The Heart of the Film: Writing Love Stories in Screenplays, 1st Edition




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.

By Cynthia Whitcomb Routledge 204 pages Paperback: 9781138201101 pub: 2017-04-12

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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