Psych 101

Worst-case thinking for the screenwriter

Screenwriters benefit from worst-case scenario thinking.

Should she take anxiety medication?

Jenny was prescribed anti-anxiety medication, but worries it will mess up her writing.

On Golden Handcuffs

Paul spent 29 years in a job too good to leave, and regrets it.

Can I base a character on a real asshole?

You’re naturally going to be drawn towards real-life people who are fascinating. That’s a good thing. Observe behavior. Figure out motivations and pathology. Then forget the real person.

Fake tears

In defense of fake tears and the emotional work screenwriters do.

Are online film classes worth it?

Scott wonders if his online filmmaking classes are teaching him what he needs to know.

On 2010

For the past few years, I’ve been aiming more towards “areas of interest” rather than true resolutions. That way, there’s no implied promise to be broken.

Burn it down

As the writer, you need to burn down houses. You need to push characters out of their safe places into the big scary world — and make sure they can never get back.

The only one who has seen the movie

At a screenwriting panel last week, Robin Swicord said something that reframed the issue in a very helpful way.

Same script, different day

Do you ever get sick of working with the same script that you are loathe to even look at it anymore? Yes.

When do you move on?

I can’t reduce it to some simple “He’s Just Not That Into You” formula, but two months is far beyond the limit.

When writing partners disagree

While it’s great to have an extra brain helping to write a script, you’re unlikely to always agree, and compromises may not always make sense.

Inspiration, creativity and showing up

Writer Elizabeth Gilbert discussing healthier ways to look at the creative process.

Why do LA people suck?

Is one reader’s frustration indicative of the Hollywood culture, or specific to him? Likely both.

Are writing groups a good idea?

They’re not a terrible idea, as long as they’re approached with the right expectations.

When writing teams break up

Don’t just think about who “owns” what. There are more practical considerations.

Which project should I write?

I’d recommend writing the one that has the best ending.

Nice to meet you. Again. Maybe.

The Kevin Williamson Problem, explained.

Do I need a caveat?

Hollywood folk are savvy enough to realize that the guys who wrote Saw aren’t any sicker than most screenwriters.

Rewriting the rewriter

Sometimes there’s good reasons why original writers leave and return to their projects.

Your first time

Your first script is like the first time you have sex. It’s not the best sex you’re ever going to have. In fact, it would be sad if it were.

Shouldn’t I get credit for the outline?

Explorations of ownership in a corporate environment.

What do you do when the buzz fades?

You made a movie. Get the most you can out of it, then get cracking on doing the next project.

Aquaman is a Pescepublican

Superhero politics should remain abstract.

Making unnecessary and possibly horrible changes

Making your movie. Keeping your soul.