How to Make Your Novel More Cinematic for the Reader with John Reedburg

My Account
List Price: $199.00


Class Description

Nowadays, novelists are using cinematic technique to create visually dynamic scenes. Readers, use to watching movies and TV, have come to expect a more cinematic experience when they read. They want to watch the story unfold before their eyes rather than be told what is happening in summary or exposition. In film, the story is conveyed visually by a series of camera angles which are edited together to create each scene. This class will offer writers an opportunity to do the same in their writing by examining how to not only implement the deliberate use of camera shots, but also how to break scenes down into segments and identify the key moments in their story.

This class is intended to help writers understand how the use of cinematic elements within a scene affects the mood, focus, and emphasis of the story being told.


October 30 - November 27, 2017

Class Objectives

*Read and examine different scenes from novels and discuss as a group how the writer used cinematic techniques to emphasize the story being told.

*Learn and identify the various shot angles that could be used in your prose.

*Learn how to write a scene for your novel with cinematic techniques of your choosing.

*Identify and discuss what cinematic techniques that you are considering using in the future.

Class Layout

In Week 1 we will learn the different type of cinematic techniques that can be used in your writing. Filmic methods will include the following practices listed below.

*Identifying and breaking down the key elements in a scene.

*Consider the POV of a character or narrator.

*Adding background noise to strengthen the meaning of a character.

*Coloring scenes to add symbolism, motif, and/or psychological effects.

*Using camera angles to add visual power.

*Adding texture and detail to bring excitement to a scene.

In Weeks 2 and 3 we will do written exercises implementing the techniques listed above.

In Week 4 we will rewrite a scene from our novel or short story implementing all the cinematic techniques we’ve learned.

Learning Activities

*Group discussion forum on assigned readings and on readings students bring in to share.

*Writing prompts and exercises to practice how to write more cinematically.

*Scene submission of (no more than five pages) from a story written by students for group discussion. The group will examine each story for cinematic techniques that are already evident, and if there any methods to be used in strengthening the piece. Students will revise their work based on notes from the group.

*Comments and constructive criticism on classmate’s writing.

*Post at least twice a week.

*Work must be completed every Sunday before midnight.

About John Reedburg

Every narrative begins with a canvas. Every word we write is a brushstroke that comes from our imagination. Let’s paint that story! As your instructor, I will guide you in completing the bigger picture. I am here to help you with your essays, short stories, manuscripts, and screenplays.

John Reedburg is an award-winning writer and filmmaker. He has a degree in Journalism from EL Camino College, a degree in Digital Media from California State University, Dominguez Hills, an MFA in Screenwriting and Directing from Chapman University, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University, Los Angeles.

He can be reached at