack
5. Breaking through the Shell
6. The Wounded Knight
7. The Emotional Crack
8. Humiliation and Low Self Esteem
9. Nakedness
10. Kids and Families and Friends
11. Honesty
12. Drugs and Alcohol
13. Dental Floss

Part Three: Why You?
14. Matchmaking in Movies
15. Twins
16. Opposites
17. Life Force and Sleepwalker
18. Soul Mates
19. The Pressure Cooker effect
20. Specificity: One of a Kind
21. Baby Love: Underage Love Stories
22. Old Love
23. Gender Change/Orientation

Part Four: The Obstacle
24. The Essential Obstacle
25. Animosity, Feuds and War
26. He/She is Married or Engaged
27. Misunderstandings
28. Unavailability
29. Other Obstacles
30. Levels of Character Evolution

Part Five: Putting them All Together
31. Multi-Tasking
32. You’ve Got Mail

Part Six: Styles & Miscellany
33. Platonic Love Stories
34. The Throwdown
35. Sex Scenes
36. The Alternative is Impossible
37. The Symbols of Love
38. The First Golden Age: 1938 - 1942
39. The Second Golden Age of Rom Coms: 1980s – 1990s
40. Endings Appendices Whitcomb’s Top 100 Love Story Films Old Love Casting List Index

About the Author​


Cynthia Whitcomb has sold more than 70 feature-length screenplays, 25 of which have been filmed. Her scripts have won and been nominated for many awards, including the Emmy Award, Cable Ace Award, Edgar Allan Poe Award, Humanitas Award, and Writers Guild of America Awards. Her students have also gone on to write successful box-office hits. She has taught screenwriting for many years, including seven at the acclaimed UCLA Film School.
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