Tag Archives: story

A Great Gatsby of a Story – Writing Tips from a Great Movie


In my estimation, there are so few skillfully told stories that can keep you absolutely gripped to the book page, TV, or big screen.

When I find such a story, I want to tell the world.

Last week I become totally immersed in a captivating story.

I have never read the classic novel, “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald or seen the movie made in the 70’s with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow. Last week, when I plopped down in my cushy seat inside the darkened movie theater with my popcorn, all I could do was grouse about how long this movie was going to be! 2 hours and 22 minutes!

I just knew I was going to be looking at my watch all the way through, and my rear was going to be sore, and….

I did not glance at my watch even one time.

Once the previews were finished, and the movie began, I was absolutely entranced.

It was a visual masterpiece to behold and the story of J. Gatsby kept me glued to my seat.

The story held me spellbound from the start and never let go.

I pondered over the story later that day and the next, and came up with a short list of what I felt were some essentials to a great story:

1)   An element of mystery
2)   Symbols
3)   Romance
4)   A not necessarily happy ending

From the start, this Gatsby fellow was a mystery.

We were shown his life being a certain way, but we were kept wondering who he really was, from the time we first heard his name. And of course, he was not who we thought he was. We didn’t find out the truth until much later in the movie. This keeps us constantly guessing and watching to learn more.

Many symbols were used throughout, like little bread crumb clues that something more was about to happen. Different colors were sprinkled throughout the story, to lead us to think a certain way—when circumstances actually took quite a dramatic turn.

Stories with a touch of romance are always fun.

Mystery and romance bundled together?


Some of the best stories don’t have happy endings.

I’m not going to give it away, but a sad ending will sometimes leave more of an impression than a happy one.

Suffice it to say that “The Great Gatsby” is no Disney movie.

Do you have some favorite movies that are great “stories?” Tell us about them and what makes them worth watching.

Penelope Silvers is founder of PhilosBooks.com,
where “Independent Authors are introduced to the World!”
She is a freelance writer, publisher, and radio host of
Penelope’s Book Chat on Blog Talk Radio.



27 Pieces Of Advice For Writers From Famous Authors

See on Scoop.itWriting “Rightly”

Celebrated authors, editors and illustrators write advice to young writers on their hands for ” Shared Worlds ,” a two-week creative writing summer camp at Wofford College.

Penelope‘s insight:


27 Pieces of Advice–all with a powerpoint on the hand of its famous author. Advice like:

o Write, finish things, keep writing

o Read widely, write often, keep going

o Write what you would love to read, finish what you begin to write

o Don’t take anybody’s writing advice too seriously!

o Trust your imagination, don’t be afraid to fail

o Start the next one

o Never give up!

 The consensus among these famous writers? Write, read a lot, and write some more!

 ***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Writing Rightly”***

 Link to the original article and all the writing advice: http://www.buzzfeed.com/ellievhall/27-pieces-of-advice-for-writers-from-famous-authors

See on www.buzzfeed.com

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Filed under Kindle Books, Uncategorized, WRITING TIPS

Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling

See on Scoop.itWriting for Kindle

These rules were originally tweeted by Emma Coats, Pixar’s Story Artist. Number 9 on the list – When you’re stuck, make a list of what wouldn’t happen next – is a great one and can apply to writers in all genres.


Penelope‘s insight:

I am tucking this list of Pixar’s “22 Rules of Storytelling” into my writer’s toolbox to pull out when I am working on my writing for Kindle. I can readily pick up some new ideas by quickly scanning the list, and referring back to these rules could truly get you out of some stuck-in-the-mud storylines.

I’m fondly recalling Pixar’s Movie, “Up”. If they used these rules in writing the love story of Carl and Ellie, then these rules would also work great for romance stories written for Kindle. Their beautiful story in the movie is the shortest, most eloquent and touching love story I think I have ever seen. Although it was between two digitally created characters, every time I watch it, I sob like a baby.

Pixar knows of which they speak. This one is a keeper.

***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Writing for Kindle”***

Link to the original article: http://aerogrammestudio.com/2013/03/07/pixars-22-rules-of-storytelling/

See on aerogrammestudio.com

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Here’s How Seth Godin Writes | Writing Prompts

See on Scoop.itWriting “Rightly”

When Seth Godin talks, people listen. We’ve been listening for years to this bestselling author of 17 books with a storied background in publishing.

Penelope‘s insight:


Here’s my takeaway from reading the interview with the iconic Seth Godin. Be yourself–and be remarkable! Status Quo stinks. You are unique, you have a story to tell, and you have fans who are waiting to hear your story.

Have you heard negative feedback about your writing? Here’s what Seth Godin heard. His high school English teacher wrote in his yearbook: “You are the bane of my existence and it’s likely you’ll never amount to anything.”

Don’t listen to the negative voices around you. Write what you like to write and write like there’s no tomorrow!


***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on “Writing Rightly”***

 Link to the original article and the full interview: http://www.copyblogger.com/writer-files-seth-godin/

See on www.copyblogger.com

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