November/December 2013 Issue
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The following is a guest blog post by Fred Perry. Fred won first place in the screenplay category in the 82nd Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition. He has also received script requests, … Read more
I’ve been in “development hell” for 16 years, but I’m not complaining. While Hollywood has not yet made any of my books into a feature film, TV movie (known in the trade … Read more
If you find yourself having a difficult time sustaining one tone over a long work, try these three tricks. 1. Find a paragraph that sounds exactly the way you want to sound … Read more
With television series having many producers of various significance, the title of showrunner evolved to mean “the boss.” According to Benson showrunner Bob Fraser, the term showrunner was coined by his agent … Read more
Douglas Preston, who frequently collaborates with Lincoln Child (they’ve penned 11 novels together and are best known for their Agent Pendergast series), recently shared his thoughts on adaptations, specifically the 1997 movie … Read more
Let’s face it: A novel and a screenplay are two very different creatures. It’s like comparing a housecat with a bobcat—both are cats, but one you want curled up on your lap … Read more
Producer Lynda Obst loves literature. She’s shepherded five novels to the big screen with more in the works. So, what does the producer of films like Contact, How Lose A Guy in … Read more
At writing conferences, screenwriters occasionally tell me about the projects they’re working on and ask me to react to their logline. Often it’s something like the following: “At a campground, a young … Read more
A treatment or a synopsis can be an indispensable tool, both for writing and marketing a screenplay. In this article, we’ll look at the relationship between the treatment, synopsis, summary, logline, scene … Read more
Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody knows she’s not the best example of how to sell a screenplay. In fact, she’s probably the worst example of how to sell a screenplay. So if you’re … Read more
Looking around at the proliferation of TV shows and movies, you might not think there’s anywhere entertainment vendors could squeeze in their products. But there is—and they’re looking for writers to help. … Read more
David Koepp was bemused at my suggestion his small-town Pewaukee, Wisconsin roots might help to explain the populist touch of a writer who has worked on as many Steven Spielberg films as … Read more
Trying to make a living writing books is difficult, so a word of advice to anyone who’s planning a move to Los Angeles: Stay right where you are. Sure, there are some … Read more
Having an agent is a necessary ingredient for a screenwriting career. Even if you get a producer interested on your own, don’t go near a contract without an agent. But how do … Read more
To survive the fantasyland that is show business, you need to know the fundamentals and hard truths of scriptwriting and selling. More importantly, you need to know the tricks of the trade … Read more
The words “writer in Hollywood” conjure images of screenwriters accepting Academy Awards and hobnobbing with movie stars. But to Anita M. Busch, editor of The Hollywood Reporter, writing is as much about … Read more
As you approach the jumping-off place from writing your screenplay privately to plunging into the Hollywood marketplace, here are the answers to new screenwriters’ most-asked questions. 1. Do I have to live … Read more
How do you create a successful one-hour drama focusing on a mother/daughter relationship that doesn’t have that been-there-done-that feel? Amy Sherman-Palladino, the creator, executive producer and writer for the WB’s popular series … Read more
Award-winning author and Hollywood insider John Morgan Wilson tell what it takes to progress from Hollywood hopeful to powerful film-industry player: What counts, both in features and TV, are writing samples — … Read more
We asked readers to submit questions for University of Southern California cinema and TV professor Richard Krevolin. One reader’s questionsand Professor K’s answersfollow. Dear Professor K, Do you suggest approaching an agent … Read more
EXT. ICE – NIGHT Americans push off from the lip of the broken ice in two rubber dinghies. March, Bud and Doc in one boat, Miller, Red and Joe in the other. … Read more