Interview: Indie Filmmaker and Slamdance Screenwriting Competition Winner Andrew Kightlinger

By Tom Dever Independent filmmaker Andrew Kightlinger is no stranger to success. From winning the Grand Prize at the 2016 Slamdance…

The post Interview: Indie Filmmaker and Slamdance Screenwriting Competition Winner Andrew Kightlinger appeared first on The Script Lab.

Source: Script Lab

By | 2017-11-28T22:44:13+00:00 November 28th, 2017|Categories: main, Screenwriting 101|Tags: |

How Grammar-Savvy Are You? Take This Quiz to Find Out

You know you’ve got a knack for words, but being a strong writer doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a strong editor.

But who really cares if your writing has some mistakes here and there? Isn’t that what editors are for?

Wrong!

Poor grammar will stand in the way of your writing career whether you realize it or not. If you want to make a good first impression in your pitches and become a publication’s go-to writer, your writing needs to be nearly flawless.

It may have been a while since your last English class, so we created a short grammar quiz to put your editing skills to the test. Find out if you’re a grammar pro or if you could use some time brushing up on your editing skills.

The Write Life’s grammar quiz for writers

Each of these sentences features one common grammar or punctuation mistake.

Give it your best shot, then scroll down to see how you did!

  1. Local media is calling for the mayor’s immediate resignation following recent reports of his embezzlement scheme.
  1. It may be counterintuitive, but if your child is struggling with separation anxiety, quickly saying goodbye to them is the best short-term solution.
  1. Without having her address, it was hard to find her house.
  1. No one objects to the library’s closing more than me!
  1. “Have you seen my book? I left it lying on the table last night, but now it’s gone.”
  1. Your sister is still obsessed with Twilight—she showed up to the Halloween party wearing a blood red dress and pointy vampire teeth.
  1. My favorite Chinese restaurant doesn’t deliver, however, the one across town does.
  1. The editor-in-chief is retiring next May, meaning one of the senior editors are going to be up for the job.
  1. My doctor recommended I get the flu shot only in October.
  1. We’d like to publish your article, and pay you $1 per word.

Answer key

Feeling confident? Let’s see how you did!

Each correction appears in bold, followed by a brief explanation.

1. Local media are calling for the mayor’s immediate resignation following recent reports of his embezzlement scheme.

“Media” may sound singular, but it’s actually plural! (The singular form is “medium.”) This sentence represents a common error in subject-verb agreement.

2. It may be counterintuitive, but if your child is struggling with separation anxiety, quickly saying goodbye to her is the best short-term solution.

This sentence has a problem with pronoun-antecedent agreement. Because “child” is singular, it should take a singular pronoun like “he” or “she.”

AP has recently accepted the use of “their” as a singular pronoun in limited cases, such as when non-binary people prefer to be referred to with a gender-neutral pronoun, but in most instances, you’ll want to choose a singular pronoun or rephrase your sentence.

3. Without having her address, I had a hard time finding her house.

This sentence is a prime example of a dangling modifier. In the original sentence, the phrase “without having her address” is modifying the subject “it.” Except “it” isn’t referring to anything!

The corrected sentence clarifies who exactly was missing the address and struggling to find the house.

4. No one objects to the library’s closing more than I.

I’ll admit this is an ugly sentence that should be rephrased before being published anywhere. Ugly or not, “I” is the correct pronoun here because it’s the subject of the sentence, so it requires the subjective case (rather than the objective “me”).

Issues with case are some of the most common problems editors come across. The rules are confusing even for professional writers! If you’re having trouble, try flipping the sentence around: “I object to the library’s closing more than anyone.”

5. “Have you seen my book? I left it laying on the table last night, but now it’s gone.”

Is there any case of mistaken word identity more prevalent than lay/lie?

In short, “lie” means to recline, while “lay” means to put or place an object somewhere. To make matters even more confusing, “lie” becomes “lay” in past tense!

6. Your sister is still obsessed with Twilight—she showed up to the Halloween party wearing a blood-red dress and pointy vampire teeth.

Hyphens can be tricky little buggers. The general rule is to hyphenate compound modifiers before a noun but not after (“Her dress was blood red”). There are plenty of exceptions, though, so be sure to consult a dictionary and your preferred style guide if you’re in doubt!

7. My favorite Chinese restaurant doesn’t deliver. However, the one across town does.

This run-on sentence is trying to slide under your radar by using the word “however” to connect two independent clauses (clauses that could stand on their own as complete sentences). The only words with that power are called coordinating conjunctions: “for,” “and,” “nor,” “but,” “or,” “yet,” and “so.”

8. The editor-in-chief is retiring next May, meaning one of the senior editors is going to be up for the job.

Subject-verb agreement strikes again! Don’t let the plural “editors” fool you. “One” is the singular subject here.

9. My doctor recommended I get the flu shot in October only.

“Only” is the culprit behind many misplaced modifier errors. There are even more options for this sentence depending on what the writer meant:

  • Only my doctor recommended I get the flu shot in October. (No one else advised this, just your doctor.)
  • My only doctor recommended I get the flu shot in October. (You have one doctor, not many.)
  • My doctor recommended I get only the flu shot in October. (Your doctor recommended you get the flu shot but no other vaccinations during October.)

Context is everything! When using modifiers like “only” or “just,” you can avoid confusion by placing them as close as possible to the word they’re modifying.

10. We’d like to publish your article and pay you $1 per word.

Many writers get in the habit of using commas where they’re not needed with conjunctions like “and” and “but.”

No comma is necessary if a dependent clause follows the conjunction (in other words, it couldn’t stand on its own as a full sentence).

Now that you know which tricky grammar errors to watch out for, make your writing even better with these 25 editing tips to tighten your copy!

How did you do? Let us know your results (and any other common editing errors we didn’t cover) in the comments.

The post How Grammar-Savvy Are You? Take This Quiz to Find Out appeared first on The Write Life.

     

Source: Writer Life

By | 2017-11-28T22:44:22+00:00 November 28th, 2017|Categories: General|Tags: |

'Coco' Scores Another Strong Thanksgiving Debut for Disney

With a strong, five-day debut Disney and Pixar’s Coco joined the ranks of the many successful films Disney has launched over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Receiving high marks from critics and audiences alike, the film finished atop the weekend box office and is looking at solid returns throughout the holiday season. Additionally, WB and DC Comics’ Justice League and Lionsgate’s Wonder played mostly as expected as the three films contributed to a healthy helping of receipts at the holi…
Source: Box Office Mojo

By | 2017-11-28T22:44:41+00:00 November 26th, 2017|Categories: General|Tags: |

3 Shameless Book Promotion Tips For Your Next Release

What was the last book you were really excited to get your hands on?

Think about it for a moment:

  • Where did you learn about it?
  • How did it catch your attention?
  • What made you need to read it?

For me, it almost always starts with an author I already love. Then, I read an update on the author’s blog, or catch word from a friend, or get an alert on Goodreads. It doesn’t really matter.

What matters is, it’s welcome news.

Done right, it feels organic and natural. But take it from someone with 10 years of public relations  experience — it almost never is. Building excitement takes planning and effort.

Now, before you blame your beloved authors for knowing how to promote their work — this is good news.

It means you can get your readers that excited for your books, too.

I’ve been paying attention to authors who do this well, and now, as my second full novel is about to hit the shelves, I’m getting my first chance to put my lessons to work.

Here are a few tips from what I’ve observed works best, and how to put it to work for yourself.

1. It starts with genuine enthusiasm

Just because you’ve got an end goal of promoting doesn’t mean it can’t also be authentic.

You know that feeling you get when you’re writing and you’re loving what you’re creating? Maybe it’s because of the myth of the tortured artist, but most of us don’t embrace this awesome feeling enough (guilty as charged).

The authors who build reader suspense really well, ride this feeling for all its worth, and they let their readers in on it.

Example:

“Did I just throw a hydra into a major fight scene? You bet I did. Not sure how our heroes are going to get out of this one…”

So pay attention to those moments of “yes!” and share them. Even better, remember them to share more later when the book is releasing.

book promotion2. Flaunt your signature flair

How does your favorite TV show get you excited for a new upcoming season?

Your favorite authors are using similar tactics to build your excitement.

Let’s take Stranger Things as an example. In season one, one of the most gripping details was the show’s monster — the demagorgon. In the final episode of the season, the show teased a new monster’s name, a thessalhydra. Now, the teasers for the new season are teasing a strange, shadowy creature through the mist.

So the question is, what do readers love about your books? Milk it.

Example:

If you loved Adem’s narration in book #1, I can’t wait for you to see him through Rona’s eyes in book #2.

3. Create insider treasures

Nothing makes a reader feel like an A-class insider like being treated to A-class gifts.

Many authors create incredible extras inspired by their writing, drawn from their characters or worlds. This can be anything from a map of an alternate world to lovely character cards, or a peek behind the curtain at your creative process.

If you create it and present it with love, your readers will feel special for having it.

For mine, I hired an artist with a unique visual style I felt matched the tone of my novels to create a poster for them. I am absolutely in love with the result, and readers have loved it, too.

Excitement is contagious!

Your book releases don’t have to just be about email blasts and promotion discounts. Just like your own favorite authors, you can take steps to build genuine excitement among your readership for your new books.

By sharing your own excitement, paying attention to what your readers love about your work, and crafting unique promotion offerings that make the experience special, you can build buzz that leaves your readers eager to grab your next release as soon as it’s on the shelves.

What gets you excited about a new book?

The post 3 Shameless Book Promotion Tips For Your Next Release appeared first on The Write Life.

     

Source: Writer Life

By | 2017-11-28T22:44:27+00:00 November 24th, 2017|Categories: General|Tags: |

'Coco' Hopes to Add to Disney's Legacy at the Thanksgiving Box Office

SATURDAY AM UPDATE: Coco has played well so far through the holidays thus far and brought in an estimated $18.6 million on Friday, pushing its domestic cume after three days to $40.7 million. At this time it’s looking as if a three-day weekend around $48-50 million is in the offing for a five-day gross around $70+ million.

At the same time, WB and DC Comics’ Justice League is holding on mostly as expected, pushing toward a five-day total that just might reach $60 million, but seems most…
Source: Box Office Mojo

By | 2017-11-28T22:44:44+00:00 November 21st, 2017|Categories: General|Tags: |