Articles & Advice

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How a Big Life Leads to Better Writing

The other night I read a script that could be simply and, without question, described as one thing and one thing only: Derivative.The first act was almost 100% a poor man’s INCEPTION, the second and third act had bothersome parallels with EDGE...
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Tracking Your Screenplay Submissions: From Contests to Execs

With the deadlines for The Nicholl, AFF and the TV network fellowships happening pretty much NOW, this seems like as good a time as any to do some much-needed housekeeping and get your submission tracking in order. With that in mind…For many...
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What Do Typos in Your Screenplay Say About You?

Script readers or people who read screenplays professionally are quite often screenwriters themselves. They are looking for reasons to shuttle your screenplay into the pass pile. Excessive typos are a common reason for them to do so. So why do...
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Breaking into Screenwriting is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

“I broke in sooooo fast!!!”… Said no writer anywhere ever.Seriously. I mean… in the 90’s, maybe? Back then, it seemed like writers were emerging from complete obscurity to sell a screenplay seemingly overnight (only...
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The DO’S and DONT'S of Taking Notes

The other day, I had a call with a new coaching client, who had sent me his original screenplay prior to his initial session with me. The script had some good things going for it, but me being me, I had thoughts, some conceptual, some technical. The...
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Breaking In: Representation – GETTING SIGNED

When one of my clients emerges from a meeting with a potential manager that, for all intents and purposes, seems to have gone well (good flow to the get-to-know-you conversation, interests in similar types of projects, maybe a few people in common...
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Portrait of a Promising Young Screenwriter

Don’t worry, this is not going to be another one of my venting, finger shaking, scolding blog posts. Which probably means that no one will be reading this but… what the hell. The bottom line is that for this one, no one angered me,...
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5 Ways to Get Your Screenwriting Year Off to a Great Start

I am, by nature, a planner. Calendar, task lists, goal sheets, schedules, productivity journals and life planners are all my friends, so I love taking a little time come January, both privately and with my coaching clients, to look back and learn...
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Reality Check

In working with screenwriters for nearly three decades, I’ve noticed three writing issues that arise over and over again. In each case, a reality check should prove empowering.1. Appearance is importantAfter a tweet that touted my...
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3 Reasons the Screenwriters Personal Story is SO Important

Before I even get into this one, let me start with telling you that I know that as soon as you scratch the surface of this particular blog post, you are going to have the urge to click out. To go read something else. Over the years I’ve come...
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What Exactly Is A Screenwriter’s Voice – Insignia Entertainment’s Alex Robb

Creative Screenwriting Magazine asked Alexander Robb, Manager at Insignia Entertainment, to shed some light on a screenwriter’s voice. Your voice can make or break you. So many questions. Let’s get some answers.To me, a...
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7 Ways to Make Sure Your Screenwriting Career Never Takes Off

Often, I get asked: What are the commonalities you’ve seen among your writers who have broken in? What are the shared traits of working screenwriters? And, even more specifically, what are the most important things that a screenwriter can do...
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When I Talk to Writers...

WHEN I TALK TO WRITERS... There are a number of key points I emphasize - 1. How readable is your script? In other words, is it gripping, compelling, well-paced, uniquely interesting? If not, we make a plan to fix it. 2. Is it an acceptable length?...
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The Five Most Common PitchFest Questions Answered!

PitchFest season has turned into a year-round, worldwide affair. If you have a project and want to network with executives, you can go to LA, New York, Austin, London, Rome, and many other cities all over the globe. If you are preparing for a...
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How To Prepare Your Pitch

I say “Pitching,” and writers groan. I’m no different. As a writer myself, my instinct is to say, “If I could tell you my story in 90 seconds, why would I have told it to you in 90 pages?” But pitching is a necessary...
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Why You Need a Professional Consultant to Give You Screenplay Feedback

What should expect from a script consultant? Creative Screenwriting Magazine gets into the weeds with our friends at the International Screenwriters’ Association to help elevate your screenplay to a marketable level and strategize your...
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You're Not Going To Win An Oscar...

You're Not Going To Win An Oscar......but hold on, I'll explain.I'm sure most of you did it Sunday night at some point in the evening (if you watched the Academy Awards). You imagined what you would say if you were up on that stage accepting...
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Why The Crocodile Dundee Super Bowl Ad Made An Impact

Are They Really Remaking Crocodile Dundee? No, but the Super Bowl ad was pretty fun! For all of you out there who are Eagles fans, I send you a happy congratulations on your Super Bowl win. Being a fan of the Chicago Cubs, I know how difficult it...
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Desperation, Dread, & Determination

I call them the triple D’s of screenwriting. Dread. Every screenwriter experiences this eventually. You get to a place where it feels like it’s all over. You’ll never get that agent. The manager will never call you back. Will...
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The Mysterious Development of Your Villain

The Mysterious Development of Your Villain(an excerpt from Max Timm's online class, The Craft Course)In this week's lesson, we will be focusing on how the other characters in your story - namely the Secondary Character and The Villain/Rival - will...
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