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Scriptnotes Podcast

Screenwriters John August and Craig Mazin discuss screenwriting and related topics in the film and television industry, everything from getting stuff written to the vagaries of copyright and work-for-hire law.
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May 29, 2012

Craig and John take a look at the difference between plot and story with some help from the Littlest Pet Shop and Game of Thrones.

Plot answers the "what" questions: What happens next? What is in the mysterious vault? What secret was the dowager keeping?

Story, however, is much more concerned with the "whos" and "hows" and "whys." Characters have their own needs and impulses. The trick of good writing is to match up what the characters want to do (motivation) with what the screenwriter wants them to do (plot).

Mild spoiler alert: In the last few minutes, we discuss recent developments on Game of Thrones, but in a general-enough way that it's not likely to impact your enjoyment if you're behind. Still, caveat spectator.

Finally, two bits of housekeeping:

  • If you subscribe to us on iTunes, please leave us some feedback. For next week's show, we’ll read the reviews ranked “most helpful” live, no matter what they say. Which may be a terrible idea. We'll see.

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by William Wallace Cook

UPDATE 5-30-12: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

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