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Take a Break from Punctuation

Do like Cormac McCarthy and work with only comas and periods for a while. Maybe take something you’ve already written and rewrite it without all those “weird little marks,” as he calls them.    Watch your sentences become cleaner and tighter. It’s easier to listen to your drafts doing it this way, to make music with your words rather than… Read more »

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Story Sunday

It’s easy for the heavy lifting of plot to make you sore and put you on the bench for a few days. The trouble of “what next?” or how to make your set ups pay off can easily become a series of blocks and lost days coinciding with the beats in your story. This is… Read more »

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Rejection Slips

Every ‘no’ gets you closer to a ‘yes.’ 

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Don’t Scream at Your Film

“When you’re in the editing room you need to listen to your film and not scream at your film.”  –Nick Willing, writer and director 

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The 3 Evil “C’s”

Cheyne Kohl, music producer and founder of Underground Tracks in Busan, South Korea, sent me this producer’s podcast on three toxic behaviors that can seep into studio work. The host, Joe, urges listeners to stop: Comparing: The green eyed monster can spoil your appreciation of great work and even keep you from being happy for a talented… Read more »

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The Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique is a handy time management strategy that boosts efficiency and reduces fatigue. Here’s how it works: Set a timer for 25 minutes. Work, without getting up or Facebooking.  When time’s up take a 5 minute break.  Repeat with longer breaks every 2 hours. Try stopping mid-sentence when the bell rings, you’ll never be happier to get back… Read more »

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“Wear a Jacket at all Times”

In an interview with Bomb Magazine, director Rob Weiss (Entourage, Amongst Friends, How to Make it in America) shares some practical advice for filmmakers working long hours on set.  “Wear a jacket at all times so you can wrap it under your head when you pass out.” Image: LA TImes

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Sit, Stay

Click the doggy for more comprehensive instructions.

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Wear Headphones (at all times)

Show them you’re busy. Find a pair that’s cumbersome to take off–or better yet, the noise canceling type that actually block out the world. Refer to the following script for maximum effect:            EXT. BUSY STREET, DAY                 INTERRUPTER–needy and extroverted (master of the ‘real… Read more »

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‘!’

“Cut out all these exclamation points,” said F. Scott Fitzgerald, “an exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke.”Author Peter Shankman tweeted: “Multiple exclamation points are the written equivalent to jazz hands.”Elmore Leonard, in his 10 Rules of Writing, suggests rationing them–one exclamation point per hundred thousand words of prose. Leonard cautions against the word ‘suddenly’… Read more »