Advice

My Story Can Beat Up Your Story: The Missing Chapter

Posted by Jeffrey Alan Schechter on

How embarrassing is it for a writer to forget to write a chapter of his or her own book? Especially, a book about…uh…writing?Back when my book on story structure, My Story Can Beat Up Your Story!, was in the planning stage I knew that I wanted to accomplish two things: first, I wanted to clearly detail the understanding of story structure that I had developed and field tested over the last twenty years of being a professional writer and second, I wanted to NOT write a book of screenwriting tricks. The last words I wanted to see in my book...

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Myth, Magic, & Metaphysics in Your Media

Posted by Pamela Jaye Smith on

There’s MAGIC in the air, whether from Harry Potter’s wands or the wizards of Lord of the Rings. Ancient MYTHS come to life in modern forms from the Mayan calendar and Roland Emmerich’s 2012 to Slumdog Millionaire’s version of Orpheus and Eurydice.The principles of METAPHYSICS are all the rage in our personal lives from those Laws of Attraction promoted in The Secret to secrets of the gods and the afterlife as explored in Battlestar Gallactica. These three categories overlap, and each is a rich source of story material because they are some of the most enduring and popular ways we...

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Light A Fire: Writing For Celebrity

Posted by Hester Schell on

Artists want control. Really? How refreshing! Or, are we just making up new ways of defining independent? Perhaps. If a green light comes from independent financing and not a studio, you’ve got an independent. In 2009, 36% of the total film market was created by independents (showbizdata.com). In 2010, the number was slightly less at 32%. The remaining 63 to 68 percent of the market was split among WB, Paramount, Universal, Buena Vista and Sony. So, what does that mean for screenwriters? A lot. It means everyone is looking for the next Juno, The Kids Are All Right, Slumdog Millionaire,...

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John Truby Interview February 2011

Posted by John Truby on

John Truby is Hollywood's premier screenwriting instructor and story consultant. Over the last 25 years, more than 30,000 writers have attended his sold-out seminars around the world, with the American Film Institute declaring that Truby's "course allows a writer to succeed in the fiercely competitive climate of Hollywood." Called "the best script doctor in the movie industry," Truby regularly serves as a story consultant for major studios and production companies worldwide, and has been a script doctor and story consultant on more than 1,000 movies, sitcoms and television dramas for the likes of Disney, Sony Pictures, FOX, HBO, Alliance Atlantis,...

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Writing a Cinematic Scene: Now Write! Screenwriting Exercise

Posted by Steve Duncan on

(Excerpt from "Now Write! Screenwriting: Screenwriting Exercises from Today's Best Writers and Teachers", edited by Sherry Ellis & Laurie Lamson)A film, by its very nature, is a visual art form. However, I’ve found that new screenwriters tend to forget that they’ve ever seen a film in their lives. Too often, inexperienced writers go right for wall-to-wall yakking when writing a scene or sequence for a movie. While verbal dialogue drives television scenes, you want to write dramatically effective cinematic scenes for a feature film. An effective approach is to use The Seven Elements of a Scene or Sequence. Use them...

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