Billy Wilder’s Writing Tips

Snatched from WritingClasses.Com, which in turn seems to have dug them out of Cameron Crowe’s book Conversations with Wilder.

Gotham-Writers-Workshop_grid_6

GWW – the peeps behind the WCC website

We kinda like WritingClasses’ version better because it’s, you know, shorter:

  • The audience is fickle.
  • Grab ‘em by the throat and never let ‘em go.
  • Develop a clean line of action for your leading character.
  • Know where you’re going.
  • The more subtle and elegant you are in hiding your plot points, the better you are as a writer.
  • If you have a problem with the third act, the real problem is in the first act.
  • A tip from Lubitsch: Let the audience add up two plus two. They’ll love you forever.
  • In doing voice-overs, be careful not to describe what the audience already sees. Add to what they’re seeing.
  • The event that occurs at the second act curtain triggers the end of the movie.
  • The third act must build, build, build in tempo and action until the last event, and then—that’s it. Don’t hang around.