The law of conservation of detail (and exceptions)

The first act sets up a script. It needs to be entertaining, efficient, and most of all focused. If a first act forces me to learn something, there'd better be a damn good reason for it. If there isn't, the useless information crowds out the useful stuff. It punishes the audience for paying attention and... Continue Reading →

Most people picture language visually. Knowing this makes writing easier.

A screenplay is a de facto movie and anything presented will eventually have to be literally photographed (or said.) Understanding why this works lends insight into human beings, your target audience. I learned this when I was taking an acting class. The teacher was stressing a point on how we should invest words with meaning.... Continue Reading →

“Outcomes are usually not deterministic. They’re probabilistic.” Elon Musk, with advice that applies to life, screenwriting, and especially screenwriting advice.

From Entrepreneur.com: Broaden the view by tracking probabilities. Thinking in probabilities (a business has, say, a 60 percent chance of success) rather than deterministically (if I do A and B, then C will happen) doesn’t just guard against oversimplification. This type of thought process protects an entrepreneur against the brain’s inherent laziness. Musk strives to... Continue Reading →

3 Ways to Beat Writer’s Block

It happens to all of us.  We get stuck, and then we can't move forward.  Here are some tricks you can use when you don't want to write anything. 1.  Use a timer. Using a timer focuses the mind.  It's better to have ten minutes of solid focus than a hazy weekend where you occasionally... Continue Reading →

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