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Category: Writing

Blogs How to Prosper in Toon Town — An Excerpt from "How to Write for Animation"

Before you run off half-cocked with that shiny new animated six-shooter of yours, here are a few pieces of advice that will help you live long and prosper in this business. It would be foolish to think you could become a good animation writer without first understanding a little bit about creativity, especially considering cartoon writing is one of the most creative forms of writing there is. Fortunately, creativity is not as ethereal as some might lead you to believe.

Blogs K.I.S.S. Bad Stories Goodbye

One of the most useful maxims in life is known by the acronym K.I.S.S. I'm sure you've heard of it. It stands for “Keep It Simple Stupid”. But simplicity is not just the key to a happy life; it's also the key to great storytelling—which only makes sense because stories are about life. Well-written animated features, no matter how complex they may seem upon first viewing, have basic character and plot elements that are very simple. To create a simple, well-constructed story you need only answer the following questions...

Blogs Learn the Three R’s to Become a Better Screenwriter

There are only two things you need to do to become a better writer: study and write.  The question is: are you studying and writing optimally?  I wrote screenplays for Columbia and Paramount on instinct, and wrote hundreds of animation scripts the same way.  But I’d never really “learned” how to write. I finally decided to get serious about my craft and read all the best-selling screenwriting books.  I learned quite a bit.  But one of the most important things I learned was that WHAT you read is only half of the journey.  HOW to read is the other.  Learn the three R's and become a better screenwriter...

Headline News Justice League Writer/Producer McDuffie Dies

By Rick DeMott | Wednesday, February 23, 2011 at 12:00pm

Dwayne McDuffie, who wrote for comics and animated superhero series such as JUSTICE LEAGUE, has died, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Blogs How to Get a “God’s-Eye View” of Your Story in Microsoft Excel

The reason I use Excel to develop story structure is based on a writing principle I discovered years ago.  I call it getting a God’s-Eye View of the story.  I realized that by writing my outline beats in a normal word processing program it took screen after screen to go through my scenes.  So while I was looking at one portion of my story, the rest of the story was out of sight.  And as they say, “Out of sight, out of mind”.  But when I write I want all of my story in mind.  And here’s how I do it...

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