Categoryscreenwriting

Delivering on Story Promises

When you write something creative – anything creative – you have a contract with your audience. In the crucial first pages you’re setting the stage for everything to come. You need to deliver on the promises you made in the opening as the work goes on, with a fair amount of met expectations and surprises. […]

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Checkin: The Trip Animated Movie, July 2017

This marks year two since I started my journey to produce an animated movie based on THE TRIP. Animation isn’t something you enter into lightly. I estimated at the start of the project it would be three or four years before the project is finished. I think I’m on track – the primary dialog has […]

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Against the Best

Everyone feels insecure when up against the best. – Kurt Belcher, zombies, props and backgrounds, THE TRIP – THE ANIMATED MOTION PICTURE. We just recorded a session for my first feature, THE TRIP – THE ANIMATED MOTION PICTURE. I cast one of the actors because his voice fit the role, and he knew about one […]

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The Power of Music

Back when I was in college, we’d occasionally have a professor come in and play classical music while we were studying. They would tell us this helped us concentrate. These little interludes never lasted long, they made made most of us think “is this person for real?” I think there’s something to it – though […]

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Throwing the Patterns Away

I’ve mentioned story patterns before – back in On Patterns and Story we dove deep into the topic. Today I’d like to take another look at the subject and talk about when and why you should throw the patterns away. Learning the Ropes Many of us have an idea how stories work when we start […]

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What’s in a Name (Character Edition)

One of the most important things in writing fiction is choosing the names for your characters. Since this comes up on a weekly basis in several writing groups I follow, I figured it’s time for a deeper dive into naming your characters. The Best Names Are Memorable – And Unmistakable The best characters inhabiting the […]

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The Leap

This marks year two of my multi-year project to bring my novel THE TRIP to life as an animated movie. It’s been a long, tough project but I’m feeling like things are coming together nicely. I figured I’d share some updates and tips for you should you decide to tackle a project like this. Start […]

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That Which Is Not Explained

Watch enough movies and read enough books, and you’re bound to run into some ambiguous themes – where something is important to the story, quickly touched upon, and then that’s it. Audiences will go along with it if you get this right – but if you get it wrong – which is easy to do […]

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The Secret Adaptation Formula

Every so often I meet other writers who hear I write novels, comics and screenplays. They’re interested in taking their work from one format and adapting it to another. This is a great exercise and you can learn so much about writing when you do this. I saw one poster in a Facebook group I […]

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The Open Minds

It’s almost Oscar time as I’m working on this post, and a recent episode of The Creative Penn got me thinking about my journey into animation. I think the lessons would benefit some of you out there in readerland. Over the last few episodes Joanna’s guests have mentioned the fear new writers feel about their […]

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