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Advice > Writers Advice from Writing Experts

Soak up knowledge as writing experts divulge insider secrets and tips to help screenwriters, playwrights and filmmakers everywhere with expert writing advice needed to help hone the craft of writing. Whether it be novel writing advice, writer interviews, screenwriting advice articles, or general screenwriting help that is desired, these writing experts are focused on helping writers everywhere further their skills in every facet of writing.

For Writers: The Importance of Being a Multi-Hyphenate

George Clooney, Ben Stiller, Jon Favreau; just a few of Hollywood’s actor-writer-director multi-hyphenates whose careers offer the lesson that to prosper in show business, not to mention fully express your creative vision, it helps to be a “triple...

Read more... | Published: 03/19/12 | by Jonathan Leigh Solomon

The Types of Monster Movies

The Monster story is one of the favorite types of Myth Archetype: the main character goes through an Outer Story, and that Outer Story symbolizes an Inner Story of emotional change.  Monster stories have been popular for centuries. Initially...

Read more... | Published: 01/10/12 | by Sandy Frank

6 Lies of Film Distribution

One of the major Achilles’ heels for film producers and directors is the distribution game. Once you’ve made your movie, what do you do? How do you play the game? What strategies do you employ? Is there even a strategy? Well, there’s good news an...

Read more... | Published: 01/10/12 | by Jerome Courshon

Now Write! Mysteries Excerpt: Planting a Seed

Reading a great mystery novel is a lot like horseback riding. Sometimes, you’re cautiously slow-walking on unfamiliar turf. Other times, you’re head-bobbling-wobbling trotting. Then there are those times when you’re whooshing along on a take-your-...

Read more... | Published: 12/19/11 | by Gerard Bianco

The Internal Drive of the Story

Understanding the internal side of your story conveys to your audience the depth that is felt emotionally and spiritually. Two authors, Jennifer Grisanti and Kim Hudson, offer insight into how to write the internal story into your screenplays and...

Read more... | Published: 12/06/11 | by Jen Grisanti and Kim Hudson

Why It's Great to be a Storyteller

Let’s just say it ain’t for the faint of heart. Storytellers work exhausting days, ever searching for that gem of an idea or character or plot. Never settling for the almost-right word. Spitballing, outlining, writing, rewriting, rewriting. And...

Read more... | Published: 12/06/11 | by Eric Edson

On the 10th Anniversary Edition of "The 101 Habits of Successful Screenwriters"

Ten years ago, I wrote a little book called The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriters and it literally changed my life. When I set out to write it, I just wanted to learn from successful writers. I wanted to pick their brains and mod...

Read more... | Published: 11/22/11 | by Karl Iglesias

What is a Treatment, and why do I need one?

If you’ve ever asked those questions, you aren’t alone. In the world of synopses, one-pagers, beat sheets, outlines and drafts, treatments can get lost in the shuffle. Writers often forego the treatment process altogether – which is a huge mista...

Read more... | Published: 11/20/11 | by Micki Grover

"Toy Story 3" Save the Cat! Beat Sheet

The 15 beats to the Disney Pixar hit are provided by Master Cat! Ben Frahm. Printed with the Permission of Blake Snyder Enterprises, LLC. Opening Image (1) We’re reintroduced to all of our favorite characters, Woody, Buzz, and friends, in an...

Read more... | Published: 11/01/11 | by Save the Cat! Press

Something Startling Happens (The Missing Chapter)

When The Writers Store asked me to write a "missing chapter" for my book, I immediately knew what I wanted to cover! You see, in Something Startling Happens: The 120 Story Beats Every Writer Needs To Know , I focus on the minute-by-minute bea...

Read more... | Published: 11/01/11 | by Todd Klick

Sure. Fired!

Aspiring comedy writers spend years grinding away as P.A.s, pounding out spec script after spec script and dreaming of TV’s holy grail: a staff writing job. Then finally, they get the job! On staff of a prime time TV show. And something happens...

Read more... | Published: 10/17/11 | by Ellen Sandler

I Wrote, I Worried, I Pitched

You’ve been practicing your pitch for weeks: You’ve established a unique protagonist, given him a something he wants with a passion and even better, you’ve created a compelling antagonist. You’ve practiced making eye contact. You know this story b...

Read more... | Published: 10/04/11 | by Peter Desberg and Jeffrey Davis

Deconstructing the Protagonist

Writing a first draft all the way through to the end gives you knowledge about the climax of the story. The climax is the point of highest drama in your story, the crowning moment when the thematic significance or deeper meaning becomes clear to t...

Read more... | Published: 10/03/11 | by Martha Alderson, M.A.

The Real Objective

Screenwriters do not write movies. Screenwriters write scripts. And scripts are not movies. Movie audiences are people sitting in a theater, or at home, having a visual experience complete with actors, music, directing, editing and perhaps di...

Read more... | Published: 09/21/11 | by Corey Mandell

What's More Important: Character or Story?

Doesn’t it seem as if a new screenwriting book is published every twenty minutes? I bear no small portion of the blame, as my third such tome burdened bookstore shelves just last year. What’s left for me now to write except a book about writing ...

Read more... | Published: 09/06/11 | by Richard Walter

A Missing Trick from The Bag of Tricks: How Writers Can Meet Their Characters Before They Write Them

My recently released book, The Film Director’s Bag of Tricks: How to Get What You Want from Writers and Actors , was obviously designed for directors. But this book is only one leg of the triangle. How about: Actors getting what they need from ...

Read more... | Published: 09/06/11 | by Mark Travis

They Shoot Screenwriters, Don't They?

How many screenplays do you have to write before you throw in the towel and delete your screenwriting program from your computer? 17? 12? 3? It depends on how seriously you take your screenwriting career--even if you don’t technically have a care...

Read more... | Published: 08/16/11 | by D.B. Gilles

Five Great Reasons Why Writers Should Consider Reality Television

The reality of reality is that the genre may be the most often overlooked option when it comes to careers in storytelling. While the debate about whether or not reality television is “written” rages on, the real skinny is that story is story, and ...

Read more... | Published: 08/02/11 | by Troy DeVolld

Don't Say "Networking": A Discussion With Kathie Fong Yoneda & Ellen Sandler

KATHIE FONG YONEDA: Everybody knows that getting hired in this business is about who you know. So, Ellen, you’ve been hired to write on over twenty shows, how do you get to know people and even more important, how do people get to know you? What ...

Read more... | Published: 07/14/11 | by Ellen Sandler and Kathie Fong Yoneda

Meet Your New Swiss Army Knife: Use The Four Magic Questions of Screenwriting to Structure Your Screenplay Fast

Most of us have read quite a few books on screenwriting, attended classes, watched videos and perhaps even had some success selling our screenplays. Somehow, the best process for structuring a screenplay or TV show remains elusive, so we contin...

Read more... | Published: 07/05/11

Questions Writers Frequently Ask Directors

Q: I can “see” the movie in my head as I write it. Why can’t the director see it too? A: You’ve heard of “the director’s vision”? The director CAN see the film before a single frame is shot, but since he or she is a unique individual, as ar...

Read more... | Published: 07/03/11 | by Bethany Rooney and Mary Lou Belli

Q&A With Syd Field

How much thought do you think writers should invest in terms of tracking the broad strokes of the protagonist’s emotional journey when structuring the story? I think all screenwriters should know the emotional journey from beginning to end. If y...

Read more... | Published: 06/20/11 | by Syd Field

5 Keys to Writing a Summer Blockbuster

It used to be that summer was the season for blockbuster movies. Now it’s a year-round phenomenon. Hollywood is in the business of selling films to a worldwide audience, which means they are always looking for a script with blockbuster potential. ...

Read more... | Published: 06/13/11 | by John Truby

A Call to Arms (In the War Between Art and Survival)

This is not an article revealing The Three Secrets To Financing Your Independent Film or How To Network With Hollywood Big-Shots or How To Write A Hit Movie In Four Hours. There are plenty of books, DVDs, and classes for that, and they have their ...

Read more... | Published: 06/07/11 | by Carl King

Why TV and Screen Writers Should Create For the Net

(adapted in part from his book Byte-Sized Television: Create Your Own TV Series for the Internet) Let’s say your dream is to write the next Oscar-winning script like Up in the Air , or to create the next groundbreaking TV series like Modern Fa...

Read more... | Published: 06/07/11 | by Ross Brown