2013

Good for Geeks, Nice for Nerds

SFcrowsnest covers “everything that’s good for geeks and nice for nerds.” Apparently, my book Talk the Talk: A Dialogue Workshop for Scriptwriters is sufficiently geeky and nerdy to make the cut. Check out the review:

I came away from this book glad to know that I’ve been practicing much of what Penniston says here. If you’re a novice writer or even one who needs to develop their storycraft, then you will find some benefits but, and I’ll emphasise this, you must do all the lessons here as they are designed to make you think about what you are doing rather than just put pen to paper and hoping for the best. Although I suspect many of you neo-writers think this makes storywriting more of a technical exercise, it doesn’t really. As Penniston points out, once it becomes innate, you’ll only refer to her book when you get truly stuck. You’re always going to be learning with each story your write.

The Scriptwriter’s Temper Tantrum

What to do when your writing student is sobbing, screaming, and throwing things... Read More...

Talking about Teaching

I gave this interview after my presentation at the Toronto Screenwriters’ Conference. If you’ve ever wanted to hear my deep thoughts on the teaching of dialogue writing, there ya go.

You're not Writing for the Rats

Animals may be smarter, but humans tell better stories. Read More...

Where Characters Come From

Cory Doctorow offers a helpful way to think about the process of character development. I particularly like the way he describes the process as a feedback loop that gathers momentum over time. I’ve definitely had that feeling when working with my characters. They grow from something very sketchy to something very lifelike. That process is slow at first, but it goes faster and faster the farther along you get in a project.