I recently took on a position as a script coordinator for a TV show. One of my jobs is to take the original scripts and put them into correct formatting in Final Draft. The show is a sketch comedy show and the writers are all students. I imagine that most of them are not dramatic writing students because for most of the scripts, the formatting is nowhere near close to correct. The poor formatting doesn’t bother me because that’s my job to make it right, but it has caused me to consider the importance of proper formatting for writers. Knowing how to correctly format your work could be the difference between getting that job/contract or getting denied. Continue reading “Looks Matter…When It Comes to Writing”
A common word of wisdom in the writing community is to write what you know. This advice may seem overly simple or even boring, but the more I grow as a writer, the more I am coming to understand what this phrase really means. Continue reading “Write What You Know”
I have a confession: I’m an emotional reader. I get “all into my feelings” while reading, and it’s very easy for authors to upset me with their writing decisions. After a chapter in, I’m a part of the story. I know these characters, they now live in my world (or I live in theirs), so I take it very personally when the author doesn’t give me enough of their story to satisfy me or ends the book in a way that leaves me hanging. Continue reading “Recover Your Fumbles”
In my playwriting class, we discussed protagonists and how to select one. After class, the conversation continued as a classmate and I debated about which character in her play should be the protagonist and how soon in the story should the protagonist appear. The protagonist is the main character of a story and from whose perspective the audience follows. It is essential that writers select the best character to be the protagonist based on the kind of story or message the writer wants to communicate. Each character brings a different world view to the story; therefore, the story itself will change significantly depending upon who is telling it. For example, most people have seen at least one of the Annie films or plays. Annie is the protagonist so it is her perspective that we follow. But what if the story were told from Daddy Warbucks’ point of view, or even Miss. Hannigan? Continue reading “Look at Me! Your Attention-Seeking Protagonist”
Over the weekend, I spoke with a book club who selected my most recent novel, Suicide Watch, as their book-of-the-month. During our discussion, the first question asked to me by a book club member was, “Is there going to be a sequel?” I was prepared for the inquiry since this is the one question I can always depend on someone asking when I meet a group of readers. As a novelist, if you have a halfway decent book, be ready to address the idea of turning your novel into a series.
As a book writer, most ideas come organically. Continue reading “Novels, and Sequels, and Series, Oh My!”
A couple of days ago, I found myself watching an oldie-but-goodie movie, Harlem Nights. I own the DVD of this movie and have watched it a zillion times, so I’m familiar with the scenes and even much of the dialogue. Yet, now that I’ve journeyed into the world of screenwriting, I find myself paying attention to aspects of movies and TV that I’ve never considered before. I “listen” to the writing (if that makes any sense) rather than simply allowing myself to be entertained by the sound and appearance of it.
So back to Harlem Nights…I was watching it for the gazillionth time, and all of a sudden, I felt surprised. Continue reading “Who Wrote That?”
Recently, I started taking a playwriting course. After the first couple of classes, I noticed that I was struggling with my creativity. While others in the course seemed to be enjoying the freedom of writing with less rules and more dramatics, it was difficult for me to make the transition from novel and screenwriting to playwriting. I was so focused on my work being good that it stifled my flow. My instructor repeatedly urged us to “write from the gut,” but my somewhat Type A personality didn’t like that idea one bit. My brain has all of the skills, and I might be able to give partial credit to my heart, but my gut? Nope.
By the third class, I’d pinpointed my issue and was determined to overcome it. Continue reading “Have You Given Yourself Permission to Write?”