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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Clemmer

The J. J. Abrams Guide to Brilliant Storycrafting!

(Disclaimer: Yes, this is sarcastic. And no, I didn’t interview Abrams or get his permission. This is for entertainment purposes primarily. But still… there are things to be learned!)

With everyone raving about the new Star Wars movie like it’s the best thing to show on the big screen since, well, ever, I thought it would be a good idea to take an intensive look at this supposedly brilliant story crafting. Want to be able to write the next great blockbuster? Stick around!


Step 1: Choose your genre. Something exciting, something that people will like. Don’t worry about developing a plot–that comes later.


Step 2: Add characters. Your characters will need to be unique and memorable, but who wants to spend whole hours developing new characters when there are plenty of stereotypes available for use? If you’re too worried that people will criticize how flat these characters are, give each of them a quirk that doesn’t follow stereotype–like an overpowered supergirl who actually dresses modestly. It’s also totally fine if you want to insert yourself as a character. Don’t be shy–describe yourself to a T and idealize yourself as much as you want. Hey, you’re the author!


Step 3: Suspense! Don’t worry about coming up with intricate details and plot twists that all connect magically in the heart of the story. People love making sense of nonsense–it makes them feel intelligent. So throw in a few random details and treat them like something special, and people won’t be able to put your story down as they realize the significance. Boom–you’re a mastermind!


Step 4: No plot? No problem! Link everything together while you write it. Don’t worry about doing a good job–by now, everyone already thinks you’re a genius!


Step 5: When all those reviews come along praising your talent, you want to give them nice samples of writing to quote, right? Don’t worry, there’s an easy way around this, too! Everyone likes a good quotable or one-liner. Go through your manuscript and change every line of dialogue to something clever, something memorable (or just something blunt works just as well!). In general, none of your sentences should be over ten words long. Short and choppy leads to better quotes!


Other: Don’t worry about accuracy. Yes, a few hard-core nerds might pick up if your statistics are faulty or if the logic of your story doesn’t hold out, but most people will be far too enamored. Just wow them with the tips above, and you’re on your way to the front page!



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