Tagstory

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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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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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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How Much Description?

I don’t see people talk often about how much you need to describe your characters, to this time around let’s talk about it. The rules are different across screenplays and prose – if you don’t work in both, or you’re moving from one to the other, it’s important to understand the differences. When you’re working […]

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The Hard Road

A friend of mine is working on a horror story. In it he has a female protagonist and he questioned whether the trials he was putting her through were too tough…so let’s explore what we call The Story Arc I touched on this back in Work for It. As writers we create characters, put them […]

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Chappie: Robot Scifi Done Well

I was a huge fan of DISTRICT 9, and when I saw Neill Blomkamp was directing another scifi feature I hoped it would deliver on the high quality of his previous film. I was not disappointed. Chappie (2015) – Written By Neill Blomkamp, Terry TatchellPhoto: IMDB Chappie (2015) follows the adventures of an unlikely group […]

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Story Anti-Patterns – And How to Fix Them

In programming we have a concept called an anti-pattern. This is a flawed approach at fixing a problem that causes more problems than the original issue it attempted to fix. Because of their ubiquitous nature, they’re pretty well documented (read: lots of people do this). When it comes to writing there are some anti-patters to […]

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My Writing Bookshelf

I’ve been writing most of my life, and seeing as I’ve been around a while I’ve managed to read lots of writing books. Some are good, but a few have really left a mark on me. I figured I’d round up some of my favorites in this post with a little detail about them. These […]

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