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Craft. Inspiration. Process.

Developing Your Writing Technique

  Technique develops over time. By reading and writing, we absorb a sense of story structure, cadence, and rhythm; we learn how to create and release tension. We deepen our relationship to our ...
Screenwriting: Playing on the Page

Playing on the Page

When there is a story problem you can’t solve, or there appears to be no way out for your characters, remember one thing: It's not your job to solve it. Instead, get excited by the complication. The ...
what happens next

What Happens Next?

The first step in creating a fully alive story is imagining the world. This simply means envisioning your characters in relation to each other and asking "What happens next?" With each idea or image ...
A Screenplay is a Blueprint

A Screenplay is a Blueprint

A screenplay is the blueprint from which directors take their cues. It is not the screenwriter’s job to provide camera shots — in fact, that is usually the sign of a novice. But it is our job to ...
The Power of Curiosity

The Power of Curiosity

Story creation often begins with an idea or an image that ignites your imagination. You become curious, wanting to know more, to see how it is going to play out. The desire to write is connected to ...

How Do I Begin?

"How do I begin?" The process of story creation is mysterious. Where do our story ideas come from? From where do our characters emerge? At their core, our stories are born out of an impulse to make ...

Making the Impossible Possible

Turning the impossible into something possible is the magic of story. We often have an idea of the direction our story is going, and sometimes we discover that it's not happening the way we had ...

Writing Tip – How to Show and Tell

"Action is eloquence." - William Shakespeare If we find ourselves editorializing, that is telling or explaining what is happening in our story. It's “OK” . . . however, we probably don't want to ...

Surrender to Your Story

Our story asks everything of us. If it didn’t, we would never surrender. How often do we live our lives as though we were not going to die? We make choices and even avoid opportunities out of fear. We ...

We Are All Connected

“No one is free until we are all free.”- Martin Luther King Jr. It is human nature to search for absolutes; Joe is a liar, while Helen is trustworthy. Abe is punctual, while Ruth is always late. ...

Writing Without Distraction

You’ve begun working in earnest. The story is alive, your cylinders are firing. You’re getting up every morning and putting in the hours. But then, something happens. Life delivers a distraction, ...
Setting a Plan with Purpose

Setting a Plan with Purpose

Do you often find it hard to stick to your writing plan? How often do we get distracted by “important tasks” that pull us away from our deeper purpose? Fantasy football sounds like a hoot, but if it ...

Creativity is Your Birthright

Creativity is your birthright. We live in a culture that is invested in our believing otherwise. I frequently hear folks talk of talent as though it were a finite commodity that one either possessed ...

A Pencil for Christmas

When I was three, my mother asked me what I wanted for Christmas, and I said I wanted a pencil. Oh God, so badly, I wanted one. I ached for my pencil. I dreamt about my pencil. Toys held no interest ...

The Bestseller: Process, Not Result

"I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process." - Vincent Van Gogh Here’s a story: About ten years ago I was speaking to a potential student on the phone, and he ...

Humor in Writing

There is nothing less funny than writing about humor. I was a standup comic for years, and every once in a while after a show, some dude would come up to me wanting to discuss my act. I'd cringe while ...

Finishing Your Story: 5 Tips to Get You to the End

For all you writers struggling somewhere in the middle of your manuscript, here are five tips to get you to the end. 1) Create a deadline for yourself. Think of a practical timeframe to complete ...

The Nature of the “Want”

"To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction." - Isaac Newton While exploring the nature of the "want" in your story, it’s important to understand that you are an artist and you ...

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HOW TO BUILD A STORY

The 7 Maxims

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