From the Department of Good Advice

Billy Wilder’s tips for screenwriters.

Most of them also apply to novelists.  The only one that could be debated is #10:

10. The third act must build, build, build in tempo and action until the last event, and then – that’s it. Don’t hang around.

But that’s because movies are more like short stories, or at most novellas, than they are like novels.  That’s why Tolkien’s extended fourfold wrap-up of The Lord of the Rings works in the context of the novel, but is less effective on the big screen.

(Also, of course, it is necessary to remember that in a perfect world any writer’s advice on writing would come with a clearly-printed THIS IS HOW IT WORKS FOR ME, ANYHOW label attached.)

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