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4 Easy-to-Avoid Freelance-Writing Mistakes Every Rookie Makes

Congratulations! You landed your first client.

Getting a positive response to a pitch or application can give you a writing high that lasts all week…that is, until you start working with the client and things start going wrong.

As a new freelancer, getting any job may be so exciting we’re willing to accept jobs that aren’t always the best fit. I certainly made some mistakes (and continue to make new ones) that ate up a lot of my time and energy at the beginning of my freelancing career.

The good news is I kept track of my rookie freelancing mistakes when landing a new gig, so you don’t make the same mistakes!

1. Not clarifying if you get a byline

The job ad said “writer”, not “ghostwriter”, so I assumed I would have a byline…wrong.

When landing a new client or gig, this is one of the most important things you can ask, especially if you’re working to build your portfolio. Having a byline helps build your brand and can even draw inbound leads — a dream for all new freelancers!

Clarify up front if you’ll be able to have a byline. If the answer is no, ask if you’ll be able to link to the writing in pitches, or if you can get a testimonial. If the answer is still no, think carefully about if the time is worth it. You may want to raise your rates if you’re not getting any exposure.

There’s nothing as disappointing as spending a lot of time writing a perfect article, only to not get the recognition for it you thought you would.

2. Writing about a topic you don’t believe in

You’ve responded to an ad or cold pitched, and they’ve responded. You’ve talked about average word count, if you’ll have a byline and how to submit. You’ve even agreed on cost per word and how you’ll get paid.

It’s finally time to write.

Then they send you the topic and your heart drops. Not only is it something you’re completely uninterested in, it’s also something you don’t believe in or agree with.

There are certain niches where this happens more than others, but it can happen to anyone. In my case (health niche), I was being asked to write about a specific supplement. I don’t really believe in supplements and diet pills, and I hadn’t used this one myself, so I felt really uncomfortable with the post.

I wrote it anyway, but I wish I hadn’t. Not only did it take forever (since I wasn’t familiar with it), but I hated every second of it. Freelance writing isn’t all fun and games, but the writing part is still supposed to be enjoyable!

Plus, my name was now attached to a piece I didn’t believe in.

When the client asked me to do another piece reviewing and recommending a very specific diet pill, I declined. I wish I had declined the first offer, too. Not only did I spend a lot of time on the writing, it actually made me dread writing. And even though it was bylined, I don’t like to use it in my portfolio. I did make some money, but I wish I’d spent my time on more positive work.

3. Not adjusting rates for word count/research

You may have a standard rate per word or per project you charge, and if the client is willing to pay, you’ll accept.

Especially starting out, the rates you’ll accept are probably pretty low. You’re just trying to build your portfolio, connections and skill set.

But just because the rate is the same as other work you do, doesn’t mean you should accept it without knowing other parameters. Writing a 3,000 word article might take more than three times longer than a 1,000 word article, depending on the research or interviews involved. My cost per word was the same, but my effective hourly rate sank dramatically at this word count.

The same thing can happen if the article is research-intensive. I had another client that wanted an average of 25 sources for a 1,000 word article. While I’m happy to accomodate, I can’t accept the low end of my rates for that work.

If your time is your most valuable asset, you need to take on work that has a good effective hourly rate.

4. Not reading any legal documents or disclaimers

While this happens infrequently, sometimes clients will have you sign a non-disclosure or some other legal document. Make sure you read these documents before signing.

I once had a client put a 10-year non-compete in my non-disclosure agreement. Luckily, with a lawyer for a father, I always read any contracts before signing. As a freelancer, a non-compete is simply unacceptable. I recommend asking if they’ll remove that language.

If they won’t, don’t sign it.

Above all, always value yourself, your work, and your time.

Don’t take work just because you’re excited about finally getting a gig and making some money. Ask the right questions, read requirements carefully, and price accordingly.

And don’t be afraid to walk away if the opportunity just isn’t right.

The post 4 Easy-to-Avoid Freelance-Writing Mistakes Every Rookie Makes appeared first on The Write Life.


Source: Writer Life

By | 2017-05-04T10:54:32+00:00 May 4th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |

Womanly Panther: A Conversation with Director Mimi Leder

Scott Glenn and Director/Executive Producer Mimi Leder on the set of THE LEFTOVERS Season 3 in Australia. Photo: Ben King/HBO

by John Bucher (@johnkbucher)

Mimi Leder is one of the most respected directors in film and television. Her ability to bring out the subtle nuances of the human experiences has made her a highly sought after artist and collaborator. Helming films such as The Peacemaker, Deep Impact, and Pay It Forward, Leder has brought her talents to some of the most beloved franchises in the world of television in recent years – ER, Nashville, The West Wing, and Shameless, just to name a few. She has also been a key voice in guiding HBO’s The Leftovers, directing ten episodes of the show.

Leder sat down with LA Screenwriter’s John Bucher to talk about her career and her experiences.

John Bucher: You’ve said in other interviews that The Leftovers, and especially this season, is really about the story that we tell ourselves. That seems to be an on-going theme in a lot of your work. Can you unpack that?

Mimi Leder: Well, we all have stories we tell ourselves to get by, to make things all right in our individual worlds and the world as a whole. We see a lot of coping mechanisms. We see how people on the outside look, and then in private moments how they really look and feel, and see the things that they do to get through the day. Kevin putting a bag over his head, getting near the point of death so he can feel alive in The Leftovers is certainly an example of that. We see how each and every one of our characters exists, does things so they can exist in a place where they can breathe.

John Bucher: You have directed more episodes than anyone else over the course of the show’s run. You’ve become one of the chief storytellers for this show, especially where it’s taken off from Tom Perrotta’s original work. It seems like the audience that has developed for the show are really thoughtful people, and that has a lot to do with how the show is directed. So, what’s been your approach in connecting with that audience?

Mimi Leder: I feel that my approach to directing the show is always somewhere very honest and grounded in a real place from the character’s point of view. We dig deep when we approach a scene. We discuss the hows, the whys. I feel I just approach it from a storytelling point of view, and it’s really been an exciting journey to be able to be with the show since mid-first season and really experience it from the characters’ points of view. Even location scouting, finding the right house, the right landscape, how it fits the characters and how the character will fit within it.

John Bucher: Since you brought up locations, let’s talk about Australia. Were there films that were influential for you in approaching the Australian storytelling? Was it different than Austin?

Mimi Leder: Well, going to Austin, Texas, felt like the right place for season two, and going to Austin felt like they had such great little towns that we could find our little town that was untouched. It just felt right for Miracle, Texas. The blue skies and the vast landscapes, the open sky. When they talk about Texas and the open skies, they’re not kidding. They’re hypnotizing. They really are. You just watch clouds a lot of the day. It’s hypnotic.

Going to Australia and finding the right place to shoot, for example, in episode three, in the outback, was something we did last February when we decided we actually were going to Australia. We had to go find the right outback because the outback exists everywhere there. We didn’t quite know the storyline at that point, but I knew that I was going to be shooting an episode in the outback with Kevin Sr. on his journey with his flood narrative to save the world. Scott Glenn is one of the greats. He gave every ounce of himself to this role, and it’s a very beautiful, honest portrayal of a man trying to save the world.

We went to a place called Broken Hill, which is out of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales. Broken Hill is where they shot Wake in Fright that Ted Kotcheff brilliantly directed. It was a very beautiful and haunting and magical place to film. It was a great experience for all of us. We took in every moment. We didn’t take it for granted.

John Bucher: It feels like one of the re-occurring themes throughout the seasons that’s really coming to a pinnacle in season three is this idea of family, of fathers and sons, and the idea of saving the world but also saving yourself, saving your family. You have a daughter who’s beginning to enter the filmmaking world. Have you been able to draw from your own life at all in approaching these stories about families and the intricacies and nuances of families working together?

Mimi Leder: Yeah. I’ve definitely been able to draw from the intricacies and the moments in my life and the connections with my family: my husband, my mother, my daughter, my stepchildren as well. Family is everything, and it’s very complicated. This is the telling of that story, and the scripts by Damon and Tom especially spoke to that. Every ounce of The Leftovers, in so many ways, speaks to family and what the family means, and how could we live without our families. How could we go on? And how do our characters go on? That is what we’ve been exploring in depth.

John Bucher: Nora got a tattoo of the Wu-Tang Clan symbol to cover her children’s’ names. Were you given a Wu-Tang Clan’s name like the writers of that episode?

Mimi Leder: That was really funny. Mine was great. We were on set shooting one night, and everyone was getting a Wu-Tang Clan name. Mine is Womanly Panther.

John Bucher: That’s quite fitting.

Mimi Leder: Isn’t it amazing?

John Bucher: Has there been anything that you’ve learned from your earlier experiences or the earlier projects that you’ve done that you’ve been able to put into practice or that you’re really proud of or glad that you’ve been able to exercise?

Mimi Leder: Well, I would say that The Leftovers has been one of the best experiences of my career in that the material is so extraordinary. It opened me up in so many ways. I believe that it has opened me up as a director. I had many years of experience and it has in some ways made me more open and fearless and a better collaborator. It has made me explore my inner spirituality more. It has allowed me to be more free and somehow has cracked something open inside of me. I’m loving the work that we’re doing, that I’m doing. It’s been one of the great experiences of my career. I’m very grateful for it.


John Bucher is a writer, speaker, and story consultant based out of Los Angeles. He is the author of several books including The Inside Out Story and Master of the Cinematic Universe: The Secret Code to Writing in the New World of Media. He has written for entities ranging from HBO to U.S.  Ambassadors. He teaches at The LA Film Studies Center and has conducted story seminars on five continents. He can be reached on Twitter @johnkbucher and through his site, tellingabetterstory.com.

Source: LA-Screenwriter

By | 2017-05-04T10:54:36+00:00 May 3rd, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |

5 Crucial Tips if You Want to Write for Local Publications

If you’ve pitched stories to national outlets before, you know to expect a rejection within two weeks or so. That’s because these media organizations typically have larger staffs, and might call on another editor to look at your pitch.

However, local publications are often much smaller and might not have as quick of a response time. That’s why the first pitch is so important.

After freelancing for almost a year, I finally broke into an independent regional magazine.

Now, I regularly contribute to city-specific publications, including an alternative weekly and hyperlocal, neighborhood-specific news blog.

In addition to discussing my experiences, I reached out to a few editors and writers about breaking into local publications for the first time.

1. Find a local angle

You may be tempted to pitch a national story to a local newspaper or magazine, but think again.

Although national issues affect the smallest of towns, you need to find a hook to make them locally relevant.

Do look for local angles on national stories,” explains Ken Schlager, editor of New Jersey Monthly. “Don’t pitch the obvious, like a review of a new restaurant. Do pitch local trend pieces that might not be obvious to the average observer.”

For instance, in February, some local punk bands hosted a benefit show for a 24-hour LGBTQ suicide hotline. Although the story began as timely coverage of an event, the story was an opportunity to localize transgender rights and discuss bathroom bills in different states.

“Get a good sense of what’s been done already and try to find uncharted territory, or perhaps a different angle on a story that’s already been told,” says Lindsay Lennon, who regularly contributes to her local Patch site and other regional publications. “If there’s a seemingly great story that hasn’t been covered yet, try to get the scoop on why.”

2. Always look for stories

If you’re truly committed to telling your community’s stories, try adopting a new mindset. For every event you attend, remind yourself that you are the storyteller in the room and rock it.

“Walk your beat,” Lennon stresses. “Talk to people. Go to local government meetings. Pick up the phone. Do not just send out emails. Sit down and have a chat with the mayor or the town supervisor or anyone who is considered a local magnate.”

While many journalists and writers search for sources on social media, especially those in the millennial generation, Lennon prefers to stay within her own network. When you’re working with strangers, including those you’ll never meet face-to-face, credibility could be taken for granted. That’s why she prefers to only interview those she knows.

Personally, I have used the internet to get connected, but I usually try to contact sources to verify their interest in going on the record before pitching a story.

3. Pitch far in advance

Especially for print publications, you want to give editors a lot of leeway when it comes to timeliness.

For example, in February, I pitched a local print magazine editor June, July and August stories.

A lot of times, local magazines have annual themed issues — top doctors, best & worst surveys, best new restaurants — and you can easily find out what month those issues come out, so you can time your pitches,” explains freelance writer Kate Andrews, who has been reporting on local issues her whole career and currently contributes to several publications specific to Richmond, Virginia.

Andrews recommends pitching magazines three months ahead of time, as well as looking over the submission guidelines. “Of course, read the publication thoroughly before pitching so you know what they cover and know what they have written about recently, so you can avoid pitching the same story,” she adds.

4. Know your competition

If your community has multiple publications dedicated to local stories, it’s best to familiarize yourself with all of them. Likely, they’re all competing with each other.

As a freelance writer, you might not have to commit yourself to one, but reading different publications helps you understand the tone and style of each one.

“If there’s a competing publication, pay attention to what they are writing about, so you don’t pitch that story to the first publication,” Andrews mentions. “I guarantee the editors for both are paying attention to the other one. That’s not to say you can’t write for both, but it’s probably smarter to pick different subject areas so one publication doesn’t feel ‘robbed’ if you write a story for the other one.”

The writing world is a small one, especially when it comes to local publications.

“Be aware that if you’re in a smaller or midsize city/region, most of the editors/staff at local and regional publications know each other,” Andrews adds. “So, if you burn bridges in some dramatic way at one place, word will travel and you may not get any work. On the other hand, if you have a good reputation at one publication, you may get work at a second place.”

5. Emphasize your familiarity with the area

Show the publication you’re an expert, and make a personal connection.

Shoshi Parks, a contributor to Hoodline who lives in San Francisco, contacted the publication first with her qualifications. In her introduction email, she explained her familiarity with the neighborhood —in addition to having lived there for a decade, she owns a small business in the city and is active in a few local nonprofit organizations. She also included a writing sample.

“Your perspective on your city is valid and unique,” Parks elaborated. “Think about what’s in your world and use it to convince editors that you have a valuable point of view. Having a writing sample or two is also helpful, even if it’s self-published, so that editors can see your skills for themselves.”

When reaching out to local publications, you should take pride in where you live. Promote yourself as a local authority who is qualified not only as a writer, but an expert, to report on regional issues that matter the most to the surrounding community.

“I find writing for local publications to be so fulfilling as both a storyteller and a consumer of information and lore,” Lennon adds. “Having a sense of place is one of the warmest and most oddly comforting phenomenons I’ve experienced in my life, and I think writing about a place and its inhabitants only enhances this sense.”

Challenge yourself as a writer to find interesting stories through events, people you know, and of course, everyday life. Ask yourself what your community needs to know through local journalism, using your insight as a community member.

Chances are, you probably have a lead under your nose to break into local publications.

The post 5 Crucial Tips if You Want to Write for Local Publications appeared first on The Write Life.


Source: Writer Life

By | 2017-05-04T10:54:32+00:00 May 3rd, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |

This Crucial Skill Will Help You Get on Your Book Editor’s Good Side

So far, this “Editorially Speaking” column has covered “How to Find a Book Editor You Can Trust,” “How Much You Should Expect to Pay an Editor,” and “How to Format a Book.”

What more could an editor ask for than to be trusted, paid, and handed a well-formatted manuscript?


And sometimes, well, writers aren’t the timeliest of people. No offense.

I’ve been one of those writers, and I’m sure I will be again, but I try not to make a habit of it. As soon as you begin breaking deadlines on a routine basis, the urgency of any deadline loses its power.

Don’t fall prey to Douglas Adams’ oft-quoted line: “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”

Editors don’t want to hear your whoosh! Why?

Because missing your contracted deadline creates ripple effects in their work you’ll never know about, and it leaves a hint of disrespect in your editor’s mind. That’s a surefire way not to get on your editor’s good side.

I’m not advocating you become fast friends with your editor or that you strive to ingratiate yourself with them.

Rather, I’m pulling back the curtain to reveal five simple ways that being timely can endear you to any editor.

1. Meet your deadline(s)

When you contract for editing work, that contract better have at least one deadline. (Otherwise, you’re either working with an amateur editor or they’re the most flexible editor on earth.)

Some contracts may hold multiple deadlines, e.g., “The editor will receive the client’s first 20,000 words by May 1, 2017.”

Whatever your contract says, adhere to it.

Know your deadlines as closely as you know your protagonist. Emblazon your deadlines wherever you’ll see them every day. Make yourself weary of thinking about your deadline so that it becomes your personal antagonist, only stoppable by meeting your deadline.

As I wrote in my book Don’t Fear the Reaper,

A client who fails to appreciate an editor’s schedule will likely not be that editor’s client for long. Editors often work on multiple projects at the same time, whether that’s editing other books, writing their own books, or freelancing in other ways. Consequently, they may have more deadlines than you as an author might have. And while it would be nice to believe that your book is always their top priority, that’s simply not the case. Busy editors (who tend to be the good editors) juggle projects, shifting their prioritized work day-by-day. Some days, your book will be their top priority. Other days, someone’s book with a closer deadline will replace it. Regardless, an editor can’t do their job unless the author holds up their end of the contract as well.

2. Respond within a predetermined timeframe

Who determines this timeframe? You and your editor, in the contract.

A useful rule of thumb is that two to three business days is an acceptable response timeframe.

In other words, if you and I were working together and I asked you a question about your manuscript on a Monday, I’d expect to hear back from you by Thursday at the latest. However, I’d argue that this suggestion should only apply to those who are so busy with work, family or other commitments in life that they can’t respond more quickly. If you’re an author who’s writing in the margins of your life, let your editor know that upfront so that your predetermined response timeframe can be correctly calibrated.

I assume most editors prefer same-day responses, or at least within twenty-four hours. I do.

This ensures work on your manuscript can keep flowing. Often, these questions are short, and their replies can be quickly sent. If a discussion is necessary, a call may be scheduled. With that, at least your editor knows exactly when you’ll get back to them.

3. Be available

Editors sometimes work strange hours.

While some may hold fast to typical working hours, some may only be able to work on your manuscript on nights or weekends (especially if they’re starting out and still holding a day job.) Even full-time editors may work odd hours depending on their workloads (especially if some other client—not you, of course—failed to meet a deadline, causing a cascade of frustrated expectations for when that editor can complete their work.)

Being timely also means being available.

You don’t have to make yourself constantly available to your editor, but place yourself in their shoes. If you had to work with you, how soon would you want to hear from you? Try not to reschedule calls. Answer emails as soon as you’re able. If an in-person meeting is in order, make it a priority. Of course, an editor should reciprocate such availability.

4. Pay on time

This goes back to my first point: to meet your deadlines, you have to know your deadlines, and one of your deadlines will read “Payment due.”

Many editors ask for half of your full payment up front, before any work has commenced (but after the contract has been signed). Once the work has been completed, you’ll then be asked for the final half-payment, and then you’ll receive your edited manuscript.

This kind of financial arrangement ensures that the editor will be paid for their time while simultaneously forcing you to put your money where your manuscript is. With significant skin in the game — see “How Much You Should Expect to Pay an Editor?” if you need a reminder –you’re now invested in the outcome of your book.

Editors love editing; they don’t love hounding.

We don’t want to spend our time writing emails or leaving voicemails trying to receive payment for services rendered. We understand that life sometimes happens, and, honestly, if you level with us about the reason why your payment isn’t on time, we’ll likely be gracious (the first time) so long as you make an effort to pay your invoice as soon as you can.

As in so many issues in life, just imagine yourself in their role. How would you feel if your paycheck arrived even a day late, much less weeks or months later?

Paying on time, every time, via the method the both of you have agreed upon will make your editorial relationship much easier. They may not be too nice to your manuscript, but that’s what you’re paying them for, right?

5. Communicate

The thread that runs through each of these recommendations is communication. I encourage writers to communicate about their communication.

In other words, let your editor know if you’re about to miss a deadline, or if there’s been a sickness in the family that’s drained your financial resources, etc. You’ll stay on our good sides if we hear from you, and it doesn’t take long to dash off a few sentences in an email just to let us know what’s going on in your world. We’re here to serve you and your book, but we also do this for a living.

Don’t become that frustrating client who consistently misses deadlines or conveniently forgets when payments are due.

If you treat your editor with professionalism and respect, and they do so in return, your book will reap those rewards, and you will likely have cemented a long-lasting writer-editor relationship.

The post This Crucial Skill Will Help You Get on Your Book Editor’s Good Side appeared first on The Write Life.


Source: Writer Life

By | 2017-04-21T05:44:19+00:00 April 21st, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |

Not F*ing Around – The Screenwriter’s Edition

Editor’s Note: Jeff Leisawitz is the author of Not F*ing Around, a book about jump-starting your creative life which we had the opportunity to review. The book is a quick, uplifting, and fun manifesto on reaching your creative goals, and we heartily recommend it. You can read the first three chapters or buy a copy here.

by Jeff Leisawitz

Writing screenplays is hard work. I know. I’ve written a bunch. Not only do you have to know story structure, dialogue, formatting, tone, pace, and about a hundred other things, you actually have to sit there and do it. Sometimes this is the hardest part.

As a professional writer, award winning musician, internationally distributed filmmaker and life coach, I’ve been bashing my head against the wall for decades. In an effort to empower creatives of all kinds on how to bang their heads against fewer walls, I wrote a book called Not F*ing Around— The No Bullsh*t Guide for Getting Your Creative Dreams Off the Ground. Here are few tips, tweaked for my screenwriting pals.

Start Before You’re Ready

Years ago, when I started working as a songwriting teacher at a local college, I was shaking in my shoes. I prepared the best I could. But at the end of the day I just had to step into the studio with the students and give it my best shot.

Here’s the point. You can read screenwriting books, magazines, and blogs all day long. You can go to workshops, take classes. But if you still haven’t knocked out a bunch of loglines, outlines, and a ton of pages, it’s time to start. Now.

Sure, it might be a total disaster. But so what? As I tell my freaked out freshmen, your first song is supposed to suck. Write more. They will get better. That’s how it works. Same goes with screenplays. Just pay attention. Get some qualified feedback. And learn from your mistakes.

Time Travel with Your Future Self

Here’s a secret. A vast majority of very successful people use mediation and/or visualization to help them move closer to their dreams. You may call it woo-woo. But it works.

Grab your pen or fire up the laptop. Take a few minutes to breathe deeply. Imagine what you want in your future as it relates to screenwriting (or anything else). Picture yourself finishing your project. Or sitting in a room with a hot shot producer. Or attending the premiere of your awesome movie.

Breathe deep and feel into the experience. Notice what it took to get you there. Notice who is around you. Notice the way you feel in these moments. Breathe this all in deeply. When you’re ready, open your eyes and write it out. Feel it again. Write it and remember it. You just tapped into your subconscious to access some big information and wisdom.

Say ‘Yes, and_______.”

A few years ago I took an improv comedy class. One of the main tenets of this world is to say “Yes, and ______.” That means that you have to accept the situation that the other actor drops in your lap. Then add something to it.

It’s a very simple yet profound idea. It also works quite well in life.

Be open to opportunities in the screenwriting world. In fact, seek them out on job boards, meetups, community film groups. Maybe your sister-in-law just got a new camera and wants a three page script about twinkie-loving truckers for her next YouTube video. Step up and write it.

Perhaps you met some over-caffeinated Millennial at your local coffee shop who wants to hang around and write forty plot ideas every Sunday afternoon. Buy the guy some decaf and tag team.

Always take opportunities for creative growth. Chances are good that you’ll grow creatively.

These are just a few very brief ideas on how to crank up the NFA and make your screenwriting dreams come true. For more wisdom, tips, and tools, click on over to http://jeffleisawitz.com/giveaway-spring-into-action/ to enter yourself a chance to win four hours of online creativity coaching ($1000 value!). You’ll also get free chapters of my book, Not F*ing Around— The No Bullsh*t Guide for Getting Your Creative Dreams Off the Ground.

What does your future self have to say?

What have you started before you’re ready?

What do you generally say yes to, screenwriting-wise? What do you say no to?


Jeff Leisawitz burns with a mission—to inspire screenwriters, artists, musicians, filmmakers, entrepreneurs (and everyone else) to amp up their creativity, heal their hearts and shine in the world. Visit his site for a chance to download the first three chapters of his book, Not F*ing Around— The No Bullsh*t Guide for Getting Your Creative Dreams Off the Ground and enter a $1,000 giveaway for a chance to win creative coaching with Jeff to get your next project rocket fueled.

Source: LA-Screenwriter

By | 2017-04-20T12:46:20+00:00 April 20th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |

David Mamet Teaches Master Class On Writing For Stage & Screen

How many times have we seen movies that basically copied Alec Baldwin’s “always be closing” speech in Glengarry Glen Ross or some other testosterone-doused dialogue from David Mamet? Now, those who have been borrowing from the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright can now spend $90 to soak up lessons directly from the master. Mamet has filmed his first online MasterClass tutorial on writing for the theater and the screen (see the trailer above). He instills the hard won…
Source: DeadLine

By | 2017-04-20T11:45:23+00:00 April 20th, 2017|Categories: Breaking News, David Mamet, Glengarry Glen Ross, MasterClass|Tags: |

Trailer: The Osiris Child Science Fiction Volume One (2017)

Set in the future in a time of interplanetary colonization, an unlikely pair race against an impending global crisis and are confronted by the monsters that live inside us all.

The post Trailer: The Osiris Child Science Fiction Volume One (2017) first appeared on HNN | Horrornews.net 2017 – Official Horror News Site

Source: Horror News

By | 2017-04-20T11:45:26+00:00 April 20th, 2017|Categories: The Osiris Child Science Fiction Volume One, Trailers|Tags: |

Trailer: Robin (2017)

A traumatized woman is found in a forest, claiming to have witnessed a murder. As the police investigates it they can’t find anything proving her story. The woman is convinced that she’s the next victim and starts her own investigation to figure out what really happened, trying to find the murderer before he finds her. …

The post Trailer: Robin (2017) first appeared on HNN | Horrornews.net 2017 – Official Horror News Site

Source: Horror News

By | 2017-04-20T11:45:26+00:00 April 20th, 2017|Categories: Robin, Trailers|Tags: |

You Got This! 5 Out-Of-The-Box Ways to Beat Writer’s Block

Staring at a blank page for hours on end, willing the words to come.

Most writers have faced this dreaded writing scenario from time to time: a case of writer’s block.

Even the most successful and prolific writers can suffer from a lack of words at times.

It seems like every writer has a few tricks up their sleeve to handle writer’s block. Some like to focus on outlining and sketching out novel chapters while others prefer to use apps, calendars and spreadsheets to hit daily word goals.

But sometimes it’s good to shake up your routine a bit in order to find new creative energy.

Try these tips if you find yourself with a case of the dreaded writer’s ailment.

1. Go to clown class

If you don’t have visions of red clown noses and funny wigs, you don’t have to literally go to clown school. But trying an activity that is out of your comfort zone and normal routine is a great way to shake things up and find your creativity.

It doesn’t matter if you take a clown class, sign up for a curling league, go to comedy improv night or take a kazoo workshop. Whatever you do, you’ll end up with something new and exciting to write about afterward.

After returning from your new experience, try writing about it as soon as you get home. Use your words to describe what you experienced, how you felt and who you met. Write a character profile of someone you met, describing what they look like, how they speak and what they wear.

Be careful; there’s always a fine line between “shaking up your routine” and procrastinating.

Make sure you use your new activity as a mental refresh and inspiration to get the words flowing rather than a distraction from writing.

2. Use your hands

Writers use their hands to type or scrawl notes longhand all day long.

To shake up your routine, try using your hands in a different creative way. Sculpt clay, paint a picture, crochet a hat or make a collage to turn your brain onto a different type of creativity.

You can even apply this creative technique to your projects.

If you’re writing a novel, sketch out some of your characters visually. If you’re writing about a room, draw the room. What does the sofa look like? How is the table set? Is there a centerpiece? Are there placemats? If you’re drawing a landscape, what types of animals are hidden in the frame? Are there birds, squirrels, insects, or a friendly dog lazing about?

You don’t have to write words to make progress with your story.

3. Find natural inspiration

I’m one of many writers who loves to work outdoors, but you don’t have to bring your laptop with you to find outdoor inspiration and break out from your writer’s block.

Go for a walk or a hike, preferably out in the woods, but even a neighborhood park will do.

Consider bringing a journal and freewriting about three different experiences you have along the way. Don’t overthink it. You don’t have to experience earth-shaking personal revelations to have something to write about on the trail. You can write about an interesting tree or a rain cloud or your experience with a blue jay that watched you eat your lunch.

It doesn’t matter what you write about. The important part is spending time having experiences out in nature and putting those feelings and adventures into words.

After you get your creative mind flowing, you might find the words on your blocked project come along easier, too.

4. Find a prompt

If you Google “writing prompts” you’ll discover more than 1.8 million results. And, if you’re more visually inclined, check out Pinterest’s collection of writing prompts.

Wherever you find your prompts, don’t spend too much time trying to select the perfect one.

Just pick one and start writing. Set a timer for 10 minutes (or whatever length of time you like) and write words. If the words don’t come, write about how they’re not coming. Describe your fingers sitting on the keyboard or tapping on the table. Describe yourself. Write about your desk.

Prompts are great because your only goal is to write for a certain amount of time.

Your writing doesn’t have to meet any standards and no one ever has to read it. But it’s a great exercise to help get your brain going.

5. Read

If the words still aren’t coming, grab a good book and start reading.

But if you write about the book, it might be even more helpful. Read a chapter and then write about that chapter. Write about your favorite character or favorite scene. Describe your thoughts and what you might do differently. Hypothesize about a character’s motivations or what might happen next.

But be sure not to compare yourself to the author. Just enjoy the story and, hopefully, it will help your own story keep spinning along in your mind and on the page.

However you work to conquer writer’s block, don’t worry about it too much. It’s only a temporary ailment. These techniques should help you shake up your routine enough to get back on track with your writing.   

How do you beat writer’s block? Tell us in the comments below.

The post You Got This! 5 Out-Of-The-Box Ways to Beat Writer’s Block appeared first on The Write Life.


Source: Writer Life

By | 2017-04-20T05:44:38+00:00 April 20th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |