# Style & Substance

A new spin on the art of craft--without the buzzy, cliché keywords.

Putin Stole It From Me

Putin Stole It From Me

I know what I know, and what I know is that I predicted the Kremlin’s actions and Ukraine’s subsequent eruptions before they happened.

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7 min read

The Best Script I Ever Read

The Best Script I Ever Read

“We’ve been through, like, nine rounds of notes on this thing. I’m starting to feel like this idea simply isn’t gonna work, no matter how hard I try.”

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6 min read

How Movies from 1976 Can Help You Write Better Scripts

How Movies from 1976 Can Help You Write Better Scripts

Being bad is a state of mind, and in the 1970s, being bad was very, very good.

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6 min read

NEVER, EVER DO THIS: Gentle Advice for Eager Writers (Part 2)

NEVER, EVER DO THIS: Gentle Advice for Eager Writers (Part 2)

Just like last time, I’ve tried to stay away from the blatantly obvious here and instead give you some under-the-radar tips.

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10 min read

Q&A: Fundamental Principles of Story Setups and Payoffs

Q&A: Fundamental Principles of Story Setups and Payoffs

One of the most vital yet least discussed aspects of effective storytelling is the ability to execute potent setups and payoffs.

# Read # The Collection # LA Screenwriter # Q&A # Style & Substance
3 min read

Sun, Moon, and Stars: Using Astronomical Symbols in Your Story

Sun, Moon, and Stars: Using Astronomical Symbols in Your Story

There are perhaps no other elements used more often in these early stories than the celestial bodies people saw when they stared into the sky.

# Read # The Collection # LA Screenwriter # Style & Substance
3 min read

The Secret to Better Writing? Prepare to be Bored.

The Secret to Better Writing? Prepare to be Bored.

There’s no magic secret to success in Hollywood as a scribe. It all comes down to the same boring, monotonous tasks that everyone knows they should do but nobody wants to.

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8 min read

Build a Better Pitch Deck

Build a Better Pitch Deck

Please, please PLEASE do not hesitate to inject your personality into your deck. This isn’t a technical manual, it’s a freakin' movie!

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4 min read

Kill the Cat: Storytelling Structures for Screenwriters Sick of the Hero’s Journey

Kill the Cat: Storytelling Structures for Screenwriters Sick of the Hero’s Journey

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been personally victimized by "The Hero’s Journey." Now that every screenwriter’s hand is up ...

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5 min read

The 5th Grade Writing Process: A Dangerous Lie

The 5th Grade Writing Process: A Dangerous Lie

I don't often have hot takes, but when I do, it’s that “The Writing Process” poster in my fifth-grade classroom ruined me.

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6 min read

NEVER, EVER DO THIS: Gentle Advice for Eager Writers

NEVER, EVER DO THIS: Gentle Advice for Eager Writers

We all have them. That little thing that most people don’t even notice, but annoys the absolute hell out of us.

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13 min read

This is Not a Drill: Learning to Value the Precious Art of Practice

This is Not a Drill: Learning to Value the Precious Art of Practice

I felt like a different person. I had grown as a writer. I had grown as an artist.

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6 min read

Desire and Character

Desire and Character

Before we can subtly communicate the desires of our character to the audience, we have to fully understand those desires ourselves.

# Read # The Collection # LA Screenwriter # Style & Substance
4 min read

Q&A: Approaching to the Coming-of-Age Story

Q&A: Approaching to the Coming-of-Age Story

Coming-of-age stories have long been a staple of storytelling. Since the early days of film and television, audiences have enjoyed watching characters that mature before our very eyes.

# Read # The Collection # LA Screenwriter # Q&A # Style & Substance
3 min read

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