# Style & Substance

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

Calling All Writers: Monsters Wanted

Calling All Writers: Monsters Wanted

Do most filmmakers consider it too gauche to center a film around a monster these days?

# Read # Style & Substance
4 min read

How NOT to Make a Documentary

How NOT to Make a Documentary

Any good "how to make a documentary" guidebook would tell you to hire a qualified DP and sound mixer to get the best quality picture and sound. But we didn't have money—we just had each other.

# Read # Style & Substance
7 min read

Why Do So Many Sequels Suck?

Why Do So Many Sequels Suck?

When the lights go down in the theater, I’m always hopeful that a sequel will rise to the challenge of making more out of its task than just being a quick money-grab.

# Read # Style & Substance
7 min read

The Right to Re-Write

The Right to Re-Write

A professor told me there is a reason why we call this a screenplay, because you are supposed to play on the screen. As a screenwriter we are supposed to play on the page.

# Read # Style & Substance
3 min read

The Sitcom for Our Times? Sorry, Ted Lasso, it’s Seinfeld

The Sitcom for Our Times? Sorry, Ted Lasso, it’s Seinfeld

Who’d have thought that Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David, the creators of Seinfeld in 1989, would create a series that would come to foreshadow all the worst impulses and instincts evident in “the American experiment” in 2021?

# Read # Style & Substance
5 min read

Stalled Out? Maybe You’re Stuck in a Situation When You Need a Destination

Stalled Out? Maybe You’re Stuck in a Situation When You Need a Destination

Structure will provide your protagonist with a goal or destination from day one. This goal will enable you to keep moving forward … and keep you from getting stuck in a situation.

# Read # Style & Substance
4 min read

Don't Write What You Know

Don't Write What You Know

If a story is a journey not only for the reader but also for the writer (and it is), why would we choose to tie our fabricated narrative to the humdrum existence of our own life?

# Read # Style & Substance
4 min read

So, Ya Got an Idea

So, Ya Got an Idea

Ideas are like assholes: everyone’s got ‘em. So, what makes your idea worthy of becoming a book, or a film, or a TV series?

# Read # Style & Substance
4 min read

30 is the New 60

30 is the New 60

As people get more of their news and information in shorter bursts, 30-minute series, be they comedies, dramas, or limited series, are becoming the rage.

# Read # Style & Substance
5 min read

Comedy vs. Dramedy - or the Illusive Dramedy

Comedy vs. Dramedy - or the Illusive Dramedy

Choosing a genre can be an excruciating decision, made even more difficult if you don’t understand the difference between comedy and drama.

# Read # Style & Substance
7 min read

A Primer on Giving (and Receiving) Notes

A Primer on Giving (and Receiving) Notes

A note is not a statement of enjoyment or dislike. A note is NOT your opinion.

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10 min read

After Conquering Hollywood, Gary Goldstein Had a Novel Idea

After Conquering Hollywood, Gary Goldstein Had a Novel Idea

“As an author [of a book], you have to be the camera. A script gets interpreted, but in a book, the words have to do all the work.”

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6 min read

Tough Choices and Following Your Dreams: Experiencing Siân Heder’s CODA

Tough Choices and Following Your Dreams: Experiencing Siân Heder’s CODA

A significant challenge for many writers can be to center a story within a community that they, themselves, are not a part of. Siân Heder acknowledges the challenge and how she navigated it.

# Read # Interview # Style & Substance
7 min read

Passion: The Ultimate X-Factor

Passion: The Ultimate X-Factor

If you’re super entranced with a story, if you can’t wait to get home from your day job and work on it every single day, that’s going to come through in your writing, right?

# Read # Breaking In # Style & Substance
6 min read

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
Click here for our recommended reading list.

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