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Category: Writing

Blogs Software Review: Final Draft 8

In my previous post, How to Turn Microsoft Word into a Terrific Screenwriting Program, I explained how to use Word’s “styles” to automatically create script formatting.  I received a blog comment from Ben Cahan, the creator and co-founder of Final Draft, who pointed out that a true screenwriting program was more than just “margins and capitalized slug lines and character names”.  Ben makes a good point.  Whereas Word allows you to easily and automatically format basic script elements such as slug line, action, character name, parenthetical, dialog and transitions, that’s about all it can do.  Final Draft, in contrast, does those things and much more.

Blogs Publishing a Book is Now So Easy Even a Writer Can Do It!

The book publishing industry, like the newspaper biz, is on a glide path to oblivion.  It's just too easy and cheap to download a book to your computer, iPad, Kindle or smartphone.

And that was last year!

Now it takes less time to publish your own book than it does to write a publisher query letter, let alone send it out and wait for the rejection letters.

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...

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