John welcomes Grant Faulkner, Executive Director of NaNoWriMo and author of Pep Talks for Writers, to discuss the writing process and how to get out of your own way creatively. We explore the ubiquity of the Other Syndrome and the perils of envy. We also look at pen names, “throw-away writing,” and the advantages of […]
John and Craig attempt to answer the question that many aspiring screenwriters dare not ask aloud: when — if ever — is the right time to give up on the dream of becoming a working screenwriter? Relatedly, is it okay to omit “aspiring” when describing oneself as a screenwriter? How do you ask friends for […]
This quote from Dennis Lehane on the difference between writing books and movies is spot-on, but worth a few clarifications.
A writing team finds their work held hostage by a friend who brought them the concept.
When we see characters lying, we know more about what matters to them.
Amanda Peet has a terrific piece in the NY Times about why she doesn’t read reviews, and how strange it feels when rest of the world knows something you don’t.
I think you’re a potentially great character but you seem stuck in a story where you’re neither hero nor villain.
One of the positive things I took from this election was a quote Hillary Clinton used from her Methodist upbringing: Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you […]
Craig and John get to the bottom of William Goldman’s famous quotation about Hollywood, which is so often misapplied. Then it’s a discussion of zombie cars, wind-tunnels, blockbusters, and the paradox of choice.
Noah Bradley, who illustrated several of the weapon cards for One Hit Kill, has a great post up about his journey to becoming a full-time professional artist.
Like Devin Faraci, one death in Jurassic World stuck out for me, because it didn’t feel deserved. But was does “deserved” really mean?
Writing for The New Yorker, Oliver Sacks recounts his interactions with monologist Spalding Gray, and how his death was connected with Big Fish.
Danny Manus warns that screenwriters are unwittingly being drawn into cults. Yet most popular podcasts inherently cult-like.
John and Craig talk about where to start a story — how far back should you go? The decision about whether to meet the hero as a child, in their normal rut, or mid-crisis fundamentally changes the narrative, so it’s worth exploring fully.
Over the last eight years, I’ve become more famous within a subset of people. Because of Scriptnotes, my voice is actually recognized as often as my face. Because of Twitter, I end up interacting with strangers much more often. And because of both outlets, people who recognize me know a lot more about me — at least, a version of me who hosts a popular podcast about screenwriting.
The project I’m writing centers on trust. The more I think about the word and the concept of trust, the more complicated it becomes.
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.
Maybe Impostor Syndrome is a good thing.
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.
A reader’s understanding of a given moment is hugely dependent on what you’ve already established. That’s why the first few pages of a script are so important: you’re teaching the reader how to read your script, and what’s important.
John and Craig talk about what screenwriters can learn from the structure of classical music, then invite journalist Scott Tobias on to discuss how day-and-date video-on-demand releases make it hard to know how indie films are doing, individually and as a group.
I really like Dan Harmon’s advice to young writers in the sidebar to THR’s showrunner feature.
Robin Sloan wonders whether all-at-once seasons like House of Cards work against the shows by denying viewers the joy of anticipation.
Dara Resnick Creasey writes about her first time being the [staff writer on set]
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.