Only Haters Hate Rom-Coms

Scriptnotes: Ep. 225

John and Craig talk romantic comedies with screenwriter Tess Morris, whose film Man Up is unapologetically part of the genre.

We discuss what distinguishes rom-coms from other comedies, and why they get singled out for disdain and death-of articles.

Also this week: Amazon Storywriter, overused dicks, and follow-up on Whiplash.

This episode originally aired on November 24, 2015.


Email us at

You can download the episode here.

Writing Memorable Dialogue

Scriptnotes: Ep. 371

John and Craig have a dialogue about dialogue. They discuss how thinking about memorizing lines can help write them, and how to service quieter characters in a scene.

We also answer listener questions about adapting plays for the screen, creating a different experience for your reader than your viewer, and whether to trust sketchily worded release forms.


Email us at

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 10-16-18: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

Arlo Finch, the series trailer

With book two coming soon, I made a trailer for the Arlo Finch series. Please share it with anyone you think might dig it.

You can find out more info about the international editions and tour dates here.

Here’s the YouTube link: Arlo Finch – Series Trailer

Because I wanted to post it to my Instagram, I cut a square version of the trailer as well. It’s weird thinking square, but I kind of dig it. If you’d like to post it, here a link to the original file.

Music is by the remarkable Matthew Chilelli, with narration by Cormac Gilvary.

Two Things at the Same Time

Scriptnotes: Ep. 370

John and Craig look into simultaneity and how to visually articulate two things happening at once with the temporally-limited medium of written word.

We also explore how simultaneity can ramp up tension, fracture narrative and play with expectations. Then we apply what we’ve discussed to three new entries in the Three Page Challenge.


Email us at

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 10-11-18: The transcript of this episode can be found here.

What Is a Movie, Anyway?

Scriptnotes: Ep. 369

John and Craig welcome Franklin Leonard to weigh in on the current definition of “movie.” In the age of streaming, this distinction is not only important for audiences and awards, but has a meaningful effect on how writers are paid.

We also take umbrage with Awards Season as a Hollywood fixture, and follow up on a five year-old prediction about iPads in movie theaters.


Email us at

You can download the episode here.

UPDATE 9-28-18: The transcript of this episode can be found here.


Every week on Scriptnotes, Craig and I do our One Cool Things, through which we each recommend something worth checking out. Then on Twitter, I’ll link to things I think my followers may find interesting or useful.

But there’s a problem: neither venue is particularly well-suited to the task of collecting and presenting the cool stuff that’s out there.

If you don’t listen to the podcast, you won’t hear it. If you don’t follow me on Twitter — or if the algorithm doesn’t show you the tweet — you won’t see it. And I’m always hesitant to link to too much, because Twitter is overwhelming enough as it is.

So I’m trying something new: a little newsletter called Inneresting.

newsletter screenshot

It’s a weekly-ish roundup of stuff I’ve found interesting. There are some bits about writing and language, but the unifying theme is just that I’ve found these things worth pointing out.

Isn’t that what this blog is for? you ask. Well, sort of. Each newsletter could easily be a post on the site. But in order to read it, you’d have to think, huh I wonder if there’s a new post? and then click over to For a while, I ran a side blog called Off-Topic that was a similar idea, but how would a reader know when to check it?

Inneresting simply shows up in your email inbox. Read it whenever. I’ve turned off the creepy analytics. There are no trackers or data collectors other than occasional Amazon affiliate links. Basically, I know if you’ve subscribed and if you’re still opening the email. If you’re not, I’ll stop sending it.

Check out the first issue, and subscribe if you like it.

  1. Or if you’re like me, you subscribe to the site’s feed through RSS. Congratulations! You’re one of the fraction of a percent of internet users who do that. Luckily, the newsletter has a feed as well.