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Linda J. Cowgill


Linda J. Cowgill teaches at the Los Angeles Film School and Loyola Marymount University.

Articles by Linda J. Cowgill

Plotting Along

For most people, the terms story and plot are synonymous. People read a book or go to a movie and come away saying, What a great story! But the reason the book or film is so affecting is generally because the story has a great plot. (Don't think I'm forgetting about character and its importance to a great story. I'm including it in plot as part of a well-told story.)

... (read more)

The Emotional Pattern of Plot

When we think of plot we usually think in terms of action. Action is driven by what the characters want and the conflict that stands in their way. So the basic parameters of plot give a story direction and meaning: characters act on their desire, which leads to action, which in turn leads to conflict. But drama is as much about the repercussions of an action as it is about the action... (read more)

Expert Article: The Art of Plotting

For many people plot is the same thing as structure. Both deal with designing the story, creating relationships between its elements and developing how action builds to a climax. When you structure a film story, you're working out the plot to discover the best way of telling it.

~ The Principles of Organization - Story Structure

Real structure give... (read more)

Preparations & Consequences: Ways to Incorporate Emotion into the Plot

When characters share emotions with the audience, it deepens the experience of the story. Viewers are made available to the storyteller through emotion: writers seek an emotional connection with their audience the same way actors and directors do. A smart plot is intellectually satisfying, but movies are about more than that. Audiences expect... (read more)