The Multi-Camera Sitcom

I’ve written a spec Modern Family and an original drama pilot. But I was itching to create an original spec comedy pilot. So after brainstorming, I came up with an idea I was excited about, which includes a character to be portrayed by a stand-up comedian. Specifically Ralphie May, or perhaps a comedy actor of […]


Thinking On Your Feet

On the first day of the level 1 improv class I’m taking, several of the other students mentioned better communication and confidence as their reasons for being there. Improv courses are not only for comedians. People are going to improv classes for all sorts of reasons. Companies and colleges are getting in on the action […]


Silver Linings Playbook, Subtext and Character Development

SPOILER ALERT: Movie Plot Discussed I highly recommend Silver Linings Playbook, if anyone has not yet seen it. One of the things I love most about the movie is the wonderful character arc of Pat, played by Bradley Cooper. The story (script by David O. Russell available here) allows us to experience his evolution, from […]


New Year, New Goals

How are those New Year’s writing resolutions going? Maybe you’ve already stumbled and feel like giving up on your new goals. Experts say to give yourself permission to slip up now and then. But maybe it’s time to take a second look at your writing goals. Are your goals realistic? Objectives should be small and […]


Stories From the Road

My family of five recently completed a 2000-mile road trip. I’m lucky to still be sane. Although I must say that the things you see along the highways and byways of America can be really humorous and inspirational. Especially for a writer. Here are a few of my observations that got me thinking… CHUNKY, MISSISSIPPI […]


Patience and Persistence

Writers must have thick skins and the ability to handle criticism. But what about outright rejection? We’ve all heard the stories of authors whose tenacity eventually paid off. This article says some recent studies found that rejection can actually increase creativity. That’s good news for those of us who are dealing with disappointments. And here […]


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 […]


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 […]