Archive | August, 2009

Subject Matter: The Legal Thriller

You might not like it, but I just have to say it: My advice with legal thrillers is “just say no.” Legal thrillers can be completely amazing, but this genre is pretty well tapped out. We’ve now birthed three solid generations of “Law and Order” and franchise viewers, as well as two strong generations of […]

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Subject Matter: Be Fresh

Let’s take a fresh look at writing “fresh” subject matter. Subject matter is key, because there is a tremendous amount of material out there that doesn’t bring something that feels new or unique to the table. There is no fresh take on the material. Hollywood doesn’t really want something totally new. This is for a […]

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2009 CineStory Screenwriting Awards: Enter Now!

The 2009 CineStory Screenwriting Awards are now accepting submissions. CineStory is a very unique non-profit that mentors writers to help them improve their craft and workshop their writing with industry professionals. This is a fantastic organization and worth entering the competition. Competition winners are invited to a special retreat in Idyllwild where they will work […]

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Playing With Ideas: Part II

This next information might seem completely basic to you, but take note. Some of my best ideas come in just a fragment of a thought. It might not even be a complete thought. It might just be one small thing, that later connects to another small thing, and then once the connections start, something evolves. […]

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Playing With Ideas: Part I

I guess lately I’m in the zone, because I feel like every time I talk with someone I end up giggling like an idiot and saying, “Hey, that would make a great starting concept for a movie.” Of course, I don’t generally point this out to other writers. Well, sometimes. But, non-writers usually tilt their […]

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Our Universal Theme

It’s said that every writer has a universal theme. We write about what we’re working on emotionally in our lives. It is our own personal fatal flaw, that one issue that we’re unable to move past. Likely the thing from our developmental years that torments us. Real or imagined, it doesn’t matter. It’s that thing […]

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Don’t Sit on Your Ideas

I have a lot if ideas. I find an idea in everything. Sometimes I can come up with an idea years before I actually sit down to write it. They sort of kick around in my head while they gel, but then once the characters start nagging me, I know it’s time for them to […]

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We Write to our Weaknesses

I’m still in the stage wherein every time I embark upon a new project, I’m teaching myself something about the technical process of writing and also about the human experience. I think the greatest gift a writer can give is in illuminating the human experience in a fresh or unique way, and in the experience […]

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The Importance of a Writers’ Group

I am a huge advocate of the peer writers’ group. Finding a supportive and encouraging peer writers’ group is really important. This is critical to growing as an artist. I can’t recommend having a group enough. I was in a bad way last night and had a pep talk with a friend from my writers’ […]

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2009 Final Draft “Big Break” Competition Semifinalists Announced

The 2009 Final Draft “Big Break” Competition semifinalists have been announced. 2009 SEMIFINALISTS (listed in alphabetical order) * Joseph Balczo, Valencia, CA & David Bricker, Henderson, NV — Abducting Christmas * Nathan Blackwell, Phoenix, AZ — Transgalactic Zoo * Karen Briner, Los Angeles, CA — Amanzi * Mary Casavant, New York, NY — Judgey * […]

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Go See “Julie & Julia” in Theatres

Congratulations to Amy Robinson, Dana Stevens, Nora Ephron and Julie Powell on the brilliant success of “Julie & Julia.” I loved this movie. Meryl Streep’s performance is incredible, and this story is so touching and relevant to today. Julia Child was one of the original career women, and I think all us working girls who’ve […]

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