Tips from Other Writers

I saw an interesting article in The Atlantic by Romy Oltusky.  He gathered advice from some of the most prolific (and speedy) authors.  Here are a few gems I thought were especially useful. Pulitzer nominee Joyce Carol Oates starts by creating character and setting (which she also considers to be a character).  She gives her […]

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A Modern Nursery Rhyme

In honor of my kids going back to school and the hassle of getting ready in the morning, I just thought of this modern nursery rhyme.  (BTW, I don’t actually curse at my kids!) One two, where’s your damn shoe? Three four, don’t slam the door! Five six, pick up your shit! Seven eight, now […]

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R U A Writer? Quiz

1. When you first looked at the title of this quiz, you thought: A.  This sounds like fun! B.  Why the heck can’t you write out “Are You a Writer?”  A title is not a text message! C.  Not another stupid quiz. D.  All of the above. 2. Walking down the street, a great idea […]

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Thank You, Professor Baldwin

I was recently reminiscing about one of the film classes I took as an undergraduate.  I still recall the very first short film assignment for the class.  The professor told us to create a 4-minute long, silent film.  We went to work in our teams, our creative juices flowing.  But only four minutes!  It seemed […]

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Unspoken Goals

I just read a timely article about character development, Jeanne Veillette Bowerman’s “Balls of Steel: Therapy for Your Characters” in scriptmag.  I like how she says your charcters should be making different choices at the end than in the opening scenes.  She dares us to push our characters, calling on our own wounds to guide […]

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Hope Springs

Ah, Meryl.  You did it again.  Meryl Streep was superb as Kay in Hope Springs.  I saw it last night, and while the film was slow for me at points (a bit like an In Treatment episode), the subtext Meryl can give a scene with deft use of an awkward hand movement, a slight smile, […]

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Complex Characters

Writer/director Rodrigo Garcia is featured on the newest episode of KLRU’s On Story.  The interview comes from his presentation at the Austin Film Festival session, which I attended this past fall.  Into the video at 8:30 is one of my favorite recommendations from him, and in fact it was given in response to a question […]

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Fresh Me vs. Old Me

I was just listening to Jenna Milly of screenwritingu interview screenwriter Vanessa Taylor about Hope Springs, the new romantic comedy starring Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones.  It’s a pretty short interview.  I like Vanessa’s advice on writing a spec script when you’re starting out and trying to find your unique voice.  She says to […]

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Finding the Time

Often I only have a few minutes during the day when I can finagle the time to write. Having been a parent for a while, I’ve actually gained some skills in focusing despite distractions.  Heck, I can even keep writing for a while with the kids fussing and fighting nearby.  I’ve got plenty of crafty […]

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Introductions

I keep editing the brief introduction to my main character in the comedy feature I’m working on.  I can’t stop making changes.  I’ve got to pull it together, really.  I must make a final decision.  I just feel like I’m introducing her to the world in that first scene, and I want to get it […]

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