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Story Structure in ‘Sully’ – Meanwhile Back at the Ranch

Sully is the true story of Captain Chesley Sullenberger (played by Tom Hanks) who crash-landed US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson river, in 2009, saving everyone onboard. It’s an incredible story, but how do you make a  ninety minute feature out of a flight that lasted a mere 200 seconds? Sully solves this problem with a technique Hitchcock… Read more »

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I Need All The Help I Can Get (resources for when writing sucks)

Sometimes I need all the help I can get.   Six-second screenwriting tips from Brian Koppelman’s Vine. His ‘magic formula’ for success in the screenwriting game: unwavering belief, total commitment, and tireless work.    The Imperfectionist. A former perfectionist shares lessons learned on the road to personal fulfillment and a life of her own design…. Read more »

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Friday Roundup

“My eye is fixed not on the ending of the book but on the feeling of that ending.” ― Peter Matthiessen Austrian novelist, Clemens Setz talks about how great art affects us and how to avoid looking at screens.   War photographer Tim Page remembers his time in Vietnam in an interview with Vice.  “Vietnam had good… Read more »

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Write Like Hemingway, the App

Hemingway App is a text editor designed to keep your writing tight like Papa’s. Hemingway checks your text for areas that could be simplified or cut entirely. The app highlights hard to read sentences, and suggests simpler alternatives to words like ‘utilize’ (use) and ‘individual’ (person.) It counts your adverbs, and highlights passive voice. All… Read more »

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Friday Roundup

“Any half-awake materialist well knows – that which you hold holds you.” –Tom Robbins   The Minimalists offer up some gorgeously simply writing advice. They offer a public service by telling us to stop self-describing as ‘aspiring.’   Writing Fiction  by the Gotham Writers’ Workshop, a portable masterclass in craft.   The Tim Ferriss Show has… Read more »

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What I Learned Writing a Novel in 30 Days

Today was the 472nd day of my attempt to write a novel in 30 days. Last Thursday I decided to do a page one rewrite. I opened the file, clicked ‘select all,’ waited for the whole thing to highlight, and struck the ‘delete’ key. Then I picked up the first printed page and got to… Read more »

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Friday Roundup with a Bullet (Journal)

“Ninety years on, it can be hard for readers to comprehend the revelatory shock The Sun Also Rises delivered to its original audience.” — Michael Bourne, The Millions   Bullet Journal is the last word in analog to do lists. This simple, intuitive system takes about five minutes to learn. Your smartphone will be rendered obsolete. (Thank you… Read more »

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Cormac McCarthy: a Reading List

Cormac McCarthy is a mentor I’ve never met. We all have one of those, a teacher who sends us on a quest to seek our teacher’s teacher’s teacher. Here is an ever-growing reading list of my informal study of McCarthy and his influences. I’ll be updating the list on Goodreads.   FICTION The Novels of… Read more »

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Friday Roundup

“Carry bolt cutters everywhere.”  –Werner Herzog    What Makes Bad Writing Bad?   Werner Herzog to teach an online filmmaking masterclass.   And his 24 rules for filmmakers.   In Search of the Perfect Sentence is one retired English teacher’s labor of love. I was stoked to find a book blog that focuses on style rather… Read more »

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How not to Die — Friday Roundup

NY Times: Whom would you want to write your life story? Sebastian Junger: The New York Times in their obituary column. My life truly does not deserve a biography.   Junger’s thoughts on a reader’s life  including ‘the Bible for people who don’t believe in God.’   George Lois opens a new agency.   An old one,… Read more »