Screenwriting Tricks for Authors
Year: 2021

Preptober: THE MASTER LIST (part 1)

I always start my workshops and classes with the same assignment, that I call the Master List, which is one of the fastest ways I’ve ever taught to get writers instantly focused on the book they want to write. But in these pandemic days, where so many people are...

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Do you REALLY want to write a book?

It’s that time of year again… Labor Day weekend marks the beginning of fall (autumn, in the UK!). And for a lot of us, fall is optimum writing time.My natural writing cycles make me most productive in the spring and especially in the fall. It’s no surprise to me that...

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Bouchercon 2021

This is is the weekend we all would have been in New Orleans, at Bouchercon. It is unnerving, disorienting, and truly, truly heartbreaking—that the reality of Covid and Louisiana’s frightening infection rate forced the Bcon organizers to do the only responsible thing...

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Write a Book this Year!

It’s July. Is your book written yet? If so, HUZZAH!! You are a rock star! You have moved mountains and parted seas!! And if not... You have half a year left. That is PLENTY of time to get a book written and sold. I’ve done it, and I’ve seen it done, hundreds of times,...

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Writing for 5 Minutes a Day Equals a Book in a Year

I don’t think it’s said often enough that you CAN write a novel (or a script, or a TV pilot....) in whatever time you have. Even if that’s only five minutes a day. If you have kids, if you have the day job from hell, if you are clinically depressed, if there’s a...

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What Makes a Great Idea? (ASSIGNMENT #1)

When people ask, “Where do you get your ideas?”, authors tend to clam up or worse, get sarcastic - because the only real answer to that is, “Where DON’T I get ideas?” or even more to the point, “How do I turn these ideas OFF?” The thing is, “Where do you get your...

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Basic Story Elements

I hope you’ve been feeling your creative brain focusing on the story you want to tell, and that scenes and characters and dialogue have started to bubble up all through your day (and in your dreams). The thing is, a lot of what we call writing gets done in that quiet...

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Three Things You MUST Know About Your Story

Aaah, Spring! Doesn’t it just make you want to—write a book or something? Well, let’s do it! Here are three absolutely essential questions that will help crystallize what you're writing: What does your protagonist WANT? What is their PLAN to get it? Who and what is...

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Every Blade of Grass Has its Angel

We are re-emerging into the world (oh yeah, that gave me a spike of anxiety just writing it!). And I think it’s important to remember that we’re not alone with it. I’ve always loved this Talmud quote, for its powerful visual imagery and truth. We all have angels. As...

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First, the Universe Throws a Pebble…

I have so found this to be true in my own life. You know what the pebble is. Those little nudges or jolts that come when you’re doing dishes or gardening or something mindless. The ones that say - START that business. DUMP that guy. WRITE that book. And if we’re...

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