screenplay

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 your 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

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. But sometimes we discover that it’s not happening the way we had...
Writing Tip - How to Show and Tell

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

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 “important tasks” distract you and pull you away from your deeper purpose? Fantasy football sounds like a hoot, but if it is...
Humor in Writing

Humor in Writing

There is nothing less funny than writing about humor. I was a standup comic for years. 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

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?

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?

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

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

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...
Why Writers Should Embrace Doubt

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

Make it Dramatic

“Drama is life with the dull bits cut out.” – Alfred Hitchcock Story moves as the result of complications that arise, not out of plot, but out of character and theme. As our protagonist attempts...
Everything You Need to Know is Within

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 a...
Act One - Maintaining Tension

Act One: Maintaining Tension

“A writer writes not because he is educated but because he is driven by the need to communicate. Behind the need to communicate is the need to share. Behind the need to share is the need to be...
The End of the Story Informs the Beginning

The End of the Story Informs the Beginning

In Steven Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he states: “Begin with the end in mind.” For first-time writers, this is helpful advice. But let’s clarify. When we talk about “the...

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