The Buster Keaton Writing Method

There are many methods to writing stories. I tend to work more or less in the field of comedy, however, so naturally I'm going to gravitate to a method spearheaded by a comedian.

Allow me to present to you...

The Buster Keaton Method For Writing A Story
  • Come up with a beginning
  • Come up with an end
  • The middle will take care of itself
What Buster meant by “the middle will take care of itself” is actually really simple - if you have a beginning and an end, you know what your characters’ goals are and you know whether or not they’re going to reach them along the way towards that ending. Let the characters guide you through writing the middle - what will challenge them?

Lastly, Buster added the following:
  • If a plot point doesn’t fit, DON’T TRY TO SQUEEZE IT IN.
Oftentimes Buster and his gag writers would come up with really funny jokes. The problem was that these jokes didn’t fit into the rest of the story. Buster was smart enough to not put these into the story if they didn’t fit - he’d hang onto them to use them elsewhere. This streamlined the stories, which kept the audience engaged, i.e. NOT BORED.

Sometimes you’ll fall in love with ideas for plot points, but they just won’t fit in the story. Save them - you’ll be able to use them on a rainy day when you’re writing the next story.

 Buster says you're welcome.