Archive for On Writing

Screenwriters – be egoless!

// October 8th, 2014 // No Comments » // On Writing

I belong to a Screenwriting forum and this is the number one issue. Ego. It’s thrown around like a badge of honor and it’s not.

Get rid of your ego! Be “EGOLESS!”10701998_10152752974073529_55326401400905867_n

Seems like everyone wants to be the ‘authority’ of screenwriting rules and how it’s done when the bottom line is – “Don’t try to be right – just do it right.”

Here’s some of those ego-driven hard fast rules that some screenwriters stand by and can NEVER let go of:

Don’t use Voice Overs… ever!
Don’t use camera angles/direction… ever!
Don’t break the 4th wall… ever!

Here’s what should be taught. (more…)

How to Write a Script 10 Mistakes to Avoid

// May 15th, 2014 // No Comments » // On Writing

once upon a time

New screenwriters beware! If you are not in Screenwriting 101 you better be reading successful, well written screenplays and reading all the beginner screenwriting books you can find. I have to emphasize reading ‘well-written’ screenplays. Yes, it’s a crazy game out there and you’ll find some well-written screenplays that never hit the screen, and great movies with a poorly written (non standard) screenplay.

Why is this? Well, the successful film with a poorly written (as in the technical aspects of screenplay format) is not necessarily a bad script. Sometimes it is not ‘industry standard’ so-to-speak, as the writer is the director, the director is the writer, and/or the writer and director have ‘their way’ of doing things, etc.

How to Write a Script 10 Mistakes to Avoid

As a neophyte screenwriter, follow the screenwriting format rules first – then, if you need to – break them!

Here are ten mistakes to avoid when writing your screenplay. (more…)

DadWithAPen’s Rigamarole on Writing Theme

// February 17th, 2014 // No Comments » // On Writing

Lawrence Konner on themeOne thing I try to do when writing a scene is to take the theme and try to get it to represent itself in every character from major character to minor character. As all the scenes add up in a feature, the theme should drip from every scene whether its on the nose or through subtext.

So when given an assignment of ‘a scene’ or a short or even a feature, I try to approach each scene with the theme I feel the complete story is supposed to represent. Of course its my take on the theme because everyone has a different view on a theme of a story on any particular day.

theme (from dictionary.com)

  • A topic of discourse or discussion.
  • A subject of artistic representation.
  • An implicit or recurrent idea; a motif: a theme of powerlessness that runs through the diary; a party with a tropical island theme.
  • A short composition assigned to a student as a writing exercise.
  • Music. The principal melodic phrase in a composition, especially a melody forming the basis of a set of variations.
  • Linguistics. A stem.
  • Linguistics.

DadWithAPen’s Rigamarole on Writing Theme

If the theme is LOVE CONQUERS ALL, or FEAR OF SUCCESS, or MONEY IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL, then every scene in my screenplay should have some sense of that theme when I write it. EVERY SCENE! When all the scenes are finally put together, the script should drip of this theme! Others may interpret it completely different than me, but as I write, I write from that theme. If you break down every scene in successful movies, you’ll find one resounding theme that links every scene together. It’s the ‘thematic’ throughline so-to-speak! (more…)

What are 100 Things You Love?

// February 15th, 2014 // No Comments » // On Writing

righttowriteCan you make a list of 100 things you love? It takes time to do this. And part of writing is actually taking the time to sit down and do things. It might seem tedious or useless, but the practice is just doing it. And getting use to it.

In Julia Cameron’s book, “The Right to Write”, the chapter on DRAMA instructs the writer to set aside thirty minutes and list 100 things that they love. Then keep a copy of this list and pull it out and read it whenever stress strikes. It will connect you to the sense of well-being apart from the current drama.

I passed over this chapter assignment and read on to other chapters. I’ve followed each chapter and its writing assignments (not always in order) but this one kept nagging at me as I thought it was a waste of time. I mean, 100 things? That’s a long list that I might not be able to complete. I felt guilty for not doing the assignment.

So, today, as quickly as I can, I will list them. From 1 to 100. From the top of my head, here are the 100 things that I love.

What are 100 Things You Love?

 

Here’s my list as fast as I can list ’em… (more…)

“Different Shades of Pink” 2009 (my Valentine’s Day Short Story Exercise)

// February 14th, 2014 // No Comments » // On Writing

Happy-Valentines-DayHere’s an old short I wrote a while back. It was based on a writing prompt: “She smelled like the lemon sherbet that melted all over my kitchen counter the other night.” 

It turned into this… it was kinda free from, no real edits or rewrites – it is what it is. An exercise in writing.

Enjoy and… Happy Valentine’s Day.

Different Shades of Pink

I was dressed in a completely inappropriate shade of pink. My color scheme has never been my strength and when they said to wear pink, I had to find the only pink think I owned. It was a blouse stuffed way back on a shelf with other ‘old clothes for the garage’ cloths. I actually did not pick it because, first, I hate pink and second, it’s the only pink blouse I had. It was by necessity and not by choice. I grabbed at it knowing exactly where it was: three from the bottom. (more…)

Stop! Write Something Else! Write Badly!

// February 10th, 2014 // No Comments » // On Writing

writers-block-1The only sure fire way to prevent writer’s block is to write. Plain and simple: you need to write. Writer’s block is a phenomenon where a writer loses the ability to produce new work. It can be incredibly intense: where writers are unable to work for years, and some stop writing altogether.

Here are 3 valuable tips on preventing writer’s block from taking over your passion.

3 Tips to Prevent Writer’s Block

1. Stop writing
2. Write something else
3. Write badly with pride

“Keep scribbling! Something will happen.” Frank McCourt

1. Stop writing.

To prevent writer’s block you need to write. But here is the contradiction to that obvious statement: stop writing before you have written all you needed to write. (more…)

3 Tips on Writing for Teens

// January 17th, 2014 // No Comments » // On Writing

Another article for the YA writer that was on another blog: 3 tips on writing for teens:

hobbitSometimes keeping up-to-date with today’s teens is like making sure you know what the next best video game is or the next teenage rock star is singing about. That’s fine – but in order to write for them, its an even bigger challenge. It is tough enough getting teens to read ‘our’ fantasy/sci-fi classics: like “The Hobbit”, “The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe”, or even the classics like, “Tom Sawyer” or “Catcher in the Rye”. They don’t know what they are missing – unless they are forced or ‘required’ to read them.

And I doubt most teachers are having Young Adults read the Harry Potter series or the Twilight series – but this is how to understand how to write books for teens. Most importantly: What’s hot and trendy!

Here are 3 tips on writing for teens:

1. Trendy now may not be trendy tomorrow.
2. Know what the daily conversations are about.
3. Be a teen.

Keeping each tip in mind on a daily basis, especially as a Young Adult writer, will help you develop subject matters that teens will ‘go for’, and hopefully, create the tipping point for your book as a top seller and eventual movie deal! (more…)

How to Overcome Procrastination

// January 16th, 2014 // No Comments » // On Writing

This article, “How to Overcome Procrastination”, as another one of my writing tip articles from another website. Enjoy!

How to Overcome Procrastination

best advice - writeWhat leads to writer’s block? It’s the same thing that leads to failure in every aspect in life – its called, “procrastination”. Procrastination will kill you – it will kill your work as a writer, and it will kill the chances of success! As a writer, you need to know how to overcome procrastination!

Procrastination is unavoidable – so we think. To overcome procrastination, just make a list of all the things you could have accomplished if you had not procrastinated! This is your list of failures! Are you a failure? No! If you aren’t, then work on that list and turn them into a list of goals!

Successful people have goals! Winners have goals! Goals lead to success!

One day of procrastination can lead to a month of failures – because one day of procrastination as a writer will lead to another day. That day will lead to a week, then a month. Once a year of procrastination sets in, how hard do you think it is to get back on track? It is hard!

Be accountable to your responsibility as a writer. Wear the title well – if you do not writer, you are not a writer. It is plain and simple. If you want to be a writer you need to write instead of procrastinating!

If you are accountable to your mortgage, and you have to write to pay your mortgage, you have hung something on that responsibility and now have to take ownership for it. Hang something on your responsibility as a writer and take ownership for every page written and unwritten! (more…)

Writer’s Block – Stuck on a story then ask for help!

// January 15th, 2014 // No Comments » // On Writing

This article, “Writer’s Block – Stuck on a story then ask for help!”, is another article from a previous Writing Website – it’s mine so here it is on my blog!

Writer’s Block – Stuck on a story then ask for help!

writers blockWriting can be a very lonely profession. You may be stuck in a dark room, all alone, bread and water as your only nourishment, and only ‘you’ know what is going on in your head. The blood, the sweat, the tears – all internal struggles, and the demons like writer’s block are out there to get you. Before you know it – you are stuck. And you have no way out!

But it does not always have to be that lonely. Sure, nobody understands your plight. But they can help your goals if you first, check your ego at the door! This is a great first step to get out of Writer’s Block!

Your ego can get in the way of your writing success! Whether it is a six-figure screenplay option, or a 400 page article that you can’t seem to find the right title for, your ego will often get in the way of your opportunity for success! So here’s the key to coming up with ideas for your writing when you are stuck.

Cure your Writer’s Block by checking your ego at the door and ask for help!

Yes, you don’t have to do it alone! Asking for help can get you out of some serious writing mud! Got Writer’s Block? Ask for help! (more…)