Cinematic Storytelling

Billie Mernit is the author of ‘Writing the Romantic Comedy’ and reads movie scripts for his day job. I always learn something from his blog *- and todays missive is no exception.



‘Cinematic storytelling — the term that’s come to define this particular approach to screenwriting — involves a kind of three-step process (though these steps are often enacted simultaneously):

1) you conceive your story in filmic terms,

2) you see the movie in your head, and

3) you write the story in a language that vividly communicates that movie’s sounds and images.’


I wonder how many writers use this very visual and sensory approach to pre-screening the scenes of the fiction before writing them down?

Romance – certainly.

Suspense – almost certainly. In my case, yes. It is a key part of my work.

Perhaps this is the fundamental appeal of genre fiction as opposed to MOST literary fiction – the reader is invited into a fully realised world.

Part of creating the ‘fictive dream’ is surely to provide a fully engrossing and vicarious experience?

Interesting. I have learnt a lot from screenwriting techniques over the years – and am still learning. Thank goodness.