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Craft. Inspiration. Process.

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 ...

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 ...
Why do we write?

Why Do We Write?

Why do we write? There is nothing logical about wanting to be a writer. The lives of artists can be awful, despairing, regret-filled exercises in futility. Writers and artists can be some of the ...

How Do You Identify the Dilemma in Your Story?

At the heart of every story lies a dilemma from which all tensions and conflicts arise. How do you identify the dilemma in your story? There are two ingredients: A powerful desire A false belief ...

The Difference Between Journaling and Storytelling

The difference between journaling and storytelling is context. Journaling is simply documenting what happened. Storytelling involves illustrating the meaning of what happened. Our goal as ...

Mastering the Outline

“One cannot solve a problem at the same level of consciousness that created the problem.” – Albert Einstein Many writers resist creating an outline because they fear it will limit their imagination ...

What is Genius?

What is genius? I don’t like it when people use the term genius, primarily because I think they misuse the word. I believe that genius is an aspect of our nature, rather than a character trait ...

Setting a Daily Word Count

Here’s some advice for first time writers on setting a daily word count. Consistency is the key. Set a writing goal. Can you write 750 to 1000 words a day? If you can do that, you will have a ...
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intro to the 90-day screenplay (FREE)

Join me now to begin the process of getting the story from your imagination to the page, and complete the first draft and a rewrite of your screenplay in 90 days. Zoom Meeting RecordingAccess ...

The 90-Day Memoir – Intimacy Hangover

In the first day of The 90-Day Memoir workshop the writers often have some major insights and revelations. But it is the second day that things start to get interesting. Here’s an excerpt from my ...

Begin Your Story

There are as many ways to begin your story as there are ways to procrastinate. Beginning to write your book or screenplay is easier than you think. All you have to do is sit down, get out a sheet of ...

How I Got Married

This week, Mary-Beth and I celebrated our fourteenth wedding anniversary. Getting married was a terrifying leap for me; you might call it a transformative experience. And since the cornerstone of ...

Using Your Credo to Create Story Conflict

(Image from And Justice for All, 1979) You can’t have story without conflict. As writers, it is important to investigate and become conscious of what we feel strongly about. Find those issues ...

Writing Memoir

“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” – Anne Lamott It’s funny how guilt ...

Why Writers Should Embrace Doubt

Doubt exists in each of us much of the time. We are unsure about our futures, our relationships, our new tile in the bathroom, our car insurance, etc. Doubt is the cradle of conflict, both internal ...

Make it Dramatic

“Drama is life with the dull bits cut out.” – Alfred Hitchcock The movement of a story happens as the result of complications that arise, not out of plot, but out of character and theme. As ...

Everything You Need to Know is Within

“If you have a problem with the third act, the real problem is in the first act.” – Billy Wilder The purpose of story is to reveal a transformation. This shift in perception means ...

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HOW TO BUILD A STORY

The 7 Maxims