Austin 2017 Three Page Challenge

John and Craig review four Three-Page Challenge entries with the help of Daniela Garcia-Brcek (Literary Manager at Circle of Confusion) and Cullen Conly (Literary Agent at ICM). We then invite the writers up to discuss the notes. It’s not just craft, though. Our special guests give us a behind-the-scenes look at the realities of representation. […]

Getting Stuff Written

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 […]

Movies Dodged a Bullet

John and Craig speculate about why the film industry fared better in the transition to digital while the music industry struggled. We also follow up on the WGA elections, hearing John’s priorities as a new board member. Lured back into the intrigue of MoviePass, we discuss new information on this business model. Then it’s another […]

What is good writing?

It’s an all-craft episode as John and Craig discuss what they mean when they say good writing. Quality isn’t an objective measurement but rather a subjective experience. It’s the relationship between the reader and writer. From vulnerability to voice, consistency to surprise, good writing shares many characteristics with good acting. We then look at three […]

Writing vs. Speaking

For screenwriters, John McWhorter’s TEDTalk on texting grammar is a useful reminder of the differences between how people talk and how they write. Speech is made up of word clusters with no discrete punctuation. Because speech is almost always dialogue — you’re usually speaking with somebody — it’s structured in a way that allows interruption. […]

Dialogue and dialog

Both dialogue and dialog are acceptable, but the long version still feels like the better choice when talking about screenwriting.

The Spelling Bee used to be so much easier

I finally finished watching the 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee, which had been sitting half-viewed on my DVR for months. No surprise: the final words words were ridiculously difficult. But they didn’t used to be.

Ye Olde Shoppe never existed

That quaint “yee” was actually pronounced “the.” The confusion with the “y” sound began because Medieval scribes had to make some difficult choices.

Whatever happened to litter?

This morning as I was walking the dog, I picked up a discarded McDonald’s bag from my neighbor’s lawn. As I carried it to the trash can, it hit me: whatever happened to litter?