screenplay

Blind Spots in Your Story

It is human to have blind spots, and often convenient to be in denial about certain aspects of ourselves. This is natural, or, at least, common. Humans are not logical, and stories both great and wild ...

On Writing Dialogue

“If you have a good ear for dialogue, you just can’t help thinking about the way people talk. You’re drawn to it. And the obsessive interest in it forces you to develop it. You almost can’t help ...

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. ...
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 ...
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 ...

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 ...

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 ...
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 ...

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 ...

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 ...
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 most ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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