Writing Tips

Building Character(s) – 5 Tips for Creating a Lead Character Your Audience Will Really Care About

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Building Character(s) – 5 Tips for Creating a Lead Character Your Audience Will Really Care About

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through the experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.” ~ Helen Keller     From a certain angle, a writer’s job can be boiled down to three simple words: “Make me care”. Consequently, a note screenwriters often get is that they need to make their lead more “sympathetic”, more “likable”. Reasonable enough in theory, but how exactly? It’s a little vague, like telling a chef to make a meal more tasty. But, as with cooking, if you break it down, I believe...

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My Interview on Screenplay Design for “Women and Hollywood”

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My Interview on Screenplay Design for “Women and Hollywood”

I recently had the pleasure of doing another interview, this one on screenplay design, with the fab Ann Baldwin and it’s now up on a terrific site called “Women and Hollywood” run by Melissa Silverstein. In it, I cover what I consider some of the structural essentials to consider when mapping out a screenplay, as well as some useful tools and examples. Hope you enjoy! Diane Drake is a professional screenwriter, creative consultant, and screenwriting instructor with the UCLA Extension Writer’s Program. Her produced original screenplays include Only You, starring Marisa...

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“Works-in-Progress”

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I like to think we’re all this, in a good way.  I’ve long believed that a sense of forward momentum is one of the essentials to human happiness.  Everyone wants to feel like they’re ‘progressing’ in life in one way or another.   It’s like that old advertising tag line, “I’m not getting older, I’m getting better.”   But the key word here is ‘work’.   There’s the rub.  Alas, real progress in any arena almost never simply happens all by itself.   It takes effort, and usually a lot of it. And the same is true for our characters.  Forward momentum for your hero is critical, and...

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The Path of Most Resistance

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The Path of Most Resistance

THE IMPORTANCE OF CONFLICT In the world at large the idea of peace on Earth is a noble, if seemingly unattainable, goal. But in the world of drama, it’s death– because the essence of “drama”, (and by that I mean both drama and comedy), is conflict. If there are no obstacles, if there is nothing for your hero to have to overcome, and no one to oppose him, then there really isn’t much of a story. “John climbed Everest. It was so much easier than he expected.  Everything went according to plan, he breezed to the top and came safely back down. The End.” Again, great news for John in real...

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My Interview with Kim Krizan, writer of “BEFORE SUNRISE” and “BEFORE SUNSET”

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My Interview with Kim Krizan, writer of “BEFORE SUNRISE” and “BEFORE SUNSET”

I recently sat down with my good friend, the talented Kim Krizan, co-writer of BEFORE SUNRISE and BEFORE SUNSET to discuss writing, creativity and her hilarious and insightful new book, “Original Sins: Trade Secrets of the Femme Fatale” for Scriptmag.com. Kim Krizan is an Academy Award-nominated writer of the films Before Sunrise and Before Sunset. She appeared as an actor in the films Slacker, Dazed and Confused and Waking Life, and wrote the critically-acclaimed graphic novel Zombie Tales: 2061. Krizan earned a Master’s degree in literature and teaches creative writing classes...

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“Mapping the Journey for Professional Screenwriters”

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“Mapping the Journey for Professional Screenwriters”

I recently had the pleasure of doing an interview with Ann Baldwin for Scriptmag.com on “Mapping the Journey for Professional Screenwriters”. Republished from Script Magazine August 17, 2012 by Ann Baldwin Diane Drake is a professional screenwriter, creative consultant, and screenwriting instructor with the UCLA Extension Writer’s Program. Her produced original screenplays include Only You, starring Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey, Jr. and What Women Want, starring Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt. Diane grew up in Los Angeles and began her career as a script reader and producer’s...

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