Christopher J. Moore started his writing career in screenwriting, working on successful TV shows, but soon realized he wanted his stories to reach a broader audience. After adapting several of his screenplays into stand-alone novels, he embarked on a new YA series, "The Switch Family."
If you dream of your story being on the big screen, Script's editor, Jeanne Veillette Bowerman, gives you a peek inside the filmmaking industry and shares ways to submit your story to Hollywood.
Applying these screenwriting techniques to your fiction can offer benefits like sharper dialogue, improved pacing and stronger characters.
Books to Movies: Barri Evins reveals how to harness the power of theme to entice publishers, captivate readers, and attract the film and television industry.
Film adaptations aren’t typically in the plotline for debut novels, but two new thriller/suspense authors, Kathleen Barber and Rea Frey, have capped their debut dreams with film contracts for books seemingly written for the screen.
In this interview, screenwriter Michael Zam offers screenwriting tips for beginners and veterans, and discusses his success with the Emmy award-winning FX series Feud: Bette and Joan, starring Susan Sarandon, Jessica Lange, Stanley Tucci and more.
Author, playwright and screenwriter Wendy Whitbeck delves into the unique underwater characters of the box-office hit Finding Nemo to explore how combining this particular mix of characters melded to create a totally memorable movie with strong character development.
Kellye Garrett discusses her years as a Hollywood screenwriter (with the CBS drama Cold Case among her credits) and the representation of black women in the mystery genre.
Screenwriters Michael Weber and Scott Neustadter describe their creative process and the decisions that went into writing their Oscar-nominated comedy, The Disaster Artist.
Screenwriters Michael Weber and Scott Neustadter dig into details about the development and writing behind their Oscar-nominated comedy, The Disaster Artist.
The success of NBC's The Good Place relies on its flawed but lovable characters, charming humor and, especially, its game-changing twists. Here are some hands-on lessons you can learn from the show’s terrific writing.
Currently Seeking: She specializes in all categories of literary and upmarket fiction. She’s especially drawn to historical novels and psychological thrillers. In addition, she loves working with debut authors who have a gift for storytelling and are able immerse her deep within a well-built world in the space of a few sentences. Braided narratives, layered plots, and characters with deep emotional resonance all occupy a strong place in her heart . Annie is also open to nonfiction in the categories of pop science, diet/health/fitness, food, lifestyle, humor, pop culture, and select narrative nonfiction.
The 2012 Writer's Digest Conference (Jan. 20-22, 2012) is coming up fast and promises to be a blast. We have incredible presenters lined up to instruct, fun sessions to attend, and, of course the gigantic Agent Pitch Slam that features the largest gathering of literary agents (more than 60 literary agents this year!) at any writing conference in the country. Last year, we had about 55, but the conference attendance was so outstanding that we felt lines were too long for each agent. That's why our solution this year is "more agents, more time." Read on.
1. Structure. Screenplays follow a rigorous three-act structure with a strong midpoint and an inciting incident somewhere in the first 10-15 pages. For fiction, I take this basic structure and emphasize the inciting incident and the midpoint. I think of them as smaller turning points—almost like adding "mini-acts" to the traditional beginning, middle, and end set-up of a screenplay. For me, this has been a great way to break up the plot into manageable chunks so I can orchestrate the pace of the story before I even start writing. 2. Beats. Once I have an outline for the plot that follows this modified three-act structure I break it down even further into beats, just like a screenwriter.
Your first novel just came out: Shift. It’s been described as The Manchurian Candidate meets The Dead Zone. Besides that, and without giving too much away, tell us a little more about what the book is about. Shift is an historical thriller set in 1963. It focuses on an actual CIA clandestine mind control program called “MK Ultra.” This program dosed up to 120,000 unwilling and unwitting American citizens with LSD in an attempt to find a truth serum or a Manchurian Candidate for use as a weapon against the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Our story posits the one in a million person (Chandler Forrestal) whose brain chemistry reacts to this drug, unlocking hidden potentials in his brain that give him, in essence, super powers.
We’ve all watched television—dramas, police procedurals, reality shows, newscasts. Although television is a different medium than writing, it provides an abundance of advice wrapped inside the programming that’s relevant to today’s writers. Guest column by Janice Gable Bashman, co-author of Wanted Undead or Alive: Vampire Hunters and Other Kick-Ass Enemies of Evil (Citadel Press, 2010) and contributing editor of the Big Thrill (the newsletter of the International Thriller Writers).
No. 2: Start late. In individual scenes, don't waste valuable time on unnecessary entrances and hellos. See if a scene can be started in the middle. A writer who is willing to self-edit will often find that a scene is strengthened by cutting the first two, and often last two, lines of dialogue. No. 12: A flawed protagonist is more compelling than a perfect protagonist. Inexperienced writers may fail to imbue a protagonist with undesirable traits because they want him or her to appear likable and their cause noble. But a completely capable hero leads an audience to relax its attention: If he can handle anything, why worry?