Screenwriting Blogs Recap

I haven’t been trolling through my litany of screenwriting blogs lately on account of I haven’t been writing anything since I started focusing on going back to school. I still have three screenplays to rewrite and the nucleus of one that will remain in the back of my mind until I’ve completed the first three. (My New Year’s Resolution kids – finish what you start!) So it was a pleasant surprise to go through the old blog roll and see what the professionals and aspiring professionals have been up to this past week.

My two favorite entries came from John August (natch) and Mystery Man on Film.

First off, if you haven’t read John August, you are missing out on screenwriting gold. Not only is he someone who knows what he’s talking about, he’s also very funny. And he gives great examples backed up by real evidence based on either something he’s been through or something he’s witnessed that other’s have been through. In other words, he’s not pulling advice out of his butt, so he’s worth paying attention to.

August showcases a great post on what he calls The Duluth Dilemma, the idea that you could be the next best greatest screenwriter in the world, but if you live in Duluth, or some other out of the way town, instead of LA, the chance of your movie being made greatly diminishes. He posts several responses from people who agree and disagree with him. What it truly boils down to though is this: are you willing to move to a city you potentially can’t stand in order to become successful? That’s the crux of the matter. Some people are attached to where they live and don’t care what the Hollywood bigwigs say, they’re staying where they are, dang it. Others are OK or ecstatic to get the heck out of Dodge and go where they action is. I agree with the second group of people. You’re more likely to succeed in your chosen profession if you go to where the jobs actually are.

I’ll use myself as an example. When I graduated from college I wanted to work as an editor for a publishing company. Houston, TX is not the publishing mecca of the world. I knew that if I wanted to succeed in my chosen profession, I would need to move to New York, Auckland NZ, London, or Japan. Why? Because that’s where all of the publishing houses were located. Even though I applied for jobs in NY, it was not until I moved to NY that I actually got my first publishing job.

I personally think that people who want to make it big in screenwriting without being willing to go to LA are diluting themselves. You HAVE to go where the action is 99% of the time. Sure, you hear about people living in Who-knows-where,USA who make it big, but the reason you hear about them is because it happens so infrequently that it makes a great Yahoo! news tidbit. This is the reason why even though I don’t care about California, I know I will eventually live there because that’s where most of the animated movies in America are made.

As for Mystery Man on Film, he makes a good argument involving character arcs and if they are truly necessary or not that’s worthy reading in its’ entirety. Enjoy.

Screenwriting Blogs Recap – Friday Edition

Hello all my scribblers out there. It’s time for another recap of the best in the blogosphere.

It’s been relatively quiet this week — people are busy, hiding, working hard, dealing with down servers (glad you’re still out there Unk) or potentially giving up their blogs (say it ain’t so, Dave!) but there are some nice gold nuggets of wisdom out there in the wilderness.

First up, Mystery Man details how you can tell that a script is suffering from serious crapiocity. Pretty entertaining, to say the least.

Blake Snyder
extols on the summer blockbuster and what Hollywood can do to keep itself afloat.

John August explains why making up your own jargon is both fun AND educational!

And Amanda dishes out the reality of living/working/writing in LA and why you shouldn’t pack up and leave after one short year.

And that’s the scoop, ladies and gents. On my end, I’m off to finish/seriously rewrite QftSS so that I can rewrite Xia. And then Darkness Rising. And then start my next spec…

Ah, a writer’s life. Never bored. Too many things to do.

Screenwriting Blogs Recap – Monday Edition

Greetings fellow screenwriters! I hope that the weekend treated you well and that all of you are busy crafting your masterpieces. Quest for the Soul Stone is on track to be completed by the Script Frenzy April 30th deadline. I am excited for this screenplay. Thus far the adventure/family-friendly tone works well for it and I look forward to submitting it to contests after the rewrite(s). I am disappointed though in the Frenzy fallout. What I learned being an ML this year is that many people sign up for the challenge but few remain by the end. The write-ins consisted of myself and one to three other people (sometimes), even though 56 people signed up for the area. Not sure if they finished their specs or not, hopefully they did and they were too busy/swamped/shy to show up, but you never know. I fully intend to ML next year so we’ll see what happens in 2009.

As for the Scribosphere, your favorites are back and ready to lend their wealth of knowledge to us, the burgeoning troop of future professional screenwriters.

First off, Jane is back online after taking time to work on her script for “Battlestar Galatica.” She even includes a piece of the actual script for her loyal readers to peruse. Fabulous!

Personal fave Amanda will be blessed by the karma of the universe for her list of companies to call in regard to finding a job in LA. Thanks Amanda.

John August shows that he is not only a wonderful writer but also human by revealing that it took him six hours to write one scene. Glad to hear that I’m not the only one.

Mystery Man continues with Craig and John’s rant about the now-infamous WGA blacklist. Shameful what the Guild has stooped to after doing so well with the strike.

Blake Snyder gives a warm shout-out to everyone who attended his recent meet and greet. His previous post is truly inspiring as well and definitely worth a read.

gives tips on how to showcase a phone conversation in your script.

And in sadder news, Man Bytes Hollywood may or may not return. David is struggling with whether he should keep the blog or allow it to spontaneously combust when he returns from his retreat. The selfish part of me hopes that he will keep the blog as he provides a wealth of information, but he alone knows what he should do with his time. We’ll find out what happens when he returns.

Screenwriting Blogs Recap – Wednesday Edition

Only two updates to speak of today.

The first comes from Amanda, who quite frankly is starting to offer better advice than most of the professional blogs I read on a daily basis. Today, she tackles the neverending question: how to actually get a JOB in LA.

Second update comes from Alex, answers a reader’s questions about the hero overhearing conversation in the background and how indepth the background conversation needs to be.

Yeah, exciting stuff, right?
But it’s all part of the script process.

Let me know if you find anything more interesting.

Screenwriting Blogs Recap – Tuesday Edition

Only three scribes of the scribosphere have updated their blogs today. And not only that, they talk about stuff I don’t really care about. Wah!
Oh well. Time to dab the eyes, throw out the tissues and carry on.

Mystery Man talks about what film noir actually is. Personally I’ve never liked film noir. Actually that’s being nice about it, I can’t stand film noir. Everytime I hear about how great Chinatown is I want to hurl. But you may like it. So if you like it, you should read the book he recommends.

John August goes off on a tangent about Grand Theft Auto IV. Yeah, I know. I was shocked too. More of a Tetris gal myself. But his tangent does have a bit of a point. He’ll be off playing for awhile so you may not see any updates on his blog (or on mine about his blog) for a few weeks. Sad, very sad.

But Amanda talked about something I actually found useful – the Pros and Cons of being an assistant for tv/film/production. Very cool info. Read her blog update first.

Screenwriting Blogs Recap – Monday Edition

Welcome back from the weekend, fellow readers!
Hope that all of you had an awesome Saturday and Sunday.
As you all know I co-hosted two Script Frenzy events, one which I posted about and another I’ll post about later today.

And while I was out writing writing writing the scribes of the scribosphere were busy lamenting over a rather ugly letter sent by the presidents of the WGAe and WGAw. Apparently the two are resorting to witch huntery post-strike, which is quite sad. Both John August and Craig Mazin posted about it on their blogs. You can also read the full letter in all its’ scathing glory here.

In more upbeat news Amanda posted her two cents on how to find your voice and why it is so important in the craft of screenwriting.

And Cat! auteur Blake Synder gives a shout out to his upcoming third book. I’m a big fan of formulas but unlike Blake I don’t believe that EVERY screenplay has to adhere to all 15 beats of his BS2 as he suggests. I wrote my first two screenplays without it and they turned out alright, but whatever works for you I suppose.

Screenwriting Blogs Recap – Weekend Edition

Hello hello my dear readers. It’s time for another exciting recap of the musings heard ’round the scribosphere.

Alex Epstein encourages all writers to tell their story out loud. This will help you be a better storyteller!

John August
explains why it may be better to have screenwriting, rather than non-screenwriting friends, read your scripts.

Mystery Man
explains why each screenplay should be judged on its own merit and not simply a formula a la Robert McKee. I’m glad someone finally said this. It’s as if everyone in the screenwriting world has gone gaga over that guy and his awesomely bogged down tome.

And Rogers at Kung Fu Monkey — let’s face it. The man’s awesome. The man and his team. He actually breaks down on all the shenanigans that go into creating an actual show. Go read his blog. RIGHT NOW.

Screenwriting Blogs Recap – Thursday Edition

Well the scribosphere has been buzzing all this week with interesting tidbits of information.

Amanda the Aspiring TV Writer gives great tips on how to create your own internet short and get yourself noticed in cyberspace.

Ms. J
explains the pros and cons of describing your character’s wardrobe choices (wish I knew about this when I wrote Xia!)

Kung Fu Monkey
explains his rational behind his crazy scary index card system.

Alex at Complications Ensue answers your questions about timing and if staffers ever actually go on vacation.

And our favorite Cat! Blake Snyder makes a guest appearance at
Script Frenzy and gives newbie writers his advice on the craft.

Screenwriting Blogs Recap – Monday Edition

Good day to all of you, dear readers. I trust your weekends went well?
I’m now on page 41 of QftSS, very exciting indeed. Also took some time out to draw extensively and will have posts up in the next few days.

Alex over at Complications Ensue answers a reader’s questions about switching between flashbacks. An important distinction to be made to be sure. My screenplay, Xia, was chock full of screenplays, inner mind monologues and other crazy techniques, so it’s good to see how a master would handle the situation.

Ms. Jane explains why it may be, or may not be, OK to use colorful language in your descriptive passages of your spec scripts a la Lost.

John August
includes nifty pics of Spectre from Big Fish.

Newbie Amanda shares a cool contest happening in New York.

And Blake Snyder shows how storytellers can save lives.

Screenwriting Blogs Recap – Weekend Edition

Hello my dear readers!
Well, bloggers never rest, not even on weekends! Check out what’s been going on since Friday afternoon:

Help Kung Fu Monkey with his computer woes!

Ms. Amanda quotes our favorite, Ms. Jane, on how to compose a great double joke.

Ms. Jane explains how to keep the story rolling AND show what characters are thinking and feeling, all at the same time.

Scribe John August talks about the benefits and pitfalls of new technology, using “Titanic,” “Avatar,” and “Terminator” director James Cameron as his example.

Alex of Complications Ensue confirms a reader’s character reintroduction decision.

And the dynamic duo behind The Artful Writer begin Part I of their series on how the Writer’s Strike benefited (or did not benefit) writers and all of us hoping to follow in their footsteps.