INSIDE THE ART, CRAFT AND BUSINESS OF WRITING for Film, TV, Books, Stage, Print or Digital Media (with Particular Attention to Comedy)

Space Talk: What Astronauts Can Teach You About Writing Dialog

Thanks to 101books for this funny post on what the astronauts can teach us about writing dialog. 101 Books doesn’t specify, but I’d say this excellent snippet of dialog can … Continue reading

May 2, 2013 · Leave a comment

Why I Love Index Cards as a Writing Tool (Pt. 2): Full-Color Edition

Writing doesn’t always look like ‘writing’. For the last 2-3 weeks, my work on the current screenplay has consisted of staring at a wall of index cards (in photo at … Continue reading

April 11, 2013 · 7 Comments

How To Get Feedback on Your Draft

“Don’t pay any attention to the critics—don’t even ignore them.”  — Samuel Goldwyn 1.  Get feedback BEFORE re-reading your draft (if you can possibly wait) 2.  Ask for the kind of feedback you … Continue reading

March 21, 2013 · 2 Comments

When to Stop Rewriting (Pt. 1): Don’t Be a Chicken

If you can’t tell whether a scene is better before or after that 4th rewrite, stop. Like a doctor who takes the Hippocratic Oath, rewriters should “first do no harm”. … Continue reading

March 18, 2013 · 1 Comment

Rewrite Desk: 4 Reasons to Cut Something and 14 Things to Cut

“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” — Michelangelo I’m a cutter. I love deleting. Sometimes I don’t wait to re-plan the rewrite. Sometimes … Continue reading

March 10, 2013 · 2 Comments

Do you really want to call it “DEATH of a Salesman”? (Even Arthur Miller Got Notes)

Screenwriter Nicholas Kazan wrote a memorable article for the Writer’s Guild Magazine about receiving notes. His father features in the story, which revolves around the first draft of Arthur Miller’s … Continue reading

March 7, 2013 · Leave a comment

How the Kingdom Came: Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola on Collaboration

Writing partners can be tricky, time-consuming and problematic, but when it works, it works. It worked for Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola, who co-wrote Moonrise Kingdom. They talked about the … Continue reading

February 17, 2013 · Leave a comment

Think You’ve Re-Written Your Scene Enough? Tony Kushner on Re-Writing “Lincoln”

Playwright/screenwriter Tony Kushner (“Angels in America”) got nominated for an Oscar for his dense, literary and poetic screenplay of “Lincoln” (adapted from Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book “Team of Rivals), but … Continue reading

February 5, 2013 · 1 Comment

“How To Be A Writer Who Writes” – Strategies and Tactics to Start and Finish Your Book or Script!

“YOU WANNA WRITE? READ THIS” – Marc Weingarten (author of “The Gang That Wouldn’t Write Straight”) “INFINITELY PRACTICAL” – Terri Jentz (author of “Strange Piece of Paradise”) “WITTY, WISE AND … Continue reading

January 10, 2013 · 5 Comments

Evolution of a Classic: Paddy Chayefsky’s Creative Path To “Network”

You may find it vaguely reassuring to know that the earliest rough drafts of even a brilliant script like “Network” were, well… rough. This great article from the NY Times … Continue reading

January 10, 2013 · Leave a comment

A Rose By Any Other Name

Don’t underestimate the power of a good character name. The name is usually the first thing the reader knows about the character. It is our first impression. I can tell … Continue reading

December 27, 2012 · 1 Comment