Archives

Writing Process

Highland is great for novels

Highland’s manuscript mode that strikes a good balance between helpful and distracting. It’s perfect for writing your NaNoWriMo novel — and it’s half-off through November 7th.

Writer Emergency Pack, now in pre-launch

We’re getting close to launching a new project called Writer Emergency Pack. It’s designed as a survival tool for writers. It’s not an app or a book. It’s more like a crowbar for getting unstuck. It’s for screenwriters, novelists, playwrights, students, writing teachers — anyone who deals with story.

A Cheap Cut of Meat Soaked in Butter

To celebrate the third anniversary of Scriptnotes, John and Craig invite Aline Brosh McKenna and her limitless analogies back to discuss box-office journalism, scene geography, emotional IQ and flipping the script.

Summer Re-run: Psychotherapy for Screenwriters

John and Craig revisit one of their favorite episodes, in which they sit down with screenwriter-turned-psychotherapist Dennis Palumbo to discuss writer’s block, procrastination, partnerships and more. It’s a can’t-miss episode for aspiring writers and professionals alike.

Two Writers, One Script

John and Craig look at the trend towards hiring two writers to work on separate drafts of the same project. Is it better to have writers working in parallel than serially? Or does it end up with studios ordering off a Chinese menu: this scene, that character, that other set piece?

Selling without selling out

In their first-ever live streaming episode, John and Craig open the mailbag to answer a bunch of listener questions.

The Rocky Shoals (pages 70-90)

Aline Brosh McKenna joins Craig and John to talk about the difficult journey through pages 70-90 of your feature. After that, we talk about procrastination, the Panic Monster and our inner Instant Gratification Monkeys.

How to Write a Scene, now in handy two-page form

I’ve reformatted my 2007 post on How to Write a Scene into something you can print or pass out to a class.

Falling back in love with your script

Craig and John play marriage counsellor between writers and their scripts, looking at both the first spark of attraction and how to rekindle the flame when the fire has gone out.

The Crossover Episode

John and Craig visit Ben Blacker’s Nerdist Writers Panel for a special crossover episode, recorded in front of a live audience on April 13, 2014.

Writing an album in two weeks

In an interview with Billboard, producer Patrick Leonard talks about writing “Like a Prayer” with Madonna. Their process is a great example of actually making things.

The Deal with the Deal

John and Craig talk with WGA President Chris Keyser about the tentative deal reached between writers and the studios, and why it’s more groundbreaking than it might appear at first glance.

Michael Arndt on setting a story in motion

Michael Arndt explains some of the things he learned while working on the screenplay for Toy Story 3.

Creative Hours

RJ Andrews turned Currey’s data on creative work hours into infographics, because that’s what we do in 2014.

Pepperoni, parenthood, and the zone of solitude

For a writer, being jerked out of the process by a ringing phone or car alarm or a question from a well-meaning spouse can be devastating.

Procrastination and Pageorexia

Craig and John get in your head to talk procrastination, pageorexia and generalized anxiety. They also move beyond the psychopathology to discuss all the changes in the industry, from cable mergers to lawsuits to disruptive technologies. You’re not as paranoid as you think you are.

Period Space

John and Craig tackle the greatest controversy in screenwriting: how many spaces to put after the period. From there, it’s follow-up on the Final Draft episode, including some behind-the-scene details.

Scriptnotes Holiday Spectacular

‘Twas the Holiday Scriptnotes and at our behest, Craig and John were joined by our six favorite guests.

My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend’s Screenwriter

Writer/director/actor/comedian Mike Birbiglia joins John and Craig to talk about writing for yourself, and how his one-man shows have translated into his films Sleepwalk With Me and My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend. We talk movies and television, stand-up and screenplays, and the upside of failure.

Positive Moviegoing

Aline Brosh McKenna joins John and Craig to discuss watching movies with an open mind and why it’s important to befriend other writers.

Scriptnotes: Back to Austin with Rian Johnson and Kelly Marcel

Craig and John head to the Austin Film Festival for another live edition of Scriptnotes. Everything is bigger in Texas, including the crowd for this packed show featuring Looper writer/director Rian Johnson and Saving Mr. Banks screenwriter Kelly Marcel.

Solitude and getting stuff written

Guinevere Turner doesn’t want to talk to you, not when she’s writing.

101: Q&A from the live show

In this special bonus episode, John and Craig answer listener questions from the 100th episode with help from guests Rawson Thurber and Aline Brosh McKenna.

Psychotherapy for screenwriters

John and Craig sit down with screenwriter-turned-psychotherapist Dennis Palumbo to discuss writer’s block, procrastination, partnerships and more. It’s a can’t-miss episode for aspiring writers and professionals alike.

Eating dessert first

Joss Whedon’s productivity advice is to figure out what you actually need to do, then do the most fun stuff first.