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Category: Writing

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...

Headline News Toy Story 3, Eagleman Stag Win Animated BAFTAs

The King’s Speech was named Best Film at tonight’s Orange British Academy Film Awards, held at London’s Royal Opera House.

Blogs How to Turn Microsoft Word into a Terrific Screenwriting Program

Several of you have asked me for instructions on how to set up Microsoft Word “styles” for script writing.  A style is simply a saved bundle of formatting instructions.  If you are familiar with screenwriting software such as Final Draft or Screenwriter, you know that what they basically do is make it easier to write scripts by automatically formatting script elements, fonts, paragraphs, etc.  If you follow the instructions below you will turn Microsoft Word into a simple but effective screenwriting program.  

Headline News Houdini, Conan Doyle TV Series in Works

Talk about inspiration just being in the air, a day after it was announced that DreamWorks has acquired a Harry Houdini/ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle script from J. Michael Straczynski, Deadline.com reveals that Syfy is in talks on a Harry Houdini/ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle series.

Blogs You May Have Written More Than You Know!

Here's a tip for professional television and film writers.  If you haven't thought of this one yet it will save you time by eliminating the need to write some things twice.  But best of all, in just a couple of minutes it will let you see that you've probably already drafted over half of your script.  And that will make most any writer feel GREAT! What I do is this: After I've written an outline, and am ready to start the script, I cut and paste the outline directly into my script document.  But then I take it one important step further...

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