As writers, it is completely natural, from time-to-time, to sit in front of the blank page and to feel the inability to pen a single thought. It happens to experienced writers as well as to novice writers and many times can be cured by participating in a mindless activity like taking a hot bath, cleaning the house or exercising.
However, if a writer endures days, weeks and even months unable to compose his/her ideas, then something more serious may be occurring in the mind of the writer that a simple endorphin-boosting activity will be incapable of curing. (more…)
Recently, during a table read of a screenplay, I found myself desperately struggling to stay focused on the story. The dialog grabbed me, but then it was followed by overly detailed description that in some cases filled entire pages before the next words of dialog were uttered. To escape the torture of this interminable glut of narrative, I allowed my mind to drift away into pleasant images of my upcoming weekend plans.
Sound harsh? Maybe so, but the truth remains that excessive description is a fairly common problem amongst new writers and writers who never bothered to educate themselves in the craft. Basically, you want to include only those details that will add something meaningful to your story. You want your writing to be tight. (more…)
Screenwriting is one tough gig! Not only does a writer need to understand screenwriting structure well enough to create a compelling storyline with interesting characters, but the writer must also weave all major critical decisions, plot points and twists into the story while staying within the confining page requirements of ninety and one hundred-twenty pages, depending on the story’s genre. In addition, once the masterpiece undergoes numerous edits and rewrites, then the writer needs to strategize a plan to get the screenplay read amongst the thousands of scripts that are stacked sky high in the offices of underpaid, overworked Hollywood readers. (more…)
As I write this post, thousands of eager writers around the globe are at their keyboards, frantically pounding out word after word, working passionately to write an entire 50,000 word novel in just thirty days. Sound crazy? Maybe for some, but for many, completing the daily minimum goal of 1,666 words is nothing less than invigorating.
Now in it’s eleventh year, NaNoWriMo, short for National Novel Writing Month, went from having just twenty-one participants in its first year, to an overwhelming 165,000 participants in 2009. (more…)
Recently, I saw The Social Network, the movie about Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook. If you haven’t seen it, then I urge you to go…immediately, especially if you’re a writer, film-maker or someone who just needs the motivation to keep working toward your goals.
I was blown away, not only by the superb acting, but also by the manner in which writer, Aaron Sorkin, captured the spirit and internal force that drove Zuckerberg to succeed. In the movie, he’s an animal, hungry for membership into exclusiveness, as if being a Harvard student isn’t quite exclusive enough. (more…)
Kris Kringle and Winter Warlock Putting One Foot In Front of The Other
Writers out there, I have something exciting to share. After a month of working a full-time job, which exhausts me thoroughly, tending to home and family obligations, pushing myself beyond my limits of sleep deprivation and surviving a week at home and in bed with a sinus infection, stomach virus and Strep, I have finally posted at least one entry to all four of my blogs! (more…)
Attention all screenwriters! This is a must-have book for your screenwriting library collection. For real!
On Monday, Will Akers spoke to members of the Nashville Writer’s Meetup at Border’s Books and Music, about his new book, Your Screenplay Sucks: 100 Ways To Make It Better. He highlighted some of the all-too-frequent and common mistakes that his screenwriting students at Vanderbilt have been making over the years, mistakes that were the inspiration for this book.
Will’s book is loaded with great ways to vastly improve your screenplay. During his presentation, he produced a piece of blank paper with a glowing, red F plastered on it. This is what Will’s students receive if their work contains any spelling errors. He emphasized how Hollywood will toss your screenplay into the slush pile if they find misspelled words, so his most important piece of advice is to make sure you use Spellcheck before sending your screenplays to agents and producers. (more…)
When I launched this blog, I did so with the intention of posting something new and inspirational at least once per week. Something that would keep myself and my readers motivated to write on a daily basis. But if you look at the date of my first and only post thus far, and you do some second grade calculating, you’ll notice that I’m exactly a month and two days late. As a teacher, I would consider this unacceptable from any of my students, and for sure they’d end up with a zero for the assignment. (more…)
After three days of educating myself about blog hosting, domain names, and how to customize a blog’s theme, which I still haven’t mastered…by the way, I have finally moved this blog from Blogger to WordPress, and have it up and running after two years of dormancy.
Yaaaahoooo!!! Let’s get this blog started!
It only took three extremely long days of neglecting household chores and three endless nights of sifting through websites full of text, watching more than enough YouTube tutorials for a lifetime, and listening to a variety of semi-interesting podcasts, to have finally emerged from heaps and mounds of overwhelming information. Let’s just say, I’m glad it’s over and I can now start blogging! Oh, but wait, I have three other blogs to work on yet. Check’em out in my blogroll, and don’t forget to come back here soon for updates.