The Beauty of Bandwagons (SPOILER FREE!)

Over the years, my dad has talked to me about major moments in television and movie history that he lived through. He’s told me about the shock that was the M*A*S*H finale. He’s told me about the “who shot JR” episode of Dallas. His eyes light up when he tries to explain how mind-blowing it was to see Star Wars: A New Hope in 1977, when such a film was … Continue reading The Beauty of Bandwagons (SPOILER FREE!)

Writing On Writing: Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions

In a previous blot post, I mentioned how I thought writers should familiarize themselves with behavioral sciences as this can lead to more realistic characters. There’s a particular theory that stands out to me as a “thing I wish writers knew.” That would be Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions. The theory is often taught to people studying international business or communication, as it’s a tool for defining … Continue reading Writing On Writing: Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions

Writing About Writing: What Makes for A Good Scene?

I’ve written a lot about character development and story structure shenanigans. However it crossed my mind that I haven’t focused on the building blocks of a script: scenes. If you can’t write scenes, you can’t write a script. Period. Sometimes mapping out the big picture is actually easier than writing scenes. So let’s talk about the characteristics of a good scene. (Scene-eristics? Maybe?) 1. It should take … Continue reading Writing About Writing: What Makes for A Good Scene?

Writing About Writing: Love Actually Syndrome

It’s that time of year again when people are more likely to to watch the 2003 film Love, Actually, since many people believe it to be a Christmas film. I am grateful to this film not because I like it but because it is one of those films that taught me an important lesson of writing. It has such a bad case of a certain problem that … Continue reading Writing About Writing: Love Actually Syndrome

Writing About Writing: The Struggle Is Real (Also a Bohemian Rhapsody review!)

I just came back from seeing one of the numerous movies on my “I should probably see that” list. On today’s episode of “Anne ruins a movie everyone else liked by being too analytical,” is Bohemian Rhapsody, which tells the story of Freddie Mercury and his bandmates. I can’t say the movie was BAD or that I regret seeing it, but I also didn’t really love all … Continue reading Writing About Writing: The Struggle Is Real (Also a Bohemian Rhapsody review!)

Writing About Writing: I Guess I Should Talk About Tone

I’ve just passed the halfway point in this project and it crossed my mind that I have yet to dedicate a post to the rather important topic of “tone.” “Tone” is what makes the 1971 Mel Stuart film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and the 2005 Tim Burton film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory entirely different movies. They have essentially the same characters following along essentially the same … Continue reading Writing About Writing: I Guess I Should Talk About Tone

Writing About Writing: The Well-Informed Mystery Paradox

One of the hardest decisions a screenwriter has to make is deciding what you need to tell your audience and what you need to keep from the audience. How do you keep an audience in suspense while also keeping them informed? How do you make sure they understand your story without spoon-feeding it to them in a way that feels patronizing and belittling? How do … Continue reading Writing About Writing: The Well-Informed Mystery Paradox

Writing About Writing: A Case for Something Instead of Character Bios

Maybe I’m beating a dead horse at this point, but thinking through your characters is really REALLY important. And I think sometimes conventional writing exercises designed to help you with characterization aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. (See Writing About Writing: A Case Against Character Bios) When I first realized that I enjoyed creative writing, I oftentimes would “characterize” simply by thinking about the … Continue reading Writing About Writing: A Case for Something Instead of Character Bios

Writing About Writing: The Songs in Every Musical and What They Can Teach You About Story Structure

There are certain things that you’re either obsessed with or you just plain don’t understand. Competitive cup stacking. CBS’s Big Brother. Professional wrestling. Pineapple on pizza. Musicals. But regardless of whether or not you actually enjoy musicals you can learn SO much from them. In a good musical, the songs actually help to advance the story. They don’t just reiterate information we already know. Now to be … Continue reading Writing About Writing: The Songs in Every Musical and What They Can Teach You About Story Structure

Writing About Writing: Make It the Same, But Different

There’s a huge paradox with screenwriting, or really storytelling in any medium. You have to make stuff the same, but different. Your protagonist needs to be special, but also universally relatable. Your story needs to be fresh and original, but you also can’t really stray too far from audience expectations either or else you risk being “too out there” or “experimental, but it just didn’t … Continue reading Writing About Writing: Make It the Same, But Different