Monday, March 25, 2013


Any writer who enjoys reading books and reinterprets them as movies, can seamlessly transition to screenwriting. So, what does a screenwriter do?

In simple terms, he/she writes scripts that are filmed, either for television or the big screen. A screenplay is a written document for the cast and crew which is between 90 to 120 pages. (For additional definitions, see Wikipedia’s breakdown. 

The blog site, The Script lab, draws upon the contrast from novels and screenplays in the article “What is a Screenplay,”

Unlike novels, where the story is told through words, screenwriting allows that articulation to filter through a camera lens, which captures nonverbal dialogue through action, scenes and the expressions of the actors.

To stay a cut above the rest, a screenwriter must have a solid script that embodies a great story and compelling characters.  Incidentally, the protagonist should exemplify the main idea of the script. (Think of movies like, Scarface, Gone with the Wind and Superman.)

Remember, keep scenes short, dialogue brief and stay true to the original voice. Create a unique and interesting character. The protagonist should have a weakness and is always in search of something.

Screenwriting demands dedication on the part of the writer.  At the onset of your screenplay, keep these points in mind:

Ø Know the type of story you are telling.

Ø The flaws of the main character should be revealed and challenged throughout the story.

Ø The protagonist’s dilemma is essential to the entire story.

There are a number of online film courses at your fingertips such as, Lights Online Film School,

Through mastery in knowing your craft and dedication, your screenplay can be worthy of a film production!

Are you writing a screenplay?



Monday, March 18, 2013


Choosing the right genre can differ from writer to writer.  Some authors follow their hearts, penning their novels after the subject that suites their fancy.  Others make decisions based on the most popular or bestselling genres. Whether the genre is romance, horror or fantasy, there are specific elements your story should possess:

Romance Novel

The heroine must be likeable.  The book usually centers from the protagonist’s point of view and all problems presented to her must be solved and lead to a happy ending.  The reader must feel like they are on a wild ride and truly believe the plot of the book. The story, no matter how many twists and turns, will always be about two people finding love with each other.

Horror Novel

You can’t have a horror story without creating fear within your readers and the main character!  Sometimes the fear has already manifested itself in the character’s thoughts, long before the evil-doers show up! Ultimately, the protagonist gains strength and/or conquers prior fears to defeat the rival spirit or villain.

Fantasy Novel

The key to writing a fantasy novel is making sure the story follows its own logic. Too many changes to a rule throws the reader off and makes them doubt otherwise pertinent details in your story. This created world must be visualized by the reader so that they too, can understand it. Keep a history log or an outline.  This is useful when tracking the particulars of your story and pushing it forward. These details can propel the plot and conclusion of your novel to a triumph in the eyes of the reader.

How do you pick the genres to your books?

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Monday, March 11, 2013


Writers are always trying to sniff out information from their surroundings to spice up their scenes and characters.  Yet, some writers fail to take advantage of their travels to enhance their manuscripts.  Whether you are taking a never-before trip to Rome, or revisiting a distant relative, here are a few ideas for maximum travel results:

Pamphlets, maps and tour guides.

Hotel rooms provide an excellent source of cool ideas on the happenings of the city, such as tours, special events, maps, restaurants, and entertainment.  Not only will this grant the utmost results for your trip, it will prove beneficial later on when adding depth to your scenes.

Let your five senses guide you.

Remain cognizant of the smells and sights of the city.  How tall are the buildings?  Are the streets filled with cobblestones or bricks? What restaurants are most introspective? Even your own reactions can be helpful for later notation.

Revisit familiar places.

Chances are there are dozens of places in your own home town that you’ve taken for granted.  With fresh eyes, visit historical buildings.  Go to the science center, or a food and wine taste quest.  Check out art festivals and parks.  Scope your local paper for unusual events coming to town.

Whether you’re taking a business trip for the umpteenth time, or a well-deserved vacation, always capitalize on an opportunity to capture your experiences in a book!

Check out these sites for additional travel and writing tips:

Travel Tips and Doo Dads for Writers:

Recording Your Travels: