Storywriting course: follow along


:)ahaha… i one of em.
keep reading and learning
~and i repeat it few times:D



Thanks again for the reply Icyblue!

It is very good to hear you are still enjoying reading this and learning from it as well! That makes it worthwhile.

I must say I am really curious about your “project”… is it for your reel, school, work? To become famous or to take over the world?
Need people or interest in you project advertise it on cgtalk>>> and that way I can take a look as well :slight_smile: Can’t be having my name popping up on the cover of a porn movie, right? haha :slight_smile:

I have waited with replying until I had a new lesson, that way everyone doesn’t come in vain to these pages only to find a nice answer or thank you. So lets try to get those 300 views once again this weekend!!

BTW I have thought about rewriting the whole thing… putting the things in correct order, disclaimer at the top and cleaning the whole thing up a bit and placing it as a tutorial on my site… It is going to take some effort but I think it is good to add to the new site update I have planned. What do you guys think? Should I do it?
This thread will still be active and you are the first to receive next lessons… But everything until now would also be on my site and then polished a bit more.


Once again… good day to all of you! And welcome to:

Lesson 7: Tailoring to your audience.

The first thing I wanted to mention once again is that this thread was officially meant to be a follow along course… in which you could follow along with me and post your findings and texts to get personal feedback. Since no one is the same, it is always better to receive some practical and personal tips on improving your work.
There are few things I like more than being able to learn people things and read stories so don’t feel ashamed because your English is bad or you have just started. believe me I have been refusing to use comma’s for about a year because no-one could tell me how to exactly use them. So I have seen it all.
I gather you people have been reading the other lively thread here about stealing of ideas… well I don’t really have that fear but if you have… feel free to pm me… if you think you can trust me :smiley:

With that said lets get cracking:

who is your audience? is probably the first question you want to ask yourself. You would say this is a vital thing to know. But actually it is not the “what audience is my audience?” question but it is vital to know for whom you intend it.
Example: Harry Potter is meant to be a children’s storyline… But I honestly believe it is read more by adults then children. This means it is tailored to a younger audience. So the audience is children. Whatever happened afterwards is that it was picked up and enjoyed by another audience as well.

On a side note: Harry Potter is not only fun to read but also very interesting because the later parts are written differently than the first two. This is because the books became a hype before (and this has, to my knowing, never happened before) which makes it an interesting test case To see how the author was influenced by all the media attention and fans the series picked up over the years. In the last book the wall that opens up unto diagon alley actually is being described as the wall in the first movie… and not as the wall in the first book… but I digress.

Why is it important to tailor to your audience? I think you know this but it always good to state the obvious… because it is often overlooked because it is so obvious. It is important because you need the audience to understand you. I know you all have an experience concerning this… because it happens so often. One common example is the new pc. It says:

“to start the system, first boot up, then the OS will load automatically and a wizard is started to guide you through the the process of choosing your personal preferences.”

Now I gather you know what it means… but now read through is again but this time you pretend to think a wizard is a magic wielding entity, OS is Dutch for ox (which it is), and a boot up is someone kicking your ass.

See what I mean?

Now the main part: How do you tailor to your audience?

well there are different audiences with each a different mindset. I define mindset in this circumstance as the things you know, have experienced and have heard off.
Children have a very small mindset while elderly people have a far broader mindset. Usually seen as wisdom.

This mindset is different from person to person. But a large part of your mindset is shared with others. Your amazing vacation wasn’t spend alone and all the other people who where there also get what it felt like for you. So everybody has an individual mindset gathered from lots of groups you can belong to if you want. And seeing people in groups is a survival treat. Then you know how are the good guys… also known as “us” and who are bad… generally referenced to as “them”.

well these different groups are a group because they share experiences, interests, contacts, age, and so on. These shared components are used to communicate and if someone belonging to this group meets someone new who communicates in the same way you got yourself a new friend on hyves :D. So what do you want to do to get people to notice and like what you write?
Right! you write, communicating the way they do :slight_smile:

Now here are some guidelines to follow:

Become familiar with common interests of your intended audience.

before writing for a particular group. first do some research on this group. If you are a part of this group you have already started but research nonetheless… you might discover something about yourself.

Observe what is read, enjoyed and remembered

Lots of things have no connection at all. However when fed into a database you can clearly see similarities. There was some research done about car owners… They had interviewed lots of people and categorized them by brand of car owned. In the end it seemed that women driving a BMW had more cases of adultery then any of the other brands. (there were some more stupid facts but this one I remembered)
The point I want to make is that if you are writing the screenplay for a new commercial for BMw and you know this, then, even if this isn’t representing or actually true (people lying during interviews) you know that people driving a BMW find the idea intriguing. And that people finding it intriguing should drive a BMW.
so even from something as stupid as such a research result you can read lots about what interests people and what they enjoy… or remember or fear.

And to learn not to trust these kind of research results a friend of mine told me this the other day… and it is great inspirational material: In Switzerland there was, some years ago, a higher count of miscarriages, but also a higher sales rate of chocolate. So you could reason that chocolate was bad for pregnant women, but also that all those women needed large amounts of chocolate to recover from the shock. Of course it had nothing to do with each other.

Remember me?

This is a classic and should have been in the writing tips. In movies and presentations it is a must but in books it is very convenient. If you re-use something or someone that needs introduction or you want your audience to remember something you said earlier. Quickly give them some of the info again. Don’t repeat! Only hint, they will remember the details, and won’t have to turn pages looking for them. Turning pages to look something up should never be necessary. As said in the previous lesson turning a page is the largest stop you have in writing. So turning pages will get them to be totally drawn from your story. So unless you deliberately want to; don’t!

How broad-minded is your audience?

This is also kind of important, to not scare away your audience. I am from The Netherlands and even if people think it is the capital of Denmark… they know what you can do here. This to give you a sketch about how broad-minded the people in my country are. If I would write something, i could say and describe much more then if I would write something in the US for example. So be careful about that too. I once had to explain to someone very religious how it was the dinosaurs came about… And that takes some delicacy to put right. If you don’t see that Darwin had a point, maybe not the ultimate point but he had a point, then it is very hard to place the dinosaurs in the time line you are familiar with.

What do they understand and don’t they understand?

I have said it before and will again: does your audience understand you? Do they not only understand the terms you are using but also the setting of a particular scene. Until last summer (The Netherlands are very flat) I had never been walking in the mountains. And while having read about it seen it on television and in movies… it is something completely different if you are actually there, the pure scale, the sound, the feeling of wind and air. It all adds up to an amazing experience and if you can tap into that memory, you have to do very little as a writer, the audience does it all.
Now the same is true for emotions. In film it is a little different because the actors need to feel the emotions the audience should feel. But in writing the reader should feel the emotions themselves… which is a lot more work! And this brings us to another fantastic part:

Use Reference!

In the 19th century reading was all there was to do. There was music, and there were people who would do entertainment, theatre and the like. But if you wanted to know something or wanted some easy and cheap entertainment it was only possible because of the press. So people read, and read a lot. This was the golden age of reference. If you referenced to a particular passage in an other book. As part of a mystery, or because you made fun about it. Chances were that people had also read that book and so there was a whole intricate web of “links” (intentional reference joke) from book to book you could enjoy to make your experience richer.
This should be used whenever possible. Especially because of the large number of media and the small number of people who have seen it all. Whenever you get the chance do it. Name a character who looks like some other famous person or character, the same. Use quotes or descriptions of the scenes in which the emotions you actually want to communicate are scripted better than you even could. I you have ever noticed a link (buffy the vampire slayer is full of them, also scary movie, while being tasteless would not exist without reference.) you know it is worth the trouble because someone who does notice feels part of some secret society. “those who know”, and that makes your audience feel special. And that is also very important if you want to be successfully.

Well I would like to finish this with a tip I recently heard on television; There was an interview with a few film directors. They had won prizes and are shown all around the world so they know what they are talking about:

Keep it close to yourself.

This is familiar to actors and should be for everyone. You might be surprised at how much you have in common with the rest of the world. We are basically all the same and while some things might change we all have to do with living, fears, dreams, death, love, and even simple things as an urge to go to the toilet at exactly the wrong time.
What I mean is: if you are very honest about what you think and feel, even during writing, then people will pick up on that. A nice comparison is spiderman and superman. Why is spiderman way cooler? because he isn’t perfect like superman. Why should anything go wrong at all with superman around?
So be honest. The flaws as well as the victories is what makes something feel real and will create a better bonding between you and your audience. This is why live is always so much better than pre-recorded, things go wrong and are integrated in the experience therefore making it real and commemorative.

Finally the quick summary: Always think before you are going to do it, deduct things about your audience. Always research everything because it makes you a more wiser (wo)man later, and a better write now. The bond between you and your audience is very important, make sure you do nothing to disrupt it (understanding, fears, dishonesty) And if you have fun your audience will too.

I have the feeling I missed half about this subject but as I read it through all seems there. if there are any questions feel free to ask. Next time I am going to talk a little about acting. Because that is what you will have to do when convincingly write about characters. However I don’t think you are going to have to do any of it in public (as is the case with actors) so don’t worry! :smiley:

Once again if you want me to crit something, I am available. I will however not write the thing for you but only point you in a direction. And ask if something is unclear or you want to know more about something!



This is one awesome thread. You’re putting allot of work in this, just know that it’s being appreciated!

Anyway, i’m busy writing a story for a short film (in fact i’m writing nearly an entire novel) and once the entire epic story is finished i’m planning to condense it into a short film…so it’ll be more like a ‘trailer’ for my story.

I’ve started learning 3ds max a few months ago and have just mastered the basics of modelling and animating.

I’m kind of referring to it as my life’s work as I don’t know when I will finish it (but finish it I shall!). To get the results i’m dreaming of I will have to spent several years on it. (I can only study/write in my spare time, it’s my hobby (studying computer science in the university atm)) But i like this long goal and i’m confident in reaching it.

A sidenote is that whilst most of my spare time goes to mastering 3ds max i’ve also decided to spend at least 10% of that time to writing and perfecting my story.

Your thread has helped my story immensily, as I’ve finally been able to pin down a few things which I felt were missing in my storyline. (You’ve officially been bookmarked lol)

Thanks allot!


Thanks for all of this great info On an often overlooked subject. I learned tons reading. Can’t wait to see what you have next.


I say go for it, its definitely a good idea.


Hello to all and to Donio, DARAF and LPedraza in particular! :wavey:

Thanks for replying guys… good to hear you learned lots and had fun as well! :thumbsup:

Just some info on how I work because writing is work but also works for me :slight_smile: I find it very relaxing to just go with the flow let the brain take over and ride the waves of creativity… I hava actually tried writing just for the relaxing part… with no goal or purpose other than being relaxed and while being a good typing exercise (i cant keep up with my thoughts can you?) the end result is often strange and dreamlike. Since most of the things I have talked about here were tossed in the bin because that required conscious thinking.

The bottomline being that writing this tutorial is a kind of replacement. But I need to have the time and rest to sit down for about an hour or two and go about writing a new episode and unfortunately I didn’t had that opportunity last week… I have been in the MGAC ( see the wip gameart section) creating 200 poly animals and some environment. So my extra time got slobbered away by that.

However I will try to write a new addition as quickly as possible… I think 3 days ahead at least. Also… A good friend of mine does improvisational theatre and I would like to share some of his input as well… since we are talking about acting. But it is possible that it will take a little longer because he needs to write his part so I can put it together with mine… should be interesting.

So sorry for the long buildup towards the next lesson… I have no intention of quitting just yet :thumbsup:

And by the way… having a life’s work is great but can also be potentially dangerous… The first danger is that you might not finish it… and the second is that you will become better forever so once you have finished it… you are likely to go well… that was amazing… learned a lot but it wasn’t as good as what I do for work now.
On the other hand… It might be such a big and amazing project that it opens all kinds of doors to you… (peter jackson for instance… read about it on IMDB) So it is a bit of a lifes gamble… Good Luck on that!!

Finally I wanted to share a website with you guys… I didn’t know it existed before last august (when I discoverd another part of the amazing internet) and now I can be very addicted at times reading and clicking and reading. Maybe you know it maybe not… It’s called “everything2” and it is a kind of wikipedia community but aside from facts people also tell interesting true and fictional stories on all kinds of subjects. And everything is crossreferenced in a giant web of interesting facts and great personal creativity… and since it has a voting system… the bad stuff dissappears. Anyway go take a look(clickety click) and I will be back not before too long



What a coincedence, I just stumbled on this site last night, it helped me out on some details i needed for my story.


Thanks LPedraza! Good to have you with us :slight_smile: I hope you stick around!

Today is the double digest edition… Sorry i am a bit late… was busy and so was my friend but since this lesson is almost two updates I guess it makes up for it a bit… :rolleyes:

But on to lesson 8: The art of acting for text

Everyone who has made it this far without actually writing anything… stop right here ( and all you faithful readers and writers as well), get out your keyboard (pen) and open up a piece of text editor (paper) and do some of the following exercises with me… afterwards let the editor behind and during the text I will ask you to get back to your editor and read back what you have written…afterwards you can try these again and see if you approach them differently.

First exercise: 2 people are afraid of a spider… both are married to non-arachnophobiacs. One is a woman and one is a man. write 2 or 3 sentences of dialogue for each person afraid of the spider and asking her or his companion to take care of it.

Second exercise: “A man walks into the bar and says to the bartender:…” he wants to order a drink only there are three different personalities here. One is a doctor ordering a bloody mary. One is a biker ordering a cup of tea and one is you ordering a coffee.

got it written down? You’ll need it later!

Okay lets finally start with the lesson!

First of all I would like you to think about what acting is essentially…? This to ease yourself into the notion that you are going to learn something about acting and which I hope you will be put to good use. Acting is namely something we all can, and we all do, in our daily life… it is a life skill also called lying!
Maybe frowned upon but science has proven that it is fundamental to learn because it is the first sign that our then youthful brains are getting the notion about what is real and what is not. And also that it might not be to your advantage that everything you know or think about should be told to the general public. And thus avoiding humiliation, degradation and actually making sure you can cope with society.

Stated that lying is acting and everybody does it why are there people who are getting paid to do this and why do I have written this article about it? Well that is because people don’t know how or when to use this amazing ability of make-believe.

Why is this important to you? well because of the above reasons… you’ll get better at lying and better within society because you can use it in stressful situations. For example if your story has been accepted by your publisher but because he liked it so very much, he wants you to read from your own work in front of the board of directors. I would say you would be stressed and afraid to do it. Now if you can act, you can trick your brain into thinking the board of directors is actually all family and you are telling about your work on a birthday party. once your brain is tricked it will primary respond with the solution it usually has on those occasions… in this matter forgetting temporarily your fear and stress about what you are actually doing. But believe me… afterwards it will be a thrill ride since you will remember everything like it actually was.

Now how does this help you writing? Well that is simple… It makes your characters more believable and if screen writing for actors… it makes their understanding of the text far better. It is as simple as that.
You might remember that last lesson I have briefly talked about tapping into your audiences memory, so as they will make the experience you give them more complete because they bring that previous experience with them and go through it all over again while and at the same time adding the info you gave them. I will try to explain this more fully:

I have been standing on bridges looking down at the water flowing beneath me in many a city and in almost every country I have been to. Well, for me there is something magical in this that will never leave me, wherever I am… Paris, London, Hungary, Norway, just to name a few places… I experience it every time, it is like time stands still at that moment… It doesn’t even register that I am somewhere or that people are with me or I am alone. At such a time it is me, the water and the world. Well if I would read a book and a scene like that would be in it… where the main character is watching the small rippling waves as they glide under the bridge, under his feet, away to sea, to the ocean. Then that writer would have me hooked. Because I exactly know how it is and can feel through all the words that I have made a connection to that writer… because he couldn’t write it if he didn’t know what I know.

Well that connection is far easier to get When using emotions… And how to write the right emotions? Well act of course!

So we go back to the beginning, the exercises. I want you to read them again and be very critical… Which passage is the best? If all is according to plan your answer should be the one where you are ordering the cup of coffee. This is because you know precisely how you would go about ordering a coffee in a bar. so that piece of text would be most complete, best recognizable and probably boring to you… :smiley:

So to get the other dialogues better you’ll have to act… and acting is tricking your brain that it is doing something else. well now how does this acting work?

Let me take you back to my childhood >>>> (insert wavy filter over camera)

One of the first theatre lessons I had (i went to a school were theatre was a big thing) We got an assignment to be angry… It is harder than you might think… because you aren’t expect to act angry you need to trick your brain into thinking you are angry.
It is the same difference in believing in god and being convinced he exits.

Well, me being one of this world optimists (and still am) I asked the teacher and director… what I should do because I was never angry. The director said: “well what do you do if you are having an argument with your parents?” and I explained that I would try to explain my view on things to my best knowledge and hope they would see that I was in the right. Then she said(our director was a lady): “well what do you do if they don’t see your point and they try to cut you down even further because you are arguing?” I responded that I would leave them alone and probably go to my room. Upon which the director gave me the advise to do exactly that!"

And thus I discovered how to be angry…

What I wanted to show you here is that to reach that point (the actual brain trickery)… you’ll have to start before the text, assignment or scene begins. So if you want to know what you should do if you were the biker you should go back. You should first imagine what you would look like… then what you where doing before entering the bar. (everyone who thought “putting my bike away” gets bonus points) Now knowing we are the biker we must see why he wants tea? Is it cold outside? is he a fallen gentleman? And then go… a biker walks into the bar and says to the bartender:…

note that you are substituting your own emotions and thoughts for the emotions of the character. In other words the character is a part of you seen through a filter.
Now note that everyone who is reading your work is basically doing the same. You read something and experience over the shoulder of the character your reading about… so basically you feel the same things the character would only these are your feelings. This means that if both parties are actually doing the same thing the amount of confusion is kept minimal. Which in turn means that you are having an optimal communication level with your audience.

Well I hope you are still with me for I am now going into emotion…
Emotions are very important for us because we experience them all the time. There is almost nothing that doesn’t move us and if it doesn’t it does because we find it boring ( “slightly irritated” is an emotion in my book)
Now the emotions you write about could come from memories you have. This makes them real and believable. But you probably have lots of memories of times when you where afraid? From the dark stairs you had to climb, strange people you met… the fear of having to do something because you would feel stupid? But now suppose you have never had a fear for an animal? Then how can you write about someone who is mortally afraid of spiders? Like in the first exercise?

well you can by trying the same way… first you go back to when you where afraid in an applicable situation… start before it happened, work your way through, insert the spider and write it all down. On the other hand you can also use other people to get the right feeling by remembering how they reacted and doing that to yourself in your head. I usually try to imagine myself as someone who is interviewed just after the event. because i have seen so many interviews in so many situations I have a larger vocabulary of emotions by interviewed people than I have of my own. So I am me a writer who is writing down the interview with my character… which is in my head talking at the same time. (well not exactly since i am not suffering from split personalities, but it helps to understand.)

Now on to the second part of our first exercise: Different people react differently in given circumstances. There are many different ways to react to a spider if one finds it scary? how did your man react? and how did your woman react? was it almost same? Since you were both, it would not be surprising.
But how to get different reactions in from different characters? well first I’ d like to point back to the example with the biker… what we tried to do there was to create a different mindset or filter in which you told yourself you were the biker. This is however purely based on how much you can relate to that character… and myself being male and having had friends that rode motorcycles I can relate pretty good to that kind of character but the differences between male and female are a bit weirder and the differences between me and a cat for example is another step away. Since we can’t possibly imagine what goes on in the psyche of a cat… but luckily we can guess from observing behaviour.

So there are possibilities to create a filter for this kind of unfamiliar character. First the difference between the sexes: A writer said once when asked how it was that his women where so womanly: “I write a man but take away all reason” well I would like be a little less rude and state that:

most Women are better at communication and more extreme in their reactions

most men are usually slightly more practical and have better feeling for space.

Also science has proved that while learning a girl is more tempted to imitate someone else…(which is why women always ask for directions) while men have the tendency to go ahead and see where they land (which is Why they don’t want to ask directions or read manuals for that matter)
We touch here very much on the aspect of stereotyping (something you should find a balance with( more on that in the coming lesson about characters))

now with our knowledge about ourselves and the world increasing we get better filters for representing something or someone else. Which brings me to once again stress how important it is to know as much about your subject as possible (Research!). Using the two pieces of info i gave you just now… would it change your dialogue?

Then finally to end all this. I would like to point out the importance of showing and not telling. because the main thing… the main give away for most emotions is the facial expression. So tell us what kind of faces someone makes rather then writing: “…she was a bit sad about it…” Actually only in extreme cases should you give away information like that… It is always better to let your audience figure it out for themselves (even when for some people rereading is necessary). So even if someone has an emotion and you don’t want to go into describing their feelings write what you would say if feeling like that. Chance is people will figure the underlying emotion out and love you more for it… because you put in so much subtlety.


Now onto the next part… written by a friend of mine as he states himself :slight_smile: Don’t let his modesty fool you. He is one of the born entertainers of this world… and has written some short and hard facts on his trade. I am happy to read some of the stuff I mentioned earlier in this course… not that he has read it all through… :stuck_out_tongue: but seeing that I have the things correct is always a nice feeling. well I’ll stop bothering you and will hand you over to Koen >>>

Hi there!

I’m Koen Wijffelaars, a friend of Matthijs’, who has asked me to write a little bit about acting.

The reason that Matthijs asked me to write this, is probably because I play scenes every Thursday night and once in a while I play scenes in front of audiences. I’m not an actor though, but an improviser in a team of other improvisers. We can be compared to Whose Line Is It Anyway, since we pretty much do the same stuff and we fantasize about being as good as them.

Although we mostly play funny ‘haha’ scenes, we occasionally do some serious improv acting as well. I must say I’m not a real expert on acting, but I do know some things about making scenes interesting, how to make them emotional, gripping, exciting and tense and hopefully this information will be useful for all of you who are interesting in writing stories.

There are some simple rules which help to make scenes more interesting, which we use while doing improvised scenes, here are the most important ones:

-A scene is much more interesting when the characters know each other and have a history together. This history can explain why characters react on each other in a certain way and it can give depth to the things which are said. For example, if you would call a total stranger on the street an ass hole (which is not advisable of course), it hardly means anything, but if you would say the same thing to someone you’ve been friends with for 10 years, than it starts to get interesting:) Same goes for characters in a scene, if they don’t know each other, it’s a whole lot less interesting to watch.

-Not only does it help when characters have a history together, they of course should also have a history of their own. We are all the person we are right now because of the things we’ve done, seen and experienced in our pasts. All the events in our lives and all the people we’ve met all influence how we act and react to others. So to determine how the characters in your story act, think about their history; How where they raised? Were there any life changing events? What do they do in daily life? What’s their story, how did they get to this point in their lives? After this, it’s time to think about how this history has affected them; How do they behave, how do they feel, what are their opinions and principles, do they have any goals in life, what kind of person are they? The more time you spend on getting to know your character, the better you’ll know how he/she will behave.

-Character change is important as well. For a scene to be interesting, the characters must experience some type of change. They need to go on journeys, be altered by events, experience the consequences of their choices and be moved by emotional moments. It’s interesting to see the unusual days characters have, not the everyday moments of stasis and stagnation.

-Characters have bodies and faces, use them!
Facial expressions and body language can say much more than pages of dialogue. Posture can show how people feel, whether they are outgoing or shy, tense or uptight, have a low or high status, your body says more about you than you might realize. Same goes for facial expressions, these can be used really subtly to show what characters think about each other, a mysterious smile, rolling eyes, a tilted eyebrow, your face has an unlimited arsenal of expressions, so use this when acting out your characters. Just look in the mirror and try to make as many different faces as possible and discover how different postures make you look.

Think about how the characters are going to deliver their lines. You don’t want them to simple read the text out loud, they have to act and the viewer has to believe it. Use moments of silence to build up tension, change in volume to make scenes more gripping, change tempo, volume and intonation. When you’ve written dialogue, act it out yourself. Think about how your characters would say these lines, try different things. Stand in front of your mirror and just act, this will also help you to find out whether the dialogue you’ve written flows well and whether it sounds like a realistic dialogue or not. It’s also always a good idea to act out the scenes with some friends; someone who hears the dialogue for the first time can spot mistakes you’ve simply overlooked yourself.

Of course there’s a lot more to learn about actual acting, and there is more than enough information to be found on this subject (google is your friend). Yet I hope I’ve given you some useful tips to make your scenes and characters more lifelike and interesting. Good luck with writing stories and have fun making faces in front of your mirror:)

As you have probably seen he is much more to the point then I am but I think this doesn’t take away from every learning moments he has put down above. I hope you enjoyed reading through this as much as I did this afternoon!

The next lesson was planned as one regarding writing the start… But I feel I have to make a few points regarding personality and character creation first. So stay tuned for a faster update about the difference between 1d, 2d and 3d characters. (and no I am not talking about animation!)

See you all very soon!! :wavey:


Hi Matthijs, Hi Koen!
Thank you so much for taking the time to write these articles. Every day I look into this part of the forum to see if there is a new part of your course. And it is always very nice to see when this is the case.

     Matthijs, I don`t know if you notice this yourself but since I started reading this course from the second lesson or so everytime I read a new lesson from you I find it more interesting, better to understand and to follow than the lesson before. How long is this going to last? ^^
     In your last lesson I especially liked the part where you told us about how you would be standing on bridges and look into the water when you visit a city. Because after a few lines I thought "yeah, this is nice and all, and i know this situation ...but why is he telling me all that". And not until then you told us that you can build a connection to the reader by describing emotional moments from our lifes because chances are the reader will know these situations.
     Now, what I liked so much about this was that this effect was exactly what had happend when I first read that part. What made this so convincing for me was that there was no way that I could have surmised the effect of "yeah man, i know this" because you didn`t tell us before!
    Please, more such traps. ;)

    I`m very much looking forward to your next lesson. And I`m not even planning to write a story! I`m only planning to create a point and click adventure somewhere in the near future and wanted to learn something about storybuilding. That`s how I got to this thread.
I hope this was all understandable for english isn`t my native language.
    So, again thanks to you and also to Koen for this marvelous course!


Hi, and thanks for the compliments :thumbsup:

Do the texts really become that much better? :smiley: that is so funny… well then it proves I didn’t write enough the last couple of years.
And don’t worry about your English… it was perfectly clear.

Just to expand a little on that… I have talked about this earlier… but as I quickly scan the text I can not find the particular part I wanted to put there… so here it is>>>>

The piece in the last lesson about me standing on bridges all over the world and my mind getting carried away with the flow of the water, that is actually a very personal piece of text. It is very dear to me as a memory but also as an experience I want to have over and over again… and it seems that because it is very dear to me… it has more power getting that emotional bond.-

There is a Dutch director (sorry don’t know the name or film and can’t find it) who directed a film about a boy (which was in actuality him) growing up on an island and having a "safe spot where he could be alone, dream and hide just below the lighthouse on this island. And the strange thing was that he got internationally acclaimed for this film and people from all over the world found it an amazing film. But the strangest thing was that a man from the Cannes jury came up to this Dutch director and said… you have told the story of my childhood… but the man grew up in the middle of Irak, with desert all over the place, no lighthouses whatsoever. But because the feelings the boy had where so totally honest, so very personal, people who couldn’t relate to the setting could still fully understand and relate to the character because they had the same feelings in that time of their life. So the film had even on someone who hadn’t seen a lighthouse ever, the effect of complete familiarity… so much they actually said: “you have filmed my childhood.”

Bottom line (and acting courses really help here) is to get over your fears of sharing deeply personal feelings or memories with people. Because people will maybe not always react positively they will always react very strong to this kind of things. (don’t overdo it in real life BTW because in personal relations there is a time and place for this kind of thing… it is something to keep for moments only…)

Well that is a background story… I wish you best of luck with your game endeavours itee and don’t forget that in a point and click adventure the story is one of the most important things… since it basically is a story with puzzles.

Thanks for reading, thanks for learning and see you soon!!


Damn i cant believe i missed this thread all these days…

a really great stuff :applause: … totally rock :buttrock:

well all these days i had an idea about a concept which i wanted to make a short film or may be it will lead me to a full length movie also , i was very much confused where to start off my concept and give it a proper look , how to proceed with the story and how to end it and all the stuff was bothering me … but after reading this … it helped me alot to start in a systematic way…

thanks to u matsman :bowdown:

no doubt that i’ll be a daily visitor and reply to this thread … u dont have to worry about stopping this thread at all … keep going ahead :slight_smile:

ps… i also have another idea for a definite short film… hope u would help me out in both of these concepts personally :slight_smile:

and may be beneficial for both of us :smiley:
what say u ??? :deal:


Thanks Aqua9 I’m reall happy that you are so enthusiastic. And welcome to the club :slight_smile:

However I must say that I am not daily updating… since I got work as well… so it’s about once a week (sometimes twice) usually. And this forum has mail compatibility so you should receive an email once there is a new post (from anyone) if you have replied to this thread.

And I am always happy to help in the position of an advisor… that is why I started this thread in the first place. So people could write along with me and I could give critics and comments… however your writing is public when doing so and that might scare some people. Iif you are one of those people who is afraid of being robber from their hard work (I am not) you could pm me or email even… check the personal details… unless you don’t trust me than I can not help you :stuck_out_tongue:

Finally Aqua9 if you want me to do more that just give my advise, I will consider it work… that means I need to know some more details about the projects before I commit to anything. Pm or email me :slight_smile:



Yup … sure… i’ll tell u the whole concept and what i’m looking for and all the things … dun worry about that… but its just i need some time to start with this… so i’ll pm u when i’m ready to seriously start the work on the short film :)… till then i’ll be in contact with u in this thread or in email :slight_smile:


matsman, i want to thank you for taking the time to share your experience. i’m reading your posts attentively. i’m a student from germany. we’re learning a lot about techniques, technology and methods, but less about using them creatively. concepts are expected, but are not taught. this is exactly what i need!

best regards from your neighbouring country




Herzlichen dank fur ihre post Janosch… (Ich habe deutsch am schule gehat… but I am afraid it is not that good anymore… I was asked directions a few months back… completely panicked about having to reply in german and reverted to english… which she didn’t understand… I am so ashamed :rolleyes: )

I am happy you get inspiration from this thread and hope to put it to good use… I would like to thank you twice because it is also your first post… which means it was quite a step to make this reply… so thank you for that!

Second for all the fans… I have already written the new lesson about character creation… but I have written it during a train journey so I am afraid (no laptop people) that i have done it all by hand on paper (What is this paper you speak off?). So I will post it tomorrow since I will have had some time to type the text to computer by then.

See you all tomorrow!!! (my tomorrow ends at the 30th of october 01:00 GMT… so if you check back by then it will be here :slight_smile: )


Hey Matthijs, echt tof van je dat je hier allemaal zoveel tijd in steekt! Ik heb er in iedergeval een hoop van geleerd. Ik wil graag binnenkort (over een jaar ofzo) een animatiefilm gaan maken, alleen heb ik wat problemen gehad met hoe ik het verhaal enz. moet schrijven. Je hebt me hier een stuk bij meegeholpen! Bedankt!



Great stuff! Thx!


Well I’ve only just started reading this thread but I have to say I appreciate the work you’ve put in already… seriously useful and helpful…

Great work sir and thank you for taking to the time out to do it! :slight_smile: