Character Quirks

I discovered that one of my main characters had been hiding an unusual fear. I’m so glad I realized this! Great conflicts and embarrassing moments are arising from the addition of this character quirk. Here are two sites to get you started with brainstorming about character traits: a character development quiz with over a hundred […]


Dialogue in Action – Wedding Crashers

I was just reading the Wedding Crashers screenplay by Steve Faber & Bob Fisher. The version in the link is obviously an early one. There were quite a few changes made before the movie was shot.  For example, the expanded character of Chazz Reinhold (played by Will Ferrell) was not yet added. In comparing the […]


Perks of Being a Parent

Sure, there are times when I wish my life was less kid-centric. But Christmas is an awesome time of year to have kids. Making Christmas lists…trips to see Santa…decorating gingerbread men… It reminds me to appreciate all the kid stuff I get to secretly enjoy year-round. Here are just a few other perks of being […]


A Four-Course Meal

Some great tips from John August and Craig Mazin on Scriptnotes, ep. 65 today. They talked about what they often find lacking in scripts and included suggestions for handling these shortcomings.  As Craig pointed out, you could almost get a film degree from online lectures such as this. They are indeed a valuable resource. I […]


Staying in the Zone

Imagine you are a pitcher stepping up to the mound. The pounding of your heart muffled only by the roar of the crowd. The batter waits. But just before the baseball escapes from your fingertips, the familiar suddenly becomes unfamiliar. You are overly conscious of your motions, your pitch flies wildly. You choke. A pitcher’s […]


Character Fireworks

There was a lively discussion on Scriptchat two days ago with guest Scott Myers. The topic was character-driven screenwriting. I joined in with the other busily-tweeting screenwriters near the end of the chat and was amazed at the great info flying around. On a related note, I have recently been discovering how a minor scene […]


In Honor of the Election, A Story

A New Beginning She startled awake and looked around, wild-eyed, forgetting for a moment where she was.  The flickering TV cast a cold light over the room.  One AM.   She hadn’t slept for long.  She lay on her back with her head tilted awkwardly on the hard foam pillow and gazed down at her belly.  […]


Scene Transitions and The Wedding Planner

John August and Craig Mazin took on the topic of scene transitions recently in Scriptnotes Ep. 61. They were inspired upon noticing a Terry Rossio-led discussion in the Austin Film Festival (AFF) listings. (To learn about Terry Rossio’s other AFF session, see my previous post.) While Terry Rossio calls the scene transition “the throw,”  John […]


Considering the Actor

I was fortunate to attend a “Revisions” session with screenwriter Terry Rossio at the recent Austin Film Festival. Since then, I’ve been eagerly using my new found wisdom. One idea from Terry that really resonated with me is how to take the actor into consideration when writing. Here are a few of Terry Rossio’s tips […]


Four Comedians Talk Writing Process

Jumping jacks to facilitate blood flow to the brain? A rigorous daily writing ritual? Sometimes it’s hard to know what the best process is for writing. Four comedy writers shared their own writing processes at a recent Austin Film Festival panel. Larry Doyle, former writer/director for The Simpsons and writer of I Love You, Beth […]