Category Archives: Writing

Scribosphere Carnival #5 – Mythbusters

woman eating keyboard

The Scribosphere Carnival is a weekly discussion from a variety of screenwriting blogs around a rotating theme.

Emily Blake over at Bamboo Killers has posted this week’s Scribosphere Carnival topic which is MYTHBUSTERS.

In today’s Screenwriter Carnival, I’m challenging my cohorts to think of one screenwriting myth they would love to correct.

Dispelling myths is important for something like screenwriting, where it’s all too easy to get wrapped up in the romanticism and ideals of the craft. Last week’s post covered the idea of being realistic about screenwriting as a whole, and this week I want to carry that thought further by dispelling what I think is a rather problematic myth:

WRITING IS A FEELING

Let me elaborate.

There’s the notion that we as writers are just “switched on.” We are always in tune with our muses and all we need to do is just sit down in front of Final Draft (or Scrivener or Celtx or Slugline or Highland) and BAM…off we go! Writing is a religious experience and we’re not truly writers if we don’t feel it.

Right?

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Scribosphere Carnival #4 – Advice

Beyond Two Souls Ellen

The Scribosphere Carnival is a weekly discussion from a variety of screenwriting blogs around a rotating theme.

Emily Blake over at Bamboo Killers has posted this week’s Scribosphere Carnival topic which is ADVICE.

The topic for this week’s Scribosphere Carnival is one I’m not entirely prepared for in the grand scheme of things. Compared to the others, I’m the new guy. I’m greenhorn. I’m “aspiring.” Emily’s post about what to do with your screenplay is pretty killer and you can bet I’ve taken a lot of that to heart. Michael’s follow-up is also pretty great and dispenses the important advice of “keep writing!”

So, what’s next on the advice checklist?

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Scribosphere Carnival #3 – Criticism

Prometheus Smiles

The Scribosphere Carnival is a weekly discussion from a variety of screenwriting blogs around a rotating theme.

Michael Patrick Sullivan over at Red Right Hand has posted this week’s Scribosphere Carnival topic which is CRITICISM.

This week’s Scribosphere topic is how we each take criticism, or how we don’t, who do we seek out to provide it, and what do we do with it once we have it, how we give it, or, you know…whatever.

Criticism.

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Scribosphere Carnival #3 – Submit Your Ideas

Loki Thumbs Up

Hey guys, don’t forget that the Scribosphere Carnival is still ongoing and we’re still talking about our workflow. If you haven’t had a chance to submit your post for this week, you have about a day or two before we move on to the next topic. Per the rules, I get to pick the topic for the following week, so make the decision tough!

Let’s do this!

Image of Loki used for no reason, but hey, he’s quite the dapper chap!

Scribosphere Carnival #2 – Workflow

keyboard

The Scribosphere Carnival is a weekly discussion from a variety of screenwriting blogs around a rotating theme.

I’ve never been good at introductory paragraphs, so let’s get through this as fast as we can. Shawna over at Shouting Into The Wind created a new blog series to bring a bunch of us writerly types together to discuss the things that interest us as screenwriters. In that same post she set up the guidelines for the first week’s topic as well as how we would go about handling each new week. As it turns out, I was picked for this week’s topic:

WORKFLOW – Everybody has one, and none are the same. Inspired by a post from John August (referencing THIS SITE), you should explain where and when you write, what hardware you use, what software you use, and what you would change about how you write. Have at it!

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Scribosphere Carnival #1 – Time Capsule

All Those Screenplays

The Scribosphere Carnival is a weekly discussion from a variety of screenwriting blogs around a rotating theme.

Shawna at Shouting into the Wind has posted this week’s Scribosphere Carnival topic which is TIME CAPSULE.

This topic is actually a 3-parter. First, recount your journey in screenwriting up to this point in time. Second, tell us where you are on your journey now. Finally, for the really fun, creative part — blog as if it is one year from today. What has the past year of your journey been like? What has changed? Be as realistic or not as you like — it’s your time capsule! One year from now, we will revisit our time capsules to see how we did with our predictions… Your post can be as long or as short as you like — the most important thing is to have fun with it!

Here we go:

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Writing The Malaise Away

It’s been a crazy six months since my daughter was born, and I’m only just starting to get back into the grind of writing these screenplays I’ve got sitting around on my computer. I remain hopeful even though progress is dubious at best.

There’s the revenge western that seems to be in a continual state of rewrite; the more I tweak, the more there is to tweak. I’ve got a cynical romantic comedy that I’m writing that I’m pretty enthused about, but can’t seem to lock down in terms of plot. This has slowed the momentum considerably. I’ve got a sci-fi mobster flick I’m tossing about in the idea stage. Pretty stoked about that one, but it suffers from the same issues that the romantic comedy currently faces. And then there are at least three to four ideas that are merely “what-ifs” and “hey wouldn’t it be cools.” I’ve also got some produced projects I’m working on parallel to this, but those are shorter form and are not the most favorably received.

All of this adds up to a form of screenwriting malaise, which is exacerbated by how little time I have to devote to the act of writing in general (30-40 minutes a day). I assume – like all things – that it will get better, and I push forward with that in mind. After all, if this weren’t my jam I would have given up by now.

There are a few bright spots in all of this that might be worth pointing out (presented without organization):

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No Superheroes Today; But Some Musings On Gender

I don’t have a post about superheroes chatting it up in a cafe today. The majority of you probably don’t know what I’m talking about, but for the two who do, apologies. Instead, I’d like to link to someone’s breakdown of Iron Man 3 and how its portrayal of Pepper Potts might not be as progressive as in the prior films.

Here’s the link: Is Pepper Potts No Longer the “Damsel in Distress” in ‘Iron Man 3’?

Some points made in the article:

* When Pepper puts on the Iron Man suit, it’s not of her own volition.
* Archvillian Aldrich Killian kidnaps Pepper and ties her up, using her as bait to lure Tony and blackmail him.
*Tony and Killian make all the decisions for Pepper. She doesn’t make any for herself.

Obviously, I’ve condensed the points down to an obscene degree. You’ll want to read the article to get the full gist of what the author is saying. Personally, I think she’s on point with a lot of her criticisms, and it’s a little frustrating that the film kind of backslides from what has been set up before. You get the sense that Pepper is an equal to Tony in every way by The Avengers, but here she’s getting captured and rescued by him and not showcasing any of the agency she was previously given.

Except for a few little moments here and there, which the author points out. Even though Tony rescues her throughout most of the film, she’s the only one who can defeat the villain. And while that doesn’t disappear the tropes she’s mired in throughout the rest of the film, it’s encouraging to see and it tells me that we might be in a transition period of comic book films evolving from a boy’s club to something that both boys and girls can enjoy and be inspired by.

Maybe.

And then there’s good ol’ DC, who hasn’t been able to get any kind of Wonder Woman film or show off the ground. They keep trying, but nothing seems to come of it. Perhaps it’s not only the filmmakers who are to blame and that maybe we as an audience need to start demanding stronger female characters. There’s already a lot of us requesting this, but in the grand scheme of things that might not be enough.

From Inside Joke To Internet Sensation

Sausage School Title Image

Hey guys, I thought I would post this since it is relevant to my interests. It’s an interview that I did with my friend Tom for a web publication that’s kind of a big deal. They asked us a few questions about Sausage School, which Tom animates and I write. We had an absolute blast getting to the heart of what makes the show “tick” as well as giving a little history of our “genius.” With their permission I’ve included the entire article below:

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This is a Close-Up? Cartoons and Toonocracy

I’ve been a busy little bee these days. Not sure if you remember a post series of mine from awhile back where I complained about working at a web animation studio out in Chicago. The work was lousy, but it was there that I met my friend Tom Riffel and there that I developed an interest in animation. When I got let go, I immediately started thinking about what it would be like to get a bunch of people together to work on the types of cartoons that we wanted to see. There were a few ideas I tossed back and forth with Tom, but they didn’t get very far past the “idea” stage. Not only that, there just weren’t enough of us to get anything substantial off the ground.

Fast forward to the here and now in sunny California, where Tom fills me in on an interesting idea that he and a few others are working on.

Continue reading This is a Close-Up? Cartoons and Toonocracy