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Advice > Best Writing 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.

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

Comedy Writer: Know Thyself!

I know a lot of comedy writers. Some are funnier than others both in daily life and on the page. More often than you’d imagine, the funniest scripts are written by men and women who aren’t that much fun to be around. They can “write” funny, but n...

Read more... | Published: 05/02/11 | by D.B. Gilles

Evolving Story

Strong story comes from so many different perspectives. There is value in every unique perspective, including your own. As storytellers, our story evolves as life moves forward. We continue to learn more about story from experiencing and interpr...

Read more... | Published: 04/05/11 | by Jen Grisanti

My Story Can Beat Up Your Story: The Missing Chapter

How embarrassing is it for a writer to forget to write a chapter of his or her own book? Especially, a book about…uh…writing? Back when my book on story structure, My Story Can Beat Up Your Story! , was in the planning stage I knew that I wa...

Read more... | Published: 04/05/11 | by Jeffrey Alan Schechter

Myth, Magic, & Metaphysics in Your Media

There’s MAGIC in the air, whether from Harry Potter’s wands or the wizards of Lord of the Rings . Ancient MYTHS come to life in modern forms from the Mayan calendar and Roland Emmerich’s 2012 to Slumdog Millionaire ’s version of Orpheus an...

Read more... | Published: 03/01/11 | by Pamela Jaye Smith

Light A Fire: Writing For Celebrity

Artists want control. Really? How refreshing! Or, are we just making up new ways of defining independent? Perhaps. If a green light comes from independent financing and not a studio, you’ve got an independent. In 2009, 36% of the total film marke...

Read more... | Published: 02/23/11 | by Hester Schell

Writing a Cinematic Scene: Now Write! Screenwriting Exercise

(Excerpt from "Now Write! Screenwriting: Screenwriting Exercises from Today's Best Writers and Teachers" , edited by Sherry Ellis & Laurie Lamson) A film, by its very nature, is a visual art form. However, I’ve found that new screenwriters ...

Read more... | Published: 02/02/11 | by Steve Duncan

The Unusual Suspects: How to Use Unconventional Industry Contacts to Launch Your Screenwriting Career

There’s a common misconception among new or ‘unrepresented’ screenwriters that only agents, managers, and producers can open Hollywood’s gates, and that without at least one of the three, it’s virtually impossible to sell a script or sidestep Holl...

Read more... | Published: 01/31/11 | by Michael Elliot

Don’t Break the Chain - Jerry Seinfeld's Method for Creative Success

When it comes to making New Year's resolutions, we writers aren't exactly the norm. Most people resolve to lose weight, dreaming of the day they can hold up their "fat jeans," as if in a weight-loss commercial. We want to hold up a few freshly p...

Read more... | Published: 01/01/14 | by The Writers Store

5 Money Making Jobs for Writers

As an aspiring novelist or screenwriter, it can be frustrating to work at a day job that doesn’t allow for much creativity. Fortunately, there are avenues you can explore for bringing in a steady stream of income that incorporates your passion for...

Read more... | Published: 01/03/11 | by Athena Hayes

Riding the Alligator: We All Have Doubts

"Imagination is more important than knowledge. For while knowledge defines all we currently know and understand, imagination points to all we might yet discover and create." - Albert Einstein YES, BUT CAN I WRITE? This chapter hopes to journe...

Read more... | Published: 12/30/10 | by Pen Densham

The Writer as God

Sick of being controlled by other people’s plans? Frustrated by rules nobody asked you about? How would you like to play God and create a world according to you? Well, you can – write a pilot! Because that’s what a pilot for an original series is:...

Read more... | Published: 12/03/10 | by Ellen Sandler

How Oscar Scripts Really Work

Whether a screenplay deserves an Oscar nomination depends on how it reads on the page and plays on the screen. But if you want to learn how Hollywood’s best screenwriters got that way, you have to begin by determining the challenges they faced at ...

Read more... | Published: 12/03/10 | by John Truby

Making your A, B, and C Stories Work in your Rewrite

In every movie of quality, there are three stories going on either simultaneously or in close proximity. One of the first things you need to look at when you approach a rewrite is to make sure all the stories are fulfilled and in the right propor...

Read more... | Published: 10/28/10 | by Paul Chitlik

How to Break in from the Outside

"How do I break in?" It’s the most often-asked question I get at classes and conferences around the country and from my clients. And honestly, I hate this question. There is no ONE answer. Everyone has a different “breaking in” story and everyone...

Read more... | Published: 10/28/10 | by Daniel Manus

7 Things Writers Need To Know About Production Budgets

Why should a writer bother to learn about production budgets? Isn't that the Production Manager's responsibility? Let me tell you why. Though the writer may not be directly involved in the business side of making the film, the script that he or sh...

Read more... | Published: 10/04/10 | by Deborah S. Patz

Platforming Strategies for Screenwriters: 21 strategies for breaking in and advancing your screenwriting career

When you write your first screenplay, the path to glory seems clear—find an agent who will get you a six-figure deal. A hundred and fifty query letters later, you’re languishing at Hollywood’s front gate. You’ve received a lot of encouragement, bu...

Read more... | Published: 10/04/10 | by David Trottier

The Dreaded Doppelgangers (or "Why I Reject Scripts About Twins Twice As Fast")

When I was in high school, there were three sets of twins – two fraternal and one identical. The latter - a pair of sisters a year ahead of me – were a particular object of fascination. What would it be like, I mused, to have a lookalike sib who e...

Read more... | Published: 09/07/10 | by Christina Hamlett

Finding the Woman’s Voice

Is there a woman’s voice in screenwriting? And if there is, how do we recognize it? If you’re a male writer, you might think this question doesn’t even apply to you. You might think this is simply a problem for women writers. Besides, how often ha...

Read more... | Published: 09/07/10 | by Helen Jacey

Write your Screenplay in 10 Minutes a Day

I know you’re busy. Trust me, I’m with you. You’ve got work, school, kids, you name it. Family counts on you, friends need you – someone’s probably e-mailing, texting or instant messaging you right now! So how in the heck are you going to find ti...

Read more... | Published: 08/03/10 | by Pilar Alessandra

Writing the TV Spec and Pilot Scripts

How can you write a memorable spec script that helps get you staffed? Why is it so hard to write a TV pilot script that not only gets you noticed, but could sell? I believe that strong writing will rise. In helping to launch countless careers, I...

Read more... | Published: 07/06/10 | by Jen Grisanti

Images and Symbols of Love, Sex, and Romance

Film, TV, games, YouTube, graphic novels, manga, comic books, murals ... it's all visual art and depends on engaging the eyes in order to engage the hearts and minds of your audience, as well as their loyalty and their purchasing power. In this ar...

Read more... | Published: 07/05/10 | by Pamela Jaye Smith

The Virgin's Promise - A New Archetypal Structure

The title The Virgin's Promise has two meanings and in a nutshell, it describes the journey of the Virgin. The first meaning is the community's belief that the Virgin has agreed to live up to their expectations. She has made a promise to them. T...

Read more... | Published: 04/05/10 | by Kim Hudson

The Compelling Question

You've slaved away for months. Your script's structure is great, the character arcs are satisfying, the premise is original, the dialogue is snappy and organic and your story has a theme. Or so you think . But what is the compelling question in...

Read more... | Published: 04/05/10 | by Julie Gray

How to Write a Screenplay: Script Writing Example & Screenwriting Tips

It's easy to feel intimidated by the thought of writing a screenplay. The rules! The formatting! The binding! Don't let the seemingly endless parade of screenwriting elements scare you away from writing your first script. Since a familiarity with ...

Read more... | Published: 03/09/10 | by Mario O. Moreno and Kay Tuxford