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Notes & Essays

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The Rule of Threes, Conflict, and Starting Your Story Mar 11, 2021 Notes & Essays I have a student who works in comedy, and we recently had a nice conversation about the rule of threes. The essence of the rule is that any slogan, More than One Want Mar 1, 2021 Notes & Essays Story is driven by a character wanting something. But that doesn’t mean they have only one want. They can have multiple wants and the pursuit of Old Posts Feb 27, 2021 Notes & Essays & Personal Something I’ve been wanting to do lately is bringing back some of my posts from old blogs. Long ago, I had a Tumblr, and then a Scriptogram (which Why is this particular character on this journey? Feb 26, 2021 Notes & Essays “A story is unique to your protagonist. There is a unique journey—a reason why you, the master of the universe here, has put this character on this Breaking the Website, Breaking the Book Feb 22, 2021 Notes & Essays I’ve spent a lot of time the past few days fixing the website. It all started a few weeks ago when I decided to try a new email provider. The one I You’ll get through it Feb 16, 2021 Notes & Essays For a long time I’ve said that writer’s block is BS. It is simply fear and uncertainty and not some impenetrable barrier that can’t be breached. But 100 Attempts Feb 12, 2021 Notes & Essays People who try writing their first novel often complain how hard it is. Just because you write regularly, doesn’t make it any easier to write My March Challenge Feb 12, 2021 Notes & Essays At the end of March (all depending on when we finish the next Counios & Gane book), I’m doing a year-long challenge: to write a new project each Becoming a Streamer Feb 12, 2021 Notes & Essays Although I’ve been thinking about today’s main post for a while, it wasn’t until I watched this video from Ludwig, I decided to finally post it. Make your story (and marketing) rhyme Feb 9, 2021 Notes & Essays The audience you choose wants the structure of your story to rhyme. In The Practice , Seth Godin call this genre: The people you bring your work to What I want to do around here Feb 8, 2021 Notes & Essays Right now, I am working with Angie on Book 4 of our Shepherd & Wolfe series. Since early last year, I’ve been wanting to do some writing of my own, On Canoeing Feb 7, 2021 Notes & Essays When you are in a canoe, the only way you’re going to get anywhere is through paddling. But how do you paddle? If you want to go somewhere, you’re Reader Error Feb 7, 2021 Notes & Essays Early on when I was writing fiction, I never wanted to write to on-the-nose. I wanted to be subtle and not explain my point to the reader. When Listen for the music Feb 5, 2021 Notes & Essays As a follow-up to The Calculus of Grit, this article in The New York Times from author S. Kirk Walsh caught my attention. He talks about becoming a Imposter Syndrome Feb 5, 2021 Notes & Essays Back in 2021, when I was the Writer-in-Residence at the Regina Public Library, I was asked to speak at a writer’s conference. I remember this Notes on “The Calculus of Grit” Feb 5, 2021 Notes & Essays I recently got around to reading Venkatesh Rao’s essay about his understanding of working towards mastery. In it, he tries to define the Tea Time Feb 3, 2021 Notes & Essays Early on, while writing our first novel, the parents of our teenage hero had to sit him down and have a serious heart-to-heart. This was a scene Log Jams and the Creativity Faucet Feb 2, 2021 Notes & Essays {|<} Photo by Kamala Saraswathi Nearly 20 years ago, when I first got past my fear and started writing again, I had nearly 15 years of ideas piled Thoughts on edits after the fact Feb 1, 2021 Notes & Essays I’ve gone back and made corrections on this blog after I’ve posted. I do it all the time. I realize the phrasing is wrong or incorrect or a sentence Low stakes Jan 31, 2021 Notes & Essays One of the most immediate returns on the new website is that the stakes are lower. I am not as terrified to post a small, short note on here, but I New site, new changes Jan 30, 2021 Notes & Essays The site has a new look and that’s because of considerable changes behind the scenes. Ever since I set up my site back in the summer, I’ve been Story Maps Jan 22, 2021 Notes & Essays This week, I began reading Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer by Peter Turchi. I really like his idea of considering how “artistic To Kate Jan 21, 2021 Notes & Essays Today, we’ve been married for twenty years. I’m always grateful that you tolerate me and support the writing. Your constant encouragement and The Harold Jan 20, 2021 Notes & Essays I was recently told by a student about the Harold, a structured improv game. Although much of it word-of-mouth, the Improv Wiki describes it as Stability Dec 22, 2020 Notes & Essays Lately, I haven’t been doing the work I want to be doing. Part of it is the business of the holidays, and getting caught up on tasks now that I’m 250 Words Dec 21, 2020 Notes & Essays Recently, I’ve imposed a limit on myself while writing these blog posts; 250 words or less. This was to help me focus my writing and not tackly to Forced constraints Dec 19, 2020 Notes & Essays Earlier this morning, I was trying to write a post on why I keep changing the look of this blog, but it became unruly. I had too many ideas and no Friday Links - Dec 18, 2020 Dec 18, 2020 Notes & Essays Lovely notebooks. Experience with Tools Dec 16, 2020 Notes & Essays I’ve noticed recently how we give students the tools to do the work, but we don’t spend enough time teaching them how to use it. It can’t be only a Ludwig Dec 14, 2020 Notes & Essays is a Twitch Streamer and he did a video where he set up a Shopify store, added a shirt/logo maker, and then within a few hours had started to Friday Links - Dec 11, 2020 Dec 11, 2020 Notes & Essays Word Counters - I often like to get a sense of word counts on books when I am thinking about the size of projects. This is a handy resource. On Found this in a local store today Dec 8, 2020 Notes & Essays It’s always great to see your books in the wild Friday Links - Dec 4, 2020 Dec 4, 2020 Notes & Essays Buy-local has some businesses pushed to their limits Hellvetica NPR’s Book Concierge 96 Minute Masterclass Interview with Alfred Hitchcock Warner Daily Marginalia Dec 2, 2020 Notes & Essays David from the future: David’s Daily Marginalia (also called David’s Daily Journal) is now defunct. See the 20/ New Directions newsletter for more Weird Experiments Nov 29, 2020 Notes & Essays David from the future: David’s Daily Journal is now defunct. See the 20/ New Directions newsletter for more information.. As writers, we’re Victor Frankl and “Between Stimulus and Response“ Nov 29, 2020 Notes & Essays Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our Zettelkasten Nov 29, 2020 Notes & Essays German for “slip-box” Friday Links - Nov 27, 2020 Nov 27, 2020 Notes & Essays I was not aware of this, but Tom Stoppard was responsible for a signicant part of the Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade script. This breakdown of Metaphor Trees Nov 26, 2020 Notes & Essays Recently, I discovered metaphor trees. I explained them as such: When you are constructing a novel, you should keep all your metaphors connected Name changes Nov 26, 2020 Notes & Essays David from the future: David’s Daily Journal is now defunct. See the 20/ New Directions newsletter for more information. As I develop this practice Digital Gardens and Note-taking Nov 21, 2020 Notes & Essays A part of me is playing with embedding another set of notes on this website, that references core concepts and ideas. It would be a little like A city is not a tree and WOARO Nov 20, 2020 Notes & Essays I really was interested in this post from Austin Kleon for two reasons. The first is about Joseph Meeker’s The Comedy of Survival, which I haven’t Friday Links - Nov 20, 2020 Nov 20, 2020 Notes & Essays 15 Simple Screenplay Rules You Need to Know Screenwriting Basics: The Keys to Writing Correct Scene Headings The look of this tiny home in B.C. is An exercise in values Nov 19, 2020 Notes & Essays My students are working on theme this week. I said how theme isn’t just war or love or jealousy but must include a value statement: (Topic) is A Slip-box for Fiction Nov 17, 2020 Notes & Essays When I’ve been playing with the DDJ, I’m thinking a lot about the idea of a slip-box, which is a note-taking system also known as zettelkasten, Know the rule to break it Nov 17, 2020 Notes & Essays A while back had this line of dialogue come my way: “We can do this the easy way or the hard way, up to you.” The line bothered me because Creating a Satisfying and Artistic Reveal Nov 14, 2020 Notes & Essays Yesterday’s problem and essay got me thinking about Keith Johnstone’s 1979 book Impro. He talks about reincorporation and the idea of reintroducing Exploration of ideas Nov 14, 2020 Notes & Essays David from the future: David’s Daily Marginalia (also called David’s Daily Journal) is now defunct. See the 20/ New Directions newsletter for more Friday Links - Nov 13, 2020 Nov 13, 2020 Notes & Essays Merriam Webster has a tool to find out when a word was first in print. Squibbler is a writing app that makes your writing disappear (like Recognition and action Nov 13, 2020 Notes & Essays I simplified the problem of recognition so you don’t have to. If you think it’s ugly now… Nov 13, 2020 Notes & Essays If you look through design history and you see something that looks really radical, that’s what you’re going to be doing now. If you think that’s Tales End, Story Cubes, Nicole Donut, and Learning Nov 11, 2020 Notes & Essays I have never played RPGs (although my kids have), but Tales’ End, recommended by Morgan, my TA, is intriguing. Focused on storytelling and Engaging with my website Nov 9, 2020 Notes & Essays The strangest thing that has started to occur is that I have started engaging with my own website more, searching for things I posted over the past Waves, Life, and Death Nov 9, 2020 Notes & Essays I want to share two notes. The first I found after watching the final season of The Good Place. This isn’t a quote from the show, but a quote from Daily Journals leading to Digital Gardens Nov 9, 2020 Notes & Essays One of my hopes to do with these daily journals is to start creating my own digital garden of ideas. I have a collection of notes that I have The value of holding onto your links Nov 8, 2020 Notes & Essays David from the future: David’s Daily Journal (DDJ) is now defunct. See the 20/ New Directions newsletter for more information. I think I’ve More reflections on David’s Daily Journal Nov 7, 2020 Notes & Essays David from the future: David’s Daily Journal is now defunct. See the 20/ New Directions newsletter for more information. After yesterday’s David’s Friday Links - Nov 6, 2020 Nov 6, 2020 Notes & Essays The Lost Cities of Geo from 99% Invisible Have you watched The Queen’s Gambit yet? I’ve watched it twice and love it. Retro Recipes is a stroll down Lovecraft Nov 5, 2020 Notes & Essays I’ve thought about this Twitter thread. Especially this one: I have a complicated relationship with Lovecraft. Today it got even more complicated. Radon Nov 5, 2020 Notes & Essays My wife and I never thought much about radon gas until she saw how quickly it could affect the body. And now that more of us are working from home, Austin Kleon Nov 5, 2020 Notes & Essays Doubling up on the notion of the blog as a place to learn was a recent article from Austin Kleon (another person who blogs regularly), this article Cory Doctorow and Daily Links Nov 5, 2020 Notes & Essays Ever since I read about Roam and keeping a garden of ideas, I have been trying to figure out what that looks like for me. I don’t want to dump What was Daily Marginalia? Nov 1, 2020 Notes & Essays David from the future: David’s Daily Marginalia (also called David’s Daily Journal) is now defunct. See the 20/ New Directions newsletter for more Story Gardening Sep 27, 2020 Notes & Essays Forget Pantsers and Plotters. How about being a Gardener? Teach to Learn Aug 30, 2020 Notes & Essays I’m back to school: teaching and learning! Marketing Failures Aug 23, 2020 Notes & Essays And two that worked. The Source Aug 16, 2020 Notes & Essays How a journey with my father taught me about a thing or two about creativity years later. What’s left behind Aug 9, 2020 Notes & Essays What Mount Rushmore taught me about being an artist. A Tool Against Writer’s Block Aug 2, 2020 Notes & Essays For a long time, I’ve railed against writer’s block. I think it’s stupid and one of the dumbest things we as writers have ever invented1. WOARO Jul 26, 2020 Notes & Essays Let’s talk about the heart of all story. Why Immediate Fiction is one of the best writing books of all time Jul 19, 2020 Notes & Essays Why do I love this book so much? I’ll tell you. Why we left Amazon Jul 12, 2020 Notes & Essays Our books are no longer on Amazon. I thought I’d share why. The beginning of new things May 26, 2020 Notes & Essays I started writing this the day before the Counios and Gane monthly newsletter went out. I was nervous—this was the first time I was openly Books like Beer Feb 21, 2018 Notes & Essays While finishing up last week’s show , I learned all about Nokomis Craft Ales and I couldn’t help but relate. Nokomis Craft Ales is owned by Jeff Thank you—We won the SBA First Book Award Apr 30, 2017 Notes & Essays Last night is still a blur, but I wanted share our acceptance speech-or at least what we planned to say and what I vaguely remember we actually Thank you—We won the SBA First Book Award Apr 30, 2017 Notes & Essays Last night is still a blur, but I wanted share our acceptance speech-or at least what we planned to say and what I vaguely remember we actually No paparazzi Apr 17, 2017 Notes & Essays Our trip to Indigo Chapters Saskatoon from last weekend. Vlog by: Anna “dat boi” Gane Music by: David Cutter Music (This was previously posted on Ask For What You Want Dec 9, 2016 Notes & Essays One of the lessons I preach in scriptwriting class is that all story is about a character taking action towards their want. If your character wants Friends, Family, and Fans Dec 5, 2016 Notes & Essays Since Ang and I had our first official book reading in a store , I’ve been thinking about our audience. I think it’s fair to say that our core of Party in the front, business in the back Feb 23, 2016 Notes & Essays & Business This weekend I began a six week arts entrepreneurship and business development course through the local arts board. As we worked on our business First Week Back Feb 6, 2016 Notes & Essays Ang and I officially started writing the first draft of our new book this week and I have some thoughts on it: Once we had the outline and ready to Less Blogging. More Doing. Jan 6, 2016 Notes & Essays Over my self-imposed time away, I’ve been rethinking the blog and decided to reduce the amount of blog posts I write. There are a couple of reasons The In-Betweens Dec 8, 2015 Notes & Essays The past few weeks, I’ve been painting rooms in the house. As well, I did a small talk for my daughter’s class on Monday and Ang and I have been Selling Myself Dec 2, 2015 Notes & Essays Stupid fear, getting in the way… Our book is out in the world and we have it in printed form and it’s time to sell. I have a stack of business Starting Fresh Aug 7, 2015 Notes & Essays As my letters to Ang elucidated (I really think “hallucinated” would work well here too), many things have fallen by the wayside for me this last David’s Class Review - Winter 2015 Apr 28, 2015 Notes & Essays For the past few months, I’ve been teaching scriptwriting. This was my fifth time teaching the class at the university level, but also my eighth David’s Favourite Books of 2014 Feb 6, 2015 Notes & essays & Personal So a while back, Ang and I thought it would be fun to do another comparison post, this time focusing on what each of our three favorite books were A Concrete Process Jan 8, 2015 Notes & Essays I’ve been quiet the past few weeks but now that all the festivities and food are finished, it’s time to get back to work. Writing the novel has How I Schedule My Week Dec 19, 2014 Notes & Essays I like my to do lists, but for the longest time, I kept track of the things in a mashed-up system between my journal, an online calendar, and a A Beekeeper’s Summer Dec 11, 2014 Notes & Essays My dad was a beekeeper and summer was our most hectic time. When the honey was flowing, he’d put in long days (14+ hours) working the beeyards on Four Reflections on Craft Dec 5, 2014 Notes & Essays Near the end of the book, The Craftsman by Richard Sennett, he talks about vocation, which he calls a “sustaining narrative.” He discusses Max Word Count and Benchmarks Jan 13, 2014 Notes & Essays I love word counts because they give such useful information. For example, after a week of writing, I am able to average about 445 words (or 1.25 Moving again Mar 27, 2013 Notes & Essays This will be likely the last post here. I am moving on to a new blog engine and as the final switches are flipped, davidgane.com1 will no longer The Final 15 Sep 18, 2012 Notes & Essays For the past couple of weeks, I have been reducing my friend’s list on Facebook. I haven’t posted updates on the site for some time, becoming less Something New Sep 4, 2012 Notes & Essays I have not posted on here for a while. I have considered it, told people I would do it, but in the end nothing came of it. I am tired of the notion Hillman Curtis Apr 19, 2012 Notes & Essays I saw on Swissmiss that Hillman Curtis had passed away. I loved his films. “Embrace” was my favorite. I would show it to my students and say that Considering New Rules for Scriptwriting Feb 11, 2012 Notes & Essays Go in without a plan. Allow for a natural, organic shape to emerge. Don’t worry about theme. Follow Nirav Christophe’s belief that “Theme is the Considering New Rules for Scriptwriting Feb 11, 2012 Notes & Essays Go in without a plan. Allow for a natural, organic shape to emerge. Don’t worry about theme. Follow Nirav Christophe’s belief that “Theme is the All Moved In Jan 25, 2012 Notes & Essays Welcome to the new place. I haven’t really gussied the place up, but to be honest, I don’t know how much I intend. I like this clean and simple Gawande on death Jan 25, 2012 Notes & Essays Hospice medical care for dying patients : The New Yorker The words you use matter. According to experts, you shouldn’t say, “I’m sorry things Hometown winner Jan 23, 2012 Notes & Essays From Briarpatch Magazine: The top entry from the Regina area was David Gane’s “But we do it anyway,” which will be featured online. David will also On natural organization and Desire Paths Jan 23, 2012 Notes & Essays Here is something Rands in Repose written back in 2008: “I’m eagerly watching Twitter evolve and organize itself.” I like how we is waiting for Tom Carson talking about Steve McQueen’s Shame Jan 16, 2012 Notes & Essays “…dedication to his material is at once impressive and peculiarly abstract, may not even consider that reaction symptomatic of a failure to involve New beginnings, delivered by scriptogr.am Jan 11, 2012 Notes & Essays This is an experiment in something new. I have had my Tumblr blog for almost 5 years but I have always been uneasy with it. I like the cloud but I The Furious Explosion Jan 7, 2012 Notes & Essays My kids made a video this weekend that I thought I would share Tiny Tilt-Shift Athens Dec 8, 2011 Notes & Essays A short tilt-shift tour of the ancient city, by Emmanouil Papadopoulos. I love seeing places on the internet that I actually know my way around How the Cosmonaut is Made Dec 5, 2011 Notes & Essays I am very excited. Via Studio Neat The Broken Manifesto Dec 1, 2011 Notes & Essays This is a summary of my semester, a manifesto of sorts, that was required to be presented in two classes. I thought I would share and post for my Jason Fried on mornings Dec 1, 2011 Notes & Essays Things that look good at the end of the day often don’t look good the next Jason Fried Little Printer Nov 29, 2011 Notes & Essays This doesn’t come out until 2012 so it gives me time to save up my dimes. Say hello to Little Printer (BERG) via TechCrunch A little of column A, B, and C Nov 8, 2011 Notes & Essays Lately, I either take an already hard assignment and restrict it, making it harder for myself, or I take two assignments and combine them in two Tiny Homes as Punk Rock Oct 30, 2011 Notes & Essays I love this guy’s attitude! I would love to build something like this. Tiny homes as punk rock: freedom from codes & loans (by kirstendirksen) On the step after failing Oct 28, 2011 Notes & Essays You regroup and start hustling again, but it’s crucial that you believe in your own creative processes. Don’t put all your best songs on the first The Test and the Call Oct 27, 2011 Notes & Essays Moyers: What’s the significance of the trials, and tests, and ordeals of the hero? Campbell: If you want to put it in terms of intentions, the Clean lines of action Oct 22, 2011 Notes & Essays I push my students to think about cause and effect in their scenes and scripts. When the action we read is convoluted, we stop and go back to try (be productive) x (do the stuff you love) Oct 22, 2011 Notes & Essays I have been hearing the rumblings from some students about their problems with time management, so I thought I would throw some thoughts out. I am The Cause and Effect in Shots Oct 22, 2011 Notes & Essays joshwilliamsfilms: I bet you didn’t know The Dark Knight was this visually inconsistent. I push my students to think about cause and effect in Writing is an action Oct 21, 2011 Notes & Essays So a recap: In a blog post about what defines one as a “Writer”, Natasha said: I would say that I am a person who enjoys creative writing, but no What makes a writer? Oct 17, 2011 Notes & Essays A girl in our class said she had a painting on display in a cafe somewhere, so did that make her an artist? “No.” His opinion is that the closer What’s the difference… Oct 10, 2011 Notes & Essays …between nature as a reflection of our personal feelings and nature as a participant in suffering (or other emotions)? Is there one? Is putting a Bakhtin on the Chronotope Oct 10, 2011 Notes & Essays Time, as it were, thickens, takes on flesh, becomes artistically visible; likewise, space becomes charged and responsive to the movements of time, Dr. Peter King on the Chronotope Oct 10, 2011 Notes & Essays The chronotope: the singular linkage of time and place — how place is always a place in time — and how this creates the significance of memories of Hemingway on trying Oct 8, 2011 Notes & Essays For a true writer each book should be a new beginning where he tries again for something that is beyond attainment. He should always try for To understand what I did. Oct 7, 2011 Notes & Essays “Why had he been so eager, during close to 50 interviews and conversations over the course of two years, to open up so much for a book when he was Twitter is like a river… Oct 7, 2011 Notes & Essays Twitter is like a river … you can step into it at any point and feel the water, bathe in it, frolic if you like … and then get out. And go back in Writing is a response to life Oct 7, 2011 Notes & Essays Reading Kelli’s blog, I came across this: My Honour’s project supervisor believes that writing is at its best when it comes from a place of The devil is in the details Oct 7, 2011 Notes & Essays Simply stating it’s a glass of wine is not enough. There’s a big difference between a $500 bottle of Haut Brion and two-dollar Night Train. The On subtext Oct 6, 2011 Notes & Essays The more you believe that no one can read the subtext of your actions, the more likely they have figured you out spot on The Eulogy for my dad, Charles Gane Oct 6, 2011 Notes & Essays My dad passed away at the start of this summer from Alzheimer’s and I did the eulogy. I’d like to thank everyone, family and friends, who have come Jared Gyoerick on the moment Oct 5, 2011 Notes & Essays Stories can begin and end within small units — a short story can be contained within a singular moment. -Jared Gyoerick A Redditor commenting on the passing of Steve Jobs Oct 5, 2011 Notes & Essays One man who knew what he was doing, and did it well. Asteroid Juice This is a real lovely way to remember him. Like so many others, I didn’t Nirav Christophe on the moment Sep 27, 2011 Notes & Essays I will be working on the basis of the small units, the event, the moment, the conversation, the monologue. — Nirav Christophe, Writing in the Raw Writing from reality Sep 24, 2011 Notes & Essays Does writing drawn from reality lessen the quality of the writing? Does writer seem less talented than when they invent situation and character? It Andrew Byrom on constraints Sep 23, 2011 Notes & Essays Looking for constraints in a different medium or a different process and I applying to rules that I had mastered is how I developed since then. Readings Sep 20, 2011 Notes & Essays No matter how hard you try, you reader won’t get all the ideas, plot, and intentions that you put into your story. This can be dangerous. It can Eric Kim on Henri Cartier-Bresson Sep 18, 2011 Notes & Essays Eric Kim discusses what we can learn about photography from Henri Cartier-Bresson: Don’t only see the world as it is, look for shapes and geometry David Jury on Rules May 27, 2011 Notes & Essays Rules can be broken — but never ignored. David Jury via Quotes on Design Excuse me while I go have nightmares May 27, 2011 Notes & Essays Jellyfish Lake, Palau (by Sarosh Jacob) The Sum Total of Choices and Decisions May 27, 2011 Notes & Essays I have found that all positions men take in their beliefs are profoundly influenced by thousands of small, often imperceptible experiences that Adam Gopnik on contraptions May 25, 2011 Notes & Essays Contraptions don’t change consciousness; contraptions are part of consciousness. Adam Gopnik, How The Internet Gets Inside Us Mental Movies May 23, 2011 Notes & Essays Scientists have developed a method for reconstructing the mind’s mental movies: Via laughingsquid Kent Nichols on audience May 10, 2011 Notes & Essays The first and biggest hurdle today is actually finding an audience and building a relationship with them so that they will Sounds familiar May 10, 2011 Notes & Essays From Manton Reece During recording: Great!This will be our best show yet. Hours later: I wish I had said “X” instead of “Y”. The next day: On craft May 9, 2011 Notes & Essays If you practice the art of making things, that’s just as important as making anything worthwhile. I like the craft of making; it’s important to On Interruptions May 9, 2011 Notes & Essays Don’t allow yourself to be driven by interruptions. Graham notes that Type-B procrastinators are “interrupt-driven.” Don’t allow yourself to be Jonah Lehrer on practice May 9, 2011 Notes & Essays That is how you train the unconscious: not with dry recitations of the playbook, but with realistic simulations. As a result, players are able to On being more than the sum May 9, 2011 Notes & Essays If you lose track of fundamental concepts, your professional life will be dictated by artifacts, and if your professional life is dictated by On anticipating the reader May 9, 2011 Notes & Essays One bit of feedback the publisher gave us: “It will be important to anticipate readers’ objections and head them off.” So we’ve been building in an On Agile Design May 9, 2011 Notes & Essays Its called agile design. A process that involves frequent adaptation, collaboration, minimal planning and face to face On Time May 9, 2011 Notes & Essays You don’t measure time–you feel it. Rands in Repose On Art during crisis May 9, 2011 Notes & Essays What is the role of art during crisis? What does history show? Matthew Cornell On getting rich May 9, 2011 Notes & Essays There’s no get rich quick option. You build it slowly, one day at a time. Matt from 37Signals On theme Apr 28, 2011 Notes & Essays Your main character should not be aware of the full dimensions of the theme at the beginning of the story, but he/she will learn. Via Your Hero: On ramifications Apr 28, 2011 Notes & Essays RAMIFICATIONS: It is important to show the ramification of the attempts, which must result in an increase in complications. via The Script Lab Handmade Clocks by Lurearts Pottery Apr 25, 2011 Notes & Essays The making of a ceramic clock by Pam McFadyen from Lurearts Pottery Screenwriting Tip #601 Apr 19, 2011 Notes & Essays Never work on somebody else’s darling pet project. If they don’t allow you any control, you’ll wind up resenting them. If they do allow you control, The wide-grip stylus for touch screens Apr 12, 2011 Notes & Essays (via The Cosmonaut: A Wide-Grip Stylus for Touch Screens by Dan Provost & Tom Gerhardt — Kickstarter) I did not intend to donate to two Cosmonaut Genius Mar 26, 2011 Notes & Essays What is the little stroke of genius that makes you different from all the other artists Be the one to tell your story. Mar 26, 2011 Notes & essays Don’t let someone else tell it for you Ask yourself… Mar 26, 2011 Notes & Essays A producer once asked me: Why do you want to tell this story and why would anyone want to see it? Could anyone learn something from it? Could they Richard Conniff on great ideas Mar 26, 2011 Notes & Essays Great ideas seldom arise in the romantic way we like to imagine—the bolt from the blue, the lone genius running through the streets crying, William Morris on Resistance Mar 25, 2011 Notes & Essays You can’t have art without resistance in the materials. William Morris via A Brief Message ReDesign Haiku Mar 25, 2011 Notes & Essays find, define, design then refine the redesign do it one more time By Justin Feinstein and sent to Michael Surtees Rubber Duck Outlining Mar 24, 2011 Notes & Essays I saw this quote from Andrew Errington on what he calls the “Rubber Duck method of debugging”: Beg, borrow, steal, buy, fabricate or otherwise Paul Isakson on Hard Work Mar 24, 2011 Notes & Essays We can take the easy route and just do what is being asked of us; or, we can choose to go beyond the assignment and look for a bigger opportunity to On Competence Mar 24, 2011 Notes & Essays Competence in tools does not equate to competence in design. via 8164.org Again, replace design for writing or filmmaking Hillman Curtis’s Embrace Mar 22, 2011 Notes & Essays From Hillman Curtis I love this Casey Donahue on Connectivity Mar 22, 2011 Notes & Essays I was watching Larry Sanders earlier and noticed that the boom is constantly in the frame. It seemed kind of blatent so I figured I would ask Judd On Fiction and Documentaries Mar 22, 2011 Notes & Essays Morris’ films aren’t about The Truth; they’re about our personal, private truths, as well as the lies and rationalizations we create for our On Edwidge Danticat’s rewrite method Mar 21, 2011 Notes & Essays Finally, she makes a tape recording of herself reading the entire novel aloud—a trick she learned from Walter Mosley—and revises passages that cause Caterina Fake on Celeste Albaret Mar 21, 2011 Notes & Essays Far from being exploited, she was being made a part of something she knew to be important. She found someone who needed her, and their small, Wagstaff on the time to read a script Mar 20, 2011 Notes & Essays If it takes more than an hour to read your feature-film script, then you’ve probably overwritten. Via WAGSTAFF I have never read a script this David Thompson on the culture of acting Mar 17, 2011 Notes & Essays Acting is storytelling, and any child knows the delight in distinguishing a “real” story about what Dad did at work, and a fantasy—a pretend John Hillcoat on movie budgets Mar 17, 2011 Notes & Essays Viewers are being hardwired differently. In film, it’s harder and harder to use wide shots now. And the bigger the budget, the more closeups there On How to Make Oatmeal Mar 15, 2011 Notes & Essays If you don’t want to bother with the stove at all, you could put some rolled oats (instant not necessary) in a glass or bowl, along with a teeny John Sculley On Steve Jobs Mar 15, 2011 Notes & Essays What makes Steve’s methodology different from everyone else’s is that he always believed the most important decisions you make are not the things Matt Haughey on weight loss Mar 14, 2011 Notes & Essays Another quick tip came from somewhere deep in Ask MetaFilter: if you’re presented with some large meal, rich food, or incredible looking dessert, Study Finds Alzheimer’s Disease may be Misdiagnosed Mar 14, 2011 Notes & Essays The study is troubling because there are several other causes of dementia in the elderly, including depression, overmedication, thyroid problems, D.I.Y Planner on Sketch Journaling Mar 14, 2011 Notes & Essays A sketch journal isn’t about how real an image looks or how perfect one draws an object over another. It’s about developing your perspective; Todd Zaki Warfel on prototypes Mar 13, 2011 Notes & Essays Via Pleasure and Pain: Sketch out your ideas. Pitch idea to room in 3 min. Room gets 2 min to critique: 2-3 strengths, 1-2 improvements to make. I am guilty of this Mar 12, 2011 Notes & Essays Due to the poor lighting I shot the photos under, I wasn’t comfortable showing others the photos that I’ve just taken on my camera because they Matt Might on the Thesis Statement Mar 11, 2011 Notes & Essays The thesis statement answers the question, “What did humanity learn as a consequence of this. Matt Might Jonathan Demme on delivering expectations Mar 11, 2011 Notes & Essays In an interview with the Parallax View, Jonathan Demme discusses Jenny Lumet’s writing for “Rachel Getting Married”: What she cares about is truth Jeff Bridges on Starting from Zero Mar 10, 2011 Notes & Essays In acting you’ll maybe take the first take, and it’s very fresh. And you’ll say wow, that felt like real life! So now let’s recreate that, and do it Number 2 on Milton Glaser’s list “Ten Things I Have Learned” Mar 10, 2011 Notes & Essays If you have a choice never have a job. Milton Glaser On Having Talent Mar 10, 2011 Notes & Essays Talent is not when your friends tell you they love your work, but when people who don’t like you have to admit it’s good. Via The Year in Pictures: Rob Wallin on Consumers and Producers Mar 9, 2011 Notes & Essays Some people are consumers by nature; they consume vast quantities of knowledge purely for learning’s sake. Others are producers; they consume An incredible urge Mar 8, 2011 Notes & Essays I have an incredible urge to say ‘fuck all this development/waiting/raising non-existent funds/latte filmmaking’ and just grab 10 people and go out Peter Jackson on Digital Filmmaking Mar 5, 2011 Notes & Essays “There are no excuses anymore. If people really want to make movies, they can go out and do it.” — Peter Jackson in Reuters From a Student Mar 5, 2011 Notes & Essays I got this email from a student: This was a tough assignment, and one that I’ve been bitching loudly about for the past week - and perhaps loudest Francis Ford Coppola on the Future of Filmmaking in 1990 Mar 5, 2011 Notes & Essays “To me the great hope is that now these little 8mm video recorders and stuff have come out, some… just people who normally wouldn’t make movies are The Red Shovel Mar 5, 2011 Notes & Essays Red Shovel (1992) by Leighton Pierce One of my favourite films Now that is conflict Mar 2, 2011 Notes & essays “He’s confronted with the wrenching knowledge that he might have to kill his son to save him from an even worse fate. But he hopes for something Glen Hansard on the Making of Once Mar 2, 2011 Notes & Essays “So we made a few basic decisions, and one of the basic decisions that worked best was to keep the cameras on a long lens, so you’d have two cameras When sports make for interesting new ideas Mar 1, 2011 Notes & Essays The playmaker: The one that sets things up for others to score On Accident Feb 28, 2011 Notes & Essays “She had happened to me and not only that I had happened to her.” — Writer Darrin Strauss’s account of being the accidental cause of someone’s Frank Darabont’s description in Shawshank Redemption Feb 28, 2011 Notes & Essays “Dark as midnight. Concrete walls rise on both sides. If you imagine them as two huge slices of bread, the meat of this particular sandwich is about Mystery Man on writing action Feb 28, 2011 Notes & Essays “Action paragraphs should be 4 lines or fewer. You typically write one paragraph per beat of action, and they should be important actions. I loved Sean Flanigan on process Feb 28, 2011 Notes & Essays “As long as people are in the frame I’m pretty happy. You didn’t ask but what I don’t like is big productions, I’m way too impatient to work with Writing with light Feb 27, 2011 Notes & Essays The word “photography” has its roots in Greek, roughly translating to “writing of light.” Just as text is most interesting when free of superfluous Writing Tip Feb 26, 2011 Notes & Essays Ask yourself what each of your characters feels towards the other characters. How do the main characters relate to the minor characters? And how Zack Stentz on interaction Feb 23, 2011 Notes & Essays “Every interaction between two people is on some level a negotiation for status.” — Zack Stentz Dialogue is action. Characters use dialogue to get Does anyone know Jan 21, 2011 Notes & Essays …a film where an inanimate object is the main character Where it falls apart Jan 15, 2011 Notes & Essays The problem is that yes often results in massive costs that we don’t consider when we’re dreaming up all the things we want to do. Yes doesn’t push Essay Writing Nov 28, 2010 Notes & Essays If you have a few good thoughts, you can write a few good sentences. If you have a few good sentences, you can write a few good paragraphs. If you Yes, there is nothing to see on Netflix Nov 15, 2010 Notes & Essays Except: Nightmares in Red, White, and Blue, American Grindhouse White Men Can’t Jump White on Rice Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid The King of Leonard Shelby from Memento (2000) Oct 13, 2010 Notes & Essays “You can only feel details. Bits and pieces which you didn’t bother to put into words. And extreme moments you feel even if you don’t want to. Put Jay and Mark Duplass on being yourself Jul 2, 2010 Notes & Essays “It was 12 years of slamming our head up against the wall, trying to be the Coen Brothers, trying to be somebody else. You joke but that was the Damon Lindelof on writing the Star Trek Sequel Jul 2, 2010 Notes & Essays “They have a story and that “the next phase is to get together and try to destroy it.” — Damon Lindelof via /Film What is your lineage? Jun 10, 2010 Notes & Essays The lineage that I’m trying to follow starts with Preston Sturges, Billy Wilder, goes to Hal Ashby, and then goes to James L. Brooks, Cameron Crowe, In Preparation for Summer Jun 10, 2010 Notes & Essays Because of the wide variation in response to jellyfish stings, it is wisest not to contact jellyfish with bare skin. Even beached and dying The process takes time and patience Jun 7, 2010 Notes & Essays Wired on the building of Toy Story 3: They thought they already had a great start on the plot for Toy Story 3, but after 20 minutes, the whole Monsters Jun 4, 2010 Notes & Essays Gareth Edwards on how he shot a monster movie on $15,000 with only two three crew and two actors: “Creativity is just being stupid enough to Underwear May 27, 2010 Notes & Essays Motionographer interview DANIELS about their video for “Underwear” by FM Belfast. All you need to make a music video are some friends and $40 of Go For Launch May 21, 2010 Notes & Essays Photographers Scott Andrews, Stan Jirman and Philip Scott Andrews condense six weeks of painstaking work into three minutes, 52 seconds The Silent House May 20, 2010 Notes & Essays /Film discusses The Silent House, a 79 minute single take horror film: The film is shot completely handheld, and the house is lit using a The Last Ten Percent May 19, 2010 Notes & Essays After reading, watching, and listening to scripts, films, and ideas over the past months, I think it was this article from Seth Godin that helped The CEO’s Wall May 19, 2010 Notes & Essays Renee Oricchio explores Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook wall: Are we to believe Mark Zuckerberg hasn’t used his own product since April 21st? The Maxim Zhestkov May 19, 2010 Notes & Essays In an interview with Motiongrapher, Maxim Zhestkov talks about his process: It is important to preserve the opportunity to surprise yourself and to Are Excellent Presentations Hurting Us May 18, 2010 Notes & essays Pre-TED, I used to be able to sit through a boring lecture or presentation — diligently taking notes while being sufficiently nourished by whatever Ellen Lupton on Listening May 17, 2010 Notes & Essays “It is easier to talk than to listen. Pay attention to your clients, your users, your readers, and your friends. Your design will get better as you Cannonball May 17, 2010 Notes & Essays is a short documentary on skateboarders search for empty pools in foreclosed homes. It was directed, produced, and shot by Drea Cooper The New Social Scene Apr 27, 2010 Notes & Essays This is why I love the new world we live in: Working late. Just got a Skype call from 200 people in a Chicago bar that wanted to sing happy bday to Movies I’ve Watched Recently Apr 24, 2010 Notes & Essays Cinderella Man War of the Worlds* Mighty Aphrodite Public Enemies Milk One Week Paranormal Activity Dazed and Confused* 2010: The Year We Make The Process Police Apr 18, 2010 Notes & Essays From the 52 Weeks of UX The “Process Police”, people who go around espousing their preferred process as the right way to do things…as if those who Clay Shirky on Working Simply Apr 17, 2010 Notes & Essays [I]t is the people who figure out how to work simply in the present, rather than the people who mastered the complexities of the past, who get to Tim Ferris on perfection Apr 17, 2010 Notes & Essays If you’re getting chased by a lion, you don’t need to run faster than the lion, just the people running with you… you don’t need to be perfect, you Donald Miller on Story Apr 16, 2010 Notes & Essays If you aren’t telling a good story to the people you love, who is? What I mean is, everybody loves a story. We simply can’t live without a good I am… Apr 13, 2010 Notes & Essays Exist in present continuous tense: I am writing. I am creating. I am making. I am doing it Breaking Upwards Apr 10, 2010 Notes & Essays This caught my eye. The trailer for “Breaking Upwards”. Shot on a budget of $15,000. Nice article about it in the New York Times. Found via Philip Bloom Films on the Canon Mar 28, 2010 Notes & Essays Yes, you sold me I Had the Time Mar 27, 2010 Notes & Essays From Bobulate: I recently said a flat “no” to an interesting project. The person replied, “I get it, you don’t have the time.” I had the time, yet David Mamet’s Master Class Memo Mar 24, 2010 Notes & Essays SO: WE, THE WRITERS, MUST ASK OURSELVES OF EVERY SCENE THESE THREE QUESTIONS. WHO WANTS WHAT? WHAT HAPPENS IF HER DON’T GET IT? WHY NOW? David Movies I’ve Watched Recently Mar 9, 2010 Notes & Essays Smiles of a Summer Night Sawdust and Tinsel Wings of Desire The Exterminating Angel Truly, Madly, Deeply The Intruder Nenette and Boni Strange Brew You Ain’t Going to Need It Mar 9, 2010 Notes & Essays 37signals (damn them for the good links) talk about YAGNI: “It’s easy to get carried away discussing how you could possibly do this, that, or the The power of small groups Mar 3, 2010 Notes & Essays Matt, from 37signals, quotes British author Antony Jay on the benefits of working with small groups: “The basic unit is [a group] which varies from The Cult of Done Sep 18, 2009 Notes & Essays This makes me happy: The Cult of Done by Bre Prettis and Kio Stark. The poster comes from James Provost The Adventure Sep 5, 2009 Notes & Essays To face your fear of writing, right now, is to break though the personal jail cell that you have created. It will release you from the insecurity Jason Reitman on Directing Sep 5, 2009 Notes & Essays You can’t explain how to direct. It is simply instincts based on taking chances and making mistakes. Jason Reitman on The Kevin Pollack Chat Show Sacrifice Aug 30, 2009 Notes & Essays The best part in Malcom Gladwell’s book Outliers: The Story of Success is tucked at the back, well after his chapter about mastery and the 10,000 Do the dishes Aug 27, 2009 Notes & Essays Jack Cheng writes about “when you really ‘do the dishes’ without hurrying through them, you learn things.” It reminds me of a piece of advice that I Sketching with a Sharpie Aug 27, 2009 Notes & Essays Fun for me is building the first vision of a new script with a marker and a big pad of paper. Jason Fried, from 37signals, reminded me how it also Design Club Aug 25, 2009 Notes & Essays After recently putting the Screenwriter’s Group on hiatus until the new year, I came across this article about designs clubs that “support emerging 2. Confidently start work. Aug 24, 2009 Notes & Essays I love this list of ten “mental rules” for solving puzzles that Andrew Bonventre found in the book Solve it! by James F. Fixx. I think numbers 2, 5, Too Much May 14, 2009 Notes & Essays There is a line you have to be careful not to cross once you move past writer’s block and get going again. It is the line of doing too much. Once Knowing Your Limits May 1, 2009 Notes & Essays So often, the talk that surrounds writing is about doing the work and extending your skill, craft, and abilities. Something freeing that I have Good Journeys May 1, 2009 Notes & Essays I have been thinking about you, my reader, a lot lately. I want you to be writing. I want you to be overcoming the fears that may be holding you The Genius of Later Apr 27, 2009 Notes & Essays Your first pass of a story is the closed-door session. It is the story session. It is about you listening and writing what you hear. The challenge Herb Kelleher on Strategic Plans Apr 16, 2009 Notes & Essays We have a strategic plan, it’s called doing things. Herb Kelleher from Southwest Airlines, via swissmiss To you, the one not writing Apr 15, 2009 Notes & Essays There are no tricks. You likely know the basic rules. Reading a bunch of books won’t help you start. You need to start writing. Do it lots and do it Priorities and Sacrafice Apr 7, 2009 Notes & Essays What do you sacrifice when you get too busy? A lot of people make the excuse that they don’t have the time to write but find plenty of time to do Get Out of Your Own Way Apr 2, 2009 Notes & Essays The worst thing you can do as a writer is to start second-guessing your decisions. It leads to fear, worry, and eventually blocking up. When The Most Important Step Mar 27, 2009 Notes & Essays The biggest challenge when you begin to write is to get past the notion that things are supposed to look a certain way. Often, the questions Remarkable Stories Mar 24, 2009 Notes & Essays Be willing to dream big. Push out the incredible stories that you have locked inside. Don’t let your remarkable stories be lost. Write today When we lose faith, we forget Mar 23, 2009 Notes & Essays If you are a writer, one of the best feelings in the world amounts to either one of these: Tapping at the keys on your keyboard Moving a pen over The Only Choice Mar 19, 2009 Notes & Essays Here is your choice: Write or don’t write. If you want to be a writer, this is a no-brainer but why is it people who say they want to write don’t do Timing Mar 15, 2009 Notes & Essays When the stories are not going, it may not be the time for to write it. It could also be that you are avoiding it because you are scared of screwing The Right Time Mar 10, 2009 Notes & Essays Are you waiting for the right time to pursue your creativity? How about more time? Or more money? Maybe, you are waiting for a different job? Are Finishing Mar 9, 2009 Notes & Essays Not finishing the script, story, or book is almost the same as having an idea that you never write. It takes up space in your head as you think and Sink or Swim Mar 4, 2009 Notes & Essays You want to write but you aren’t writing. You’re in the water and not getting out but you aren’t swimming either. You’re sitting in the shallow end, Your one big, huge talent Mar 3, 2009 Notes & Essays If you truly feel that writing is your talent but you are not doing the work, then quit making excuses. Don’t waste another second. Sit down and The Greatest Fail Mar 2, 2009 Notes & Essays No one sets out to suck. You try your best and you see where you end up. But what if you flipped it and tried to do the worst story possible. Toss “It’s not there” Feb 28, 2009 Notes & Essays The question is never: “Do you have anything to write?” It is: “Do you want to write?” If you do, sit down at the page and write. Starting out, Reiterate and Refine Feb 27, 2009 Notes & Essays Whatever you are working on right now is not your final version. The only final version that exists is the one that is bought, paid for, and is Write Bad Stuff Feb 26, 2009 Notes & Essays The stakes of creating bad stuff are zero. No one gets harmed and there are a couple advantages in creating it. It no longer takes up mental energy Enjoy It Feb 25, 2009 Notes & Essays Don’t be a slave to your creativity. It doesn’t own you. It doesn’t define you. It doesn’t make you more or less of who you are. Don’t be in fear of The Love Post Feb 16, 2009 Notes & Essays (Before you read, here is a note from David in Feb 2021.) You are in a relationship with your writing. Is it a bad one or a good one? A bad What’s your reason for not writing? Feb 14, 2009 Notes & Essays (Before you read, here is a note from David in Feb 2021.) I want to toss this out and I am hoping you participate. What is your reason you aren’t The Simple Fact Feb 13, 2009 Notes & Essays The original goal of this blog is simple: I want you to write. My belief is that the reason you’re not writing is an excuse. Every time I write a Writing and Writing Well Feb 12, 2009 Notes & Essays (Before you read, here is a note from David in Feb 2021.) It’s easy to confuse these two. When you want to tell a story, you want to write, and you “I don’t think it’s working” Feb 10, 2009 Notes & Essays (Before you read, here is a note from David in Feb 2021.) How often have you started a script and it doesn’t feel quite right and you feel Possibility Feb 1, 2009 Notes & Essays Yes, someone could hate your work. They might tell you it stinks, that you have no understanding of story, structure, character, plot, or dialogue. I am telling you what you already know Feb 1, 2009 Notes & Essays (Before you read, here is a note from David in Feb 2021.) You already know that you should be writing. You already know that you are making excuses. Writing Books Jan 30, 2009 Notes & Essays How many writing books have you read? How about blogs? How much help have they been? Have you written more because of them? Have you started writing Stop Being an Idiot Jan 30, 2009 Notes & Essays (Before you read, here is a note from David in Feb 2021.) Do you want to write? Then do it. Quit making excuses. Quit telling yourself and the Why are you writing? Jan 29, 2009 Notes & Essays List ten reasons why you write and be honest. Rank them in importance from 1 to 10, with #1 being the most important. Now, take #1 away. Where does Your Next Action Jan 20, 2009 Notes & Essays You read a quote that you like, that tells you to write. It excites you and catches your passion. You star it, you heart it, you favorite it, you Now Jan 20, 2009 Notes & Essays Write today. Write tomorrow. Write every day. Don’t make excuses anymore. Don’t stop after the first week, the first month, the first year, or the The In-Between Time Jan 19, 2009 Notes & Essays When you are done your writing for the day, stop. Don’t carry your computer or notepad around with the hope that you will be blessed with that The Void Jan 9, 2009 Notes & Essays “I want to write.” You think about it all the time. You write it in your journal, you think about when you are unhappy at work, and you tell those The Creative Habit Jan 8, 2009 Notes & Essays I just finished Twyla Tharp’s book The Creative Habit where I found this: “Being blocked is most often a failure of nerve, with only one solution: Let’s Bake a Cake Jan 5, 2009 Notes & Essays Let’s bake a cake. We’ll be a little bit more specific and make it a basic chocolate one. Out of the five recipes I look up, one uses just over a Today (part 2) Jan 1, 2009 Notes & Essays Start with one page. If you you want to write, then write. Quit lying to yourself. The reason you tell yourself you can’t write is an excuse. Cut 1 Page equals 3 Scripts Dec 31, 2008 Notes & Essays If you aren’t writing and you want to be, this is what you need to do. Tomorrow, start the new year by writing one page of a story. It will take 15 The Pain of a Mistake Dec 31, 2008 Notes & Essays It hurts. Feel it, learn from it, and make lots more of them. You become great, little by little, through constant iteration Screw up Dec 30, 2008 Notes & Essays Back when I was working in a movie theatre and learning to run the projector, I was given a great bit of advice. I was told that once I got past the Just Write Dec 29, 2008 Notes & Essays If I have one goal, it is for you to write. There are no real secrets anymore. The information can be found online and free. If you don’t trust it, Resisting Structure Dec 24, 2008 Notes & Essays Acts are containers to hold your story. If you are using Classical Act form, you have 4 containers. Now add another container or take one away. You Quit Making Excuses Dec 23, 2008 Notes & Essays Which of these would you rather be? The person who has a “Great Idea” and tells everyone about it and says that one day he is going to write it. or Your Choice Dec 18, 2008 Notes & Essays There is no simpler way for me to tell you this: If you want to write, you can do it. It’s up to you. I hear a lot of reasons why people don’t Breaking the Story Dec 16, 2008 Notes & Essays Here are two resources to break your story and get writing: Blake Snyder’s 15 Point Beat Sheet Pilar Alessandra’s On the Page Another one is to map The Irving Dec 15, 2008 Notes & Essays You can write a script in a week but it doesn’t mean you should. The in-between time of a writing session are often your most creative. You push 2 Years Dec 11, 2008 Notes & Essays You have an idea. Great. Get to work. Give yourself a 10 day deadline to build the structure. As Derek Sivers, CD Baby founder said, “If you’ve got Flirting with Breaks Dec 10, 2008 Notes & Essays Jonah Lehrer wrote in Music Patterns, and Sine Waves: “music is defined by its flirtation with—but not submission to—our expectations of order.” The First Thing to Go Dec 9, 2008 Notes & Essays If you are writing every day, the first thing that happens is that you go very quickly through all those wonderful ideas that you have been holding Why are you still trying to write? Dec 8, 2008 Notes & Essays Maybe you weren’t meant to write. That’s alright. I understand. Just pack up your stuff and go home. “But…” “Wait.” “No.” “It’s what I dream about Friday Links - December 5, 2008 Dec 5, 2008 Notes & Essays Scrumy Intended as a project management tool, I thought it could be used as a way to outline your script. A similar app is the fantastic Backpack This is for when there is nothing Dec 4, 2008 Notes & Essays Write. Do the work. This is a part of the practice of becoming a writer. It is about making the mistakes and writing ugly stuff. It is about A Part of the Process Dec 2, 2008 Notes & Essays How do you know when it’s not working? How do you know when you are struggling and you just need to get out of your own way to make it work? Friday Links Dec 1, 2008 Notes & Essays Here are some links of things I have caught my interest, as of late: I Wrote a 120 Page Script But Can’t Write a Logline: The Construction of a Life Work Dec 1, 2008 Notes & Essays I am starting to feel like a broken record but I am going to keep at it while I know that there are the stragglers out there. Why aren’t you doing The Stakes Nov 30, 2008 Notes & Essays From Blake Snyder: “If you are not getting 4-10 responses for every 100 email or query letter you send — it’s not the agent, it’s your pitch!” 10,000 Hours Nov 27, 2008 Notes & Essays Malcolm Gladwell says in his new book Outliers that researchers believe that takes about 10,000 hours or 10 years of hard practice to develop Why aren’t you writing? Nov 26, 2008 Notes & Essays That is the question that has been on my mind a lot lately. I hope to find some reasons and solutions over the next little while The Great Debate Nov 16, 2008 Notes & Essays There is the side that you want to be right and there is the side that you know to be right. Where those two meet, there is bliss More Sep 3, 2008 Notes & Essays Here is the deadline I want you to keep in your head. What do you really want to be doing with your life? Is it the job you are in or is there more? What is an Action? Aug 28, 2008 Notes & Essays It is what is required to obtain the character’s want, goal, or need. In the end, they may not obtain it. They may lose it, they may realize their My Definition of an Act… Aug 27, 2008 Notes & Essays …is an action. Complete from beginning to end. What’s yours Don’t Make it Difficult Aug 23, 2008 Notes & Essays I wanted to do a few posts on what I have figured out about structure. I wanted to draw my pretty line drawing that I use all the time to show One of those days… Aug 13, 2008 Notes & Essays When you are feeling down on the writing, think about “Gearheads don’t get it” from 37signals: “Figure out what you have to say that’s interesting Old Projects Aug 12, 2008 Notes & Essays What do you do with the the writing that never made it to the end? How long do you hold onto it? If you lost it, if it disappeared, or if you threw Flights of the Imagination Aug 12, 2008 Notes & Essays Dead stories are like concept products. Writing dead stories is an act of pretending and without the real constraint of having to publicly release Results Aug 7, 2008 Notes & Essays From Seth Godin’s blog today: “I reserve “architect” to describe the intentional arrangement of design elements to get a certain result.” That’s Bayles and Orland on Quality versus Quantity Aug 6, 2008 Notes & Essays “The works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning Let it go Aug 5, 2008 Notes & Essays Let go of superstitious thinking. Our passions define our self and our identity. We allow our obsessions to control us, even when it causes us Architectural Change Aug 5, 2008 Notes & Essays I was watching How Buildings Learn, a BBC documentary based on Steward Brand’s book of the same name, when they talked about the relationship Sounds like a writer’s problem Aug 4, 2008 Notes & Essays “Taking a new step, uttering a new word is what they fear most…. But I am talking too much. It’s because I chatter that I do nothing. Or perhaps it Scammy Jul 30, 2008 Notes & Essays A word I apply to most books about writing. (Originally posted on 8secondsofawesome.com.) Action Jul 30, 2008 Notes & Essays A character has an intention and a goal and she pursues it through action. She makes a choice to pursue the action. She meets resistance, obstacles, One-Eighty Jul 29, 2008 Notes & Essays Someone commented the other day how I have taken a 180 degree reversal on structure but there is more to it than that. I have changed how I do Don’t Be this Beaver Jul 28, 2008 Notes & Essays From The Onion: “Beaver Overthinking Dam”: “Local beaver Dennis Messner is spending an inordinate amount of time and effort in the planning and Advice to the Amateur Writer Jul 28, 2008 Notes & Essays Mystery Man on Film posted some advice for amateur writers. My favourites are: Chances are that you won’t sell a screenplay until you’ve made a Why Aren’t you Doing the Work Jul 28, 2008 Notes & Essays Are you waiting for permission? You have my permission. Do you fear the task? Push through — it’s a marathon. Or how about this one from The More The Work Week Jul 28, 2008 Notes & Essays Stephen King says in his book On Writing that he writes every day, including Christmas, the Fourth of July, and his birthday. When I am working on a How to Find the Time to Write Jul 27, 2008 Notes & Essays Wake up 15 minutes earlier. In 15 minutes you can write 2-3 pages of a script and in 40-60 days you would have a first draft. Wake up 30 minutes Numbers Jul 27, 2008 Notes & Essays Tomorrow is a special day. Tomorrow my writing partner and I complete the outline of our next story. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, right? But it Fill it with Discoveries Jun 25, 2008 Notes & Essays When you quit dreaming about your passions and start doing them, what happens? You uncover the hole that you once filled with excuses and busy-ness Every Day Jun 20, 2008 Notes & Essays The other night, a gentleman in my writer’s group told me that he was there because he hadn’t written in seven years. A friend of mine was told the Are You Adding to the Noise? Jun 19, 2008 Notes & Essays Is what you are working on worth it? Is it worth the money and the time of all those involved? Is it worth getting a babysitter, driving a car, (This is not) The Test Jun 7, 2008 Notes & Essays The Real Test is big. The choice is always hard and is often (but not always) a Turning Point. It attacks us deep and pits our heart against our Noise and Signal Jun 4, 2008 Notes & Essays During the construction of a story, how often do you allow the noise to hide the signal: How much sensory input do you allow in (RSS, email, social The Rules Jun 3, 2008 Notes & Essays The thing I like is that I can break the rules, especially when they are my own. After everything that I have posted about lately, I am beginning to Not Writing Jun 2, 2008 Notes & Essays What if you didn’t have a well to pull ideas from? Where would they come from? Would you continue to write, forcing ideas to come no matter what? Or Tricks and Rules May 28, 2008 Notes & Essays There are rules, formulas, recipes, outlines, tricks, methods, systems, ways, guidelines, hacks, habits, techniques, secrets, shortcuts, sketches, Delays May 27, 2008 Notes & Essays Do you ever think either of these: You need another book to tell you how to write You need to work on your outline some more. Stop it. You know it. 20 Handy Excuses for Any Writer to Use May 23, 2008 Notes & Essays My alarm never went off. My computer was on the fritz. I just don’t know where to begin. I was really busy but I’ll do it tomorrow. I forgot that it 0 to 120 May 22, 2008 Notes & Essays Seth Godin’s post “How to read a business book” talks about the difference between business books and other how-to books. He says: “The gap is Mistakes May 21, 2008 Notes & Essays Accept it. You will make them. The only mistake you should never make is avoiding the risk of making them. Often, out of those moments come the best Partnerships May 20, 2008 Notes & Essays In the article “A New Approach to Igniting and Sustaining Creativity”, Dr. Anne Paris says that recent studies suggest that ”we are helped along in Fuzzy Lines May 19, 2008 Notes & Essays The post, You say Tomarto from Thought for the Week, a blog from the London design consultancy, johnson banks, says: “designers themselves often My King Dilemma May 16, 2008 Notes & Essays Stephen King and I have a problem. He keeps stealing my ideas. This has been happening since I was a teenager. Every time I came up with a great Connecting the Dots May 15, 2008 Notes & Essays There is nothing wrong with creating an outline before you write your story, as long as you write the story. But if you aren’t writing, then you Dad Gone Mad May 14, 2008 Notes & Essays “So one night, about a year ago, I decided to quit dreaming. I sat down at my keyboard and began to write.” Danny Evans from Dad Gone Mad It Today May 12, 2008 Notes & Essays is your day to start. It wasn’t yesterday (or you would have started already) and it isn’t tomorrow (because you’ll never get there). Now is Writing, and Rewriting, and Rewriting May 12, 2008 Notes & Essays Listen to what Alex Epstein offers in his blog Complications Ensue: The Crafty TV and Screenwriting Blog: “I don’t think you need to read any more Bubbling Up May 11, 2008 Notes & Essays I think of ideas as lost object. Immediately, at the point of their creation, they are at risk of being lost, forgotten, and never remembered. To Pen and Paper May 9, 2008 Notes & Essays My favorite pen, a blue Bic Cristal ballpoint, can be purchased on Amazon in a box of 12 for $2.55. They fit nicely into the pocket, a bag, or a What is Next May 8, 2008 Notes & Essays What’s holding you back? Things are moving forward, faster than you expected. Do you think something is missing? Something doesn’t feel quite right? Process and Structure May 6, 2008 Notes & Essays I found this quote through Jurgen Wolff’s Time to Write article: Rewriting, Re-Editing and Finding the Right Structure for Your Story: “That whole Cleanse the Palate May 1, 2008 Notes & Essays I thought it would be appropriate with the previous post to add one more to the mix. I am in the process of editing a script and moving through the Work While Standing Apr 30, 2008 Notes & Essays Okay, I wasn’t going to post this but I have decided to hell with it because I like it, I agree with it, and I do it. 37signals Picking the Scene Apr 21, 2008 Notes & Essays For a while now, I have been fascinated with the ideas that stream out of 37signals and their blog. I read through Getting Real: The book knowing So that… Apr 11, 2008 Notes & Essays I came across some advice from Adrian Bryant on how to get motivated to lose weight that I think you could use for writing. Ask yourself why you My wife… Mar 10, 2008 Notes & Essays can’t be found in a Google search The Passionate User and Buyer’s Fatigue Feb 27, 2008 Notes & Essays There is something that I have become aware of in the last few days: the idea of the Passionate User. I love the being a passionate user. Â There Joe’s Goals Nov 29, 2007 Notes & Essays Usually, when I post interesting web apps at the old blog, no one seems to care. So, when the opportunity came up to plug Joe’s Goals, I passed on Starbucks - The Way I See It #76 Nov 21, 2007 Notes & Essays The irony of commitment is that it’s deeply liberating - in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, What I realized while sweetening my coffee this morning Nov 14, 2007 Notes & Essays “Did you know that butter is not honey?” The 4 Day Challenge - Day ??? - Page 51 Sep 18, 2007 Notes & Essays So, what happened? How did the 4 Day Challenge disappear? It breaks down like this: Wednesday was an at home day for the family, Thursday became a The 4 Day Challenge - Day 2 - Page 45 Sep 12, 2007 Notes & Essays I fell behind in the writing yesterday. I had a 2 extra hours but wrote only 20 pages, which amounts to 3 1/3 pages per hour. I knew I was going to 4 Day Challenge - Day 1 Sep 10, 2007 Notes & Essays Today I started the 4 day challenge. My goal is to write the first draft of a 120 page script in 4 days. I ended at page 25 today. When I originally Easy Sep 3, 2007 Notes & Essays “Don’t worry. We’ll get another one.” — My son’s response after breaking a $20 glass at the art gallery How my wife feels about me sometimes Aug 31, 2007 Notes & Essays “Honey, your weirdness is just too early in the morning.” Honesty Aug 18, 2007 Notes & Essays Anna: I am so proud of you. David: For what? Being honest and admitting I was lying to you? Anna: Yeah, but I don’t know what you’re talking The Movie Experience Aug 16, 2007 Notes & Essays My wife and I went to the local Galaxy Theatre the other day to watch Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I hated the book but I was really Look at that tree… Jul 31, 2007 Notes & essays ” …it is the protagonist of all arts; it is an ideal structure of an action. Upward movement sideways resistance balance and growth.” Imagine Ignorance and my first Big Turk (*Low in Fat) Jul 25, 2007 Notes & Essays Kerry: Look, their now in modules. Like little turds. Me, spitting it into the garbage. Charlene: It tastes like old socks? Me: Dipped in Overheard from Anna this weekend Jul 25, 2007 Notes & Essays Anna: I’ll hit you in the butt-stop. (Originally posted on 8secondsofawesome.com.) Reminded Why I Love Buying Used Books Jul 17, 2007 Notes & Essays Found in the first few pages of The Tao of Pooh: to S-F: hi. hello. haven’t we met before? I mean prior to the encounter in the line-up. where we Anna trying to comprehend the summer blockbuster Jul 9, 2007 Notes & Essays “People like making explosion movies?” Overheard at a birthday party Jul 5, 2007 Notes & Essays I am so totally getting cremated. They haven’t proven we don’t feel pain after death. You know, it really wouldn’t hurt my feelings if I didn’t have Sean and Leane: Can you respond to this? Jun 6, 2007 Notes & Essays Anna: The house is broken. Peter: It tipped over. Anna: That’s why we have cracks in the wall. (Originally posted on 8secondsofawesome.com.) My solution to any problem May 29, 2007 Notes & Essays Kate: Our fridge is dying. It’s now making a whirring, buzzing sound. David: Have you kicked it? (Sound of kicking) Kate: Nope. Didn’t work Pete’s solution May 29, 2007 Notes & Essays Anna’s balloon floated away. Pete came up with a plan: “I could ride the kitty and get Anna’s balloon. That’s a good idea.” (Originally posted on Script Frenzy May 27, 2007 Notes & Essays is looking for someone to do 20,000 words. I am at 3779 words at the moment and starting page 20. So they are asking for 100 pages Everyone can know more May 23, 2007 Notes & Essays Me: I’ve got to fight for my right not to Facebook. You: Me too. It’s too annoying. Later. Me: I think that is a good thumbnail of my life. You: The Peter Elbow Challenge May 23, 2007 Notes & Essays Peter Elbow discusses in “Writing Without Teachers” the developmental model on the writing process. His thought is to write it four times, not once, Me playing the romantic May 21, 2007 Notes & Essays “I feel like crap.” - my wife “You look shitty.” - me (Originally posted on 8secondsofawesome.com.) Flagpole Sitta by Connected Ventures May 18, 2007 Notes & Essays 4 minutes and 24 seconds of awesome. (Originally posted on 8secondsofawesome.com.) Anna tells it straight to Grandma May 18, 2007 Notes & Essays “You’ll be dead by the time you figure this kitchen out.” — Anna to her grandmother (Originally posted on my Tumblr called 8secondsofawesome.com.)