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…)
As writers, we’ve heard the expression dozens of times: just show up at the page. But when our daily lives are crammed with job responsibilities, family obligations and holiday tasks, showing up at the page may be difficult to weave into our daily routines. Before we know it, one day morphs into one week, which then morphs into a month which then spirals into several before we realize, “Gee, I haven’t written anything in a while.”
Though it may appear nearly impossible, it is imperative that writers carve some time out each day to write despite the daily, unbridled events that life hurls at us. Even if it’s only for ten or fifteen minutes a day, these regular entries will not only serve to strengthen and improve our craft, but how else will those writing projects that we began with such passion and vigor see their final page? Indulge me as I illustrate the power of how necessary this slow and steady practice is. (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…)