I know what you’re thinking. What does John Carpenter’s 1982 cult hit “The Thing” have to do with Olivia Wilde’s 2022 project “Don’t Worry Darling”? Well, for one thing, I happened to see both for the first time within the last week. For another thing, both have a certain element of mystery to them, yet have very different strategies for their storytelling. Spoiler alert: one … Continue reading Lessons from ‘The Thing’ Applied to ‘Don’t Worry Darling’
This is the last Writing About Writing I’m obligated to write for November 2018 (though I’ll certainly add more to the series if I come up with ideas I like). So I thought it only appropriate to write about how to end your screenplay. The only problem here is that there’s a damn fine reason I never wrote about this in one of the other … Continue reading Writing About Writing: I Suck At Endings
I’ve mentioned before how knowledge of behavioral science can help improve your writing. Continuing with this theme I’d like to introduce you to a good old friend of mine: Cognitive Dissonance Theory. I had to give a presentation about it one time six years ago. I’m basically an expert. Cognitive Dissonance Theory says that the way we behave shapes our thoughts, opinions, and values. This … Continue reading Writing About Writing: Action Builds Relationships
A shockingly high number of these blog posts are thrown together around 11 pm because I feel like I need to get something published before midnight. Most of the time, if you ask me at 9 pm what I’ll be writing, I have no freaking clue. But with just a few exceptions, I’ve figured something out every day. It’s amazing how if you force yourself … Continue reading Writing About Writing: What Can You Write In An Hour?
“You’re too hard on yourself.” “I’m sure it’s better than you think it is!” “You just need to believe in yourself!” These are the kinds of things some people in my life like to tell me. Most, if not all of them, come from people who are not writers. The thing about confidence is that there’s a huge difference between confidence in yourself and confidence … Continue reading Writing About Writing: Believing In Yourself
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
Today, I made a choice. I made a choice not to get my blog done before midnight. Instead, I was decorating a pirate bar for Christmas because that’s just the sort of interesting life I lead. After coming home, I chose to hop on Ulta.com because Cyber Monday waits for no one. (Click here for my Ebates referral code!) I chose to put off blogging … Continue reading Writing About Writing: Making Choices
Stories need conflict. But then you knew that already, didn’t you? Everyone says that. So what’s my angle here? Stories actually need TWO types of conflict. Or at least, it helps to think of conflict in two different ways. There are microconflicts and macroconflicts. MAYBE you can get away with one but not the other but when you can double team it that’s when real … Continue reading Writing About Writing: The Two Types of Conflict Every Story Needs
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?
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