# Style & Substance

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

To Arc or Not to Arc? That Is the Question...

To Arc or Not to Arc? That Is the Question...

What we’re usually talking about when we say “character development” is Character Arc—it presupposes that a Character Arc is requisite to a well-rendered character … to which I say: “nay.”

# Read # Style & Substance
8 min read

Women Kicking Ass on Screen: Fierce or All Too Familiar?

Women Kicking Ass on Screen: Fierce or All Too Familiar?

For all the talk in Hollywood given to seeking out vital roles for women, the woman warrior has become every bit an egregious cliché as the hooker with a heart of gold was for half a century on film.

# Read # Style & Substance
4 min read

The Conflicted Protagonist

The Conflicted Protagonist

While few characters will hold appeal for every audience member, John Bucher shares approaches to flawed characters that decrease the chances of alienating your audience in the process.

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

Don't Mind Me - Mindfulness and Unmindful Characters

Don't Mind Me - Mindfulness and Unmindful Characters

If we reflect back on what we’ve done in the past and how we’ve overcome it, facing the same challenge in the future will be just that much easier.

# Read # Style & Substance # The Creative Mind
4 min read

Shame to Superpower

Shame to Superpower

The danger of the shame I felt is that it caused a paralysis that hindered me from forward motion in every aspect of my life, not just writing.

# Read # Style & Substance # The Creative Mind
4 min read

What Writers Can Learn from Movie Musicals for a Song

What Writers Can Learn from Movie Musicals for a Song

If a screenwriter thinks that there’s little to learn from the niche because they’re writing a horror film or a thriller, they’re (ahem) way off-key.

# Read # Style & Substance
5 min read

How My 'Burn Notice' Podcast Made Me a Better TV Writer

How My 'Burn Notice' Podcast Made Me a Better TV Writer

When you take detailed notes on how episodes unfold, you notice the reason you like certain episodes more than others is that things don’t just happen for the sake of things happening.

# Read # Style & Substance
7 min read

Aesthetic Choice for Screenwriters

Aesthetic Choice for Screenwriters

I can’t tell you the number of times I have been told by different teachers that I should keep the direction off the page. That I am just here to write the story. That never made sense to me.

# Read # Style & Substance
4 min read

"A Quiet Place Part II": Internal Logic Without a Theme

"A Quiet Place Part II": Internal Logic Without a Theme

As a screenwriter, you can’t just ask an audience to go along with anything, you have to meet them halfway.

# Read # Style & Substance
5 min read

Do What Feels Right, the Terrence Malick Way

Do What Feels Right, the Terrence Malick Way

The most constructive filmmaker for learning screenwriting for me was Terrence Malick. To anybody who knows what any of that means, it might sound like an oxymoron.

# Read # Style & Substance
5 min read

Is Science Fiction the Hardest Genre to Write Today?

Is Science Fiction the Hardest Genre to Write Today?

What happened to sci-fi? When did it become so predictable, so unvaried, so unimaginative?

# Read # Style & Substance
5 min read

How Movies from 1985 Can Help You Write Better Scripts

How Movies from 1985 Can Help You Write Better Scripts

1985 gave us three such movies blending commerciality, narrative discipline, and daring—their scripts a marvel to behold.

# Read # Style & Substance
7 min read

Writing is Research

Writing is Research

“Doing good research” means doing more than parroting Twitter talking heads and Washington Post articles in a political drama.

# Read # Style & Substance
3 min read

What Composer and Lyricist Stephen Sondheim Can Teach Any Writer

What Composer and Lyricist Stephen Sondheim Can Teach Any Writer

Being uncaged or unencumbered isn’t really freedom in writing, it’s absurdity.

# Read # Style & Substance
4 min read

Fundamental Writing: The Fight of Your Life

Fundamental Writing: The Fight of Your Life

Too many writers try to reinvent the narrative formula. They think we, as readers, are bored with well-executed, simple stories. Well, let me tell you this, y’all: we ain’t.

# Read # Style & Substance
8 min read
Click here for our recommended reading list.

An Invitation

To a global community of creatives.

All Pipeline Artists members are eligible for monthly giveaways, exclusive invites to virtual events, and early access to featured articles.

Pipeline Artists
Thanks for Subscribing