There are so many useful articles out there the past few days I was going to split the post into two, one for screenplays and one for novels, but similar to the mantra of this site, the information pertains to both regardless of the specific specialty of the site posted on.  So sit back and absorb…

The run down is in order of discovery…


The advice is solid and fairly basic, I will add to it from sentiment of a recent panel I attended on writing for kids (I have to say, having worked in the ‘younger audience’ mindset for many years, I DESPISE the word ‘kids’ a young human is a child and a young adult is just that, ‘kids’ sounds like ‘crap’ no matter how you slice it, and the moderator of this panel immediately discarded it by saying the term meant nothing because the dynamic range is so broad from say 7-14, vs. 27-34, just drop that term from your vocabulary and you will be well on your way to automatically achieving these 6 tips.) – You don’t craft a story saying this is for a young audience, you craft a good story whose characters may be ones that are worth telling and if it resonates with a particular audience, that ‘marketing’ comes afterward.

Next up is AMERICAN BOOK REVIEW’S top 100 first sentences (in novels). A few things stand out on here, 1st there are only 2 from the last decade!  Come on modern writers there’s a challenge to aspire toward!  Although some are not so great – or should I say not as great as the remainder of the book that followed?  I think I was a quarter way through before I was willing to concede ‘great’ to one.  Quite possibly the longest run-on sentence in history is on this list (from about 40 years ago) thankfully, perhaps today’s editors wouldn’t allow or understand such an introduction – but then again, today’s editors aren’t represented here… hmmmm.

Next up are two articles from Scriptshark’s script journal blog:  First, can movies make a difference in the effed up world we live in?  And creating unforgettable characters, (as mentioned both of these also apply to prose) Two things with these: 1) Scriptshark is a subsidiary of the New York Times and having worked there briefly I am sure that their journalistic interest is simply monetary but 2) these are respected industry consultants, and in the next few days I will be posting about the validity of ‘industry experts’ in the vein of those that can’t, teach – but not all teachers suck.

Lastly, is a true meld of screen and page approach to writing in a successful novelist’s use of Blake Snyder’s beat sheet – this is a terrific breakdown of the thought process of a complicated story.

Happy Samhain!

stay tooned…