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Turning Your Novel into a Screenplay, Part 1

June 29, 2014

A guest post by Art Holcomb Part 1 of 2. In June, I’m speaking at the Greater Los Angeles Writer’s Conference on how to adapt a novel into a screenplay and I’m really looking forward to it. A good part of my practice, both with students and professionals, comes from taking a story from one […]

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Case Study: This is What SUCCESS Looks Like

June 24, 2014

I’m delighted to share a WIN this time.   A middle-grade Young Adult novel in the making. Can we learn from a case study that models a solid grasp of concept, premise and the First Plot Point?  That sets up a story with the inherent dramatic tension and drama, conceptual appeal and heroic arc that will […]

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Writing Advice: “The Lie,” and What it Really Means

June 20, 2014

Welcome to the 600th post.  There’s actually been more than that, but I pulled a bunch of the early articles down when Story Engineering was published, so the two tools (tool boxes, actually) would fit together better without much on-the-nose overlap. Today’s post is a recent email exchange with one of my story coaching […]

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So Much Social Media, So Little Time

June 16, 2014

A Guest Post from Mindy Halleck Recently I was dragged into the social media arena kicking, screaming and doubting the much-hyped benefits that 140 characters or pictures of kitty cats could deliver. I hated it. But then I also hated math in school, and guess who had a lucrative twenty-year career in mortgage banking? […]

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Every Writer Should Watch This 60 Second Video

June 12, 2014

Malcolm Gladwell is on to something.  He spends a lot of time interviewing successful people to get to the heart of how they got there.  What results is some combination of commonality and theme… and inspiration. Jim Carrey, like or love him or not, is one of the most successful comedians in the world.  Talk […]

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Case Study: When Your Concept is Also a Paradox

June 7, 2014

Some concepts can end up being too much to handle.  The more layered and complicated, the greater the upside if handled brilliantly, and the deeper the abyss when it’s not.  Trouble is, some writers aren’t aware that they’re already tumbling into a black void. Such concepts — it’s good to recognize them as such, and […]

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How to Write a Story: The Creative Process… One Writer’s Take

June 5, 2014

A guest post by Mike Robinson One small illusion has sold many books, seminars, writer’s retreats, and workshops: the illusion that the process of writing a book is like reading a book. (“If only I were good enough …” or “As soon as I buy one more thing …”) We innocently assume that fiction isn’t […]

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Turning Your Novel into a Screenplay, Part 2

June 5, 2014

A guest post by Art Holcomb To read Part 1, click HERE. We’re talking today about adapting novels into screenplays. Last time, we talked about the basics of the art of adaptation that I use with my students and professional clients. Today, let’s dive right into the meat of the subject – actually writing the […]

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Getting Published: “Self” vs. “Traditional”… the “Great Debate”

June 3, 2014

With all this horse shit, there’s gotta be a pony in here somewhere! (Reputed to have been Ronald Reagan’s favorite joke.) The linked email exchange, introduced here, actually happened. It was edited only slightly, simply to help clarify. (If you’d like to cut right to it, click this to skip my contextual intro: The Great […]

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A Tip — and a Short Case Study — for Writing “Voice” Authenticity

May 28, 2014

Coaching the writing voice — the narrative tone and style and essences that become the telling of the story in sentences and paragraphs and scenes and chapters — is the toughest realm of “talent” to access.   And for many, to improve upon. Thing is, sometimes it’s that very thing – your voice – that is […]

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