The Last Sucky Script

When I was working on my undergrad degree I got really into scriptwriting. I took every class I could, read every book I could find and read as many scripts as I could get my…

Where to Begin

I've seen some newer writer struggle with what I call the entry point to the story. The writing may be acceptable, but things just aren't happening. The problem is the writer has entered the story…

Cut Out, Cut Back or Leave Alone

My instructor says to cut all my flashbacks out of my story because they have no place in writing. I cringed when I saw that sentence in a group I follow for aspiring writers. Here…

Dice rolling on a checkerboard

One Coincidence

There's nothing that throws the reader out of a good story more than a coincidence. While most of the time I say there are No Absolutes, this is one of the few exceptions. Avoid Coincidences…

Finger pointing at drawing of boxes on a black background

The Cool Name

Another writer asked a question of our group: she wanted to rename a common item - in this case a jetpack - and was looking for a cool name. There was all kinds of advice…

Man crouching on a rocky precipice

What Is The Big Time?

I gave a friend of mine some feedback on a script she's submitting for a fellowship this week. I pointed out what I felt were some flaws in her beat sheet and helped her get…

Football player diving into the end zone

The Goals – Part 9 in a Series

What is it about writing that I'm after? It's really never been about fame or notoriety. I kind of hate being in the spotlight and I'd probably describe myself on the shy side (though when…

But It’s…

A couple years back I met another filmmaker who had a great idea for a website. He wanted to build a LinkedIn that targeted filmmakers. I knew he had an uphill battle against an established…

Notebook on table with pen

When the Saboteur Wins – Part 6 in…

I waste so much time when Kate wins. It's ridiculous. I don't write. I usually log onto my computer thinking I'll do a quick Facebook check then write, and it quickly turns into doing all…

Classic schooner at sea

Away From the Safe Harbor

I'm coming out of a major spell of writer's block. It's been tough - for almost a year it's been difficult to make progress. Now that I'm finally moving again, I think I realize why…

Donut!

Sweet Nothing to Reward – Part 5 In…

Kate loves to disguise herself. She's a chameleon, she is. She loves to pretend to be my friends, tugging at my heart strings to make me constantly check Facebook for updates. Facebook. Ugh! How I…

Man climbing side of sheer rock

Get the Diamond Out of the Ground –…

This post is based on an exercise in Sherry Peters' Silencing Your Inner Saboteur. I can't recommend this book highly enough to writers, artists or anyone struggling with self-doubt. I'm about 1/3-1/2 of the way…

Football player diving into end zone

Just A Thousand Words

One of Sherry Peters' gems of writing advice is to set achievable writing goals. This does so many things - it gives you something to strive for and a way to keep track of your…

Man standing at sunrise with arms outstretched

The New Dawn

I just finished Sherry Peters' Silencing Your Inner Saboteur. I've bought a lot of writing books over the years, some have been awesome and some haven't been so awesome. Sherry's involvement with the Odyssey Writing…

Chess piece in foreground with shadows in background

Origin of the Saboteur – Part 2 of…

Part of the process of silencing our inner saboteur is acknowledging the events that gave rise to this thing. As in fiction, if we want to stop the monster we must understand it: part of…

Hand drawing in front of two computer monitors

We Can Edit

Get To The Fun Stuff Early on in my quest to animate THE TRIP, I got overwhelmed. At times I felt like I needed every character and every scene to be fully rigged and capable…

Man jumping to kick a punching bag

Engaging My Saboteur – Part 1 of a…

I'm a huge fan of the Odyssey Writing Workshops podcast. It's a free writing podcast, toping out at around 20 minutes that's packed full of actionable writing advice. I was poking around on their site…

To Flashback or Not Flashback

Flashbacks inevitably come up in writing discussions. It's another topic that brings out religious debate in writers - many hate them and advise against them. I don't think any tool is necessarily evil, but like…

Man's hand holding money and a cell phone

The Crowdfunding Conundrum

Watch any filmmaking group for a bit and a pattern becomes clear: these people are passionate, many are very talented, but they've got no money to fund their projects with. It's a tough spot and…

Story Discovery

In IT project management there's a phase of a project called discovery. In this phase we flesh out how we're going to tackle the problem at hand, trying to scope out possible options. Writing is…

Hourglass with sand ruinning through it

The Years Will Pass

I got into a conversation with a person in a comic book group I'm in the other day. The poster said he didn't have time to pursue his own art, so he wanted to hire…