Is “Cinematic Writing” Possible?

Nicholas Lucchetto
The ESSAYER
Started Monday, 4:06 PM
Finished Monday, 4:43 PM

When you see a movie or watch a TV show, particularly a dramatic type, the one common factor you have probably noticed are the cinematic visuals. Everyone on set has to think about very specific and minute details to achieve that style. The camera angle, where each light is placed, and even the weather have to be considered when shooting a movie.

Just like films, writing is a well-respected and widely-consumed form of entertainment. Of course, every subcategory of that, such as music and art, have different standards from one another, although these are very light and unregulated. But essentially, all forms of media create an experience for the consumer. Just like a director has to plan out the atmosphere and visuals of a scene to convey a specific emotion, an author needs to do the same. Keeping that in mind, is there a certain style of writing, as with movies, that automatically conveys a “cinematic” feel?

Note: I’m not an expert marketer or storyteller. I’m just an optimistic seventh grader with interests in both writing and filmmaking. Taking that into account, I’m sure that you can still learn something out of today’s post!

Every writer has a different taste in writing. Romance, contemporary, even simple poetry. Right off the bat, I can tell from the hundreds of different writing styles that one simple trick to create an experience instead of a story is near impossible. Taking a tip from my English teacher; using bold and italic characters is useless for this goal as well (I did seem to enjoy the practice of using these back in the old days of my blog, however). With these two ideas out of the equation, there really is no easy way to show an experience that every reader will be moved by.

Which brings me to my next point: show, don’t tell (see what I did there?). A classic rule of filmmaking that also applies to writing. For example, having a character or narrator explaining an event out through only simple, boring description phrases like “it was exciting” or “that was very sad” creates a much less interesting atmosphere than by using both descriptive and action words (onomatopoeia, anyone?), such as “she tumbled down the hill”, “slam”, or “POW”! Using this tip won’t necessarily leave a huge impact on your reader, but it will surely add a cinematic feel to some events.

If you’ve already started a story, this might not help you out in the present, but definitely for your upcoming work. Being able to connect with the characters and events in your story as an author emotionally makes it much easier to flesh out every single chapter in the book. Furthermore, a deeper story will allow more of your readers to connect with those characters and you, the author, while also giving consumers a better understanding of your content.

With such a diverse and complicated topic, noteworthy tips and tricks are pretty hard to come by, and don’t even get me started on a definite answer to the headline question. Instead of leaving this article at an abrupt ending, I encourage my readers to broaden their view on this topic, and while I can’t promise life-changing results, I’m sure you’ll find something in your pondering.

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