About the author

Conrad Williams is the author of the novels Head Injuries, London Revenant, The Unblemished, One, Decay Inevitable and Blonde on a Stick; the novellas Nearly People, Game, The Scalding Rooms and Rain and a collection of short fiction, Use Once then Destroy. He lives in Manchester, UK.

All content on this site is © Conrad Williams.

Tuesday 16 March 2010

Day Eight... Hook

1015 words.

There's a formula to writing screenplays. If you follow Syd Field, that is. And I did, when I adapted my own novel, Head Injuries, for Michael Winterbottom at Revolution Films. Mr Field is big on the three-act structure, and within that he refers to changes in the story, or 'hooks', that spin us around in a different direction. The three-act structure exists in novels too. At its simplest, it refers to beginning-middle-end. I'm into a hook now, I believe. I've moved out of the novel's beginning and I'm entering the second act. My character has found his motivation and is trying to defeat the obstacles that are in his way. He's making things happen, despite being a passive kind of guy. Difficult not to be when you've spent the last six months of your life withering in a hospital bed with more bones broken than intact... Anyway, placing this kind of framework on what I've written helps to stave off doubts that it's actually fly-by-seat-of-pants stuff and I don't actually know what I'm doing and never did...

Listening to Brian Eno: Music for Airports and Brian Eno/Harold Budd: The Plateaux of Mirror.

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