November, 2009

how the internet killed the storyteller. except if maybe it didn’t.

Is the Internet killing storytelling? Ben Macintyre in The Times says it is: …we are in state of Continual Partial Attention, too bombarded by snippets and gobbets of information to focus on anything for very long. Microsoft researchers have found that someone distracted by an e-mail message alert takes an average of 24 minutes to…

Nov 8, 2009 · 5 Comments / ADD YOURS

why write a memoir?

At the Huffington Post, Rebecca Walker asks herself why she’s compelled to write memoirs instead of more “respectable” fiction. She says: After USA Today called that first book “stunningly honest,” people told me how much they loved the book, how it changed their lives, how gorgeous it is and so on. I heard all of…

Nov 7, 2009 · 7 Comments / ADD YOURS

why stealing an “idea” is no big deal — until it is

My ex-husband and I once had lunch with filmmaker James Cameron (who was one of the few people allowed to drive my ex’s McLaren F1 in the years that he had it). Over the course of the meal — I remember I had the gnocchi, and Cameron remarked on how I could eat that dish…

Nov 6, 2009 · 15 Comments / ADD YOURS

finding the touchstone for your work-in-progress

I keep thinking of a conversation I once had with a very cool female screenwriter. She’d written a screenplay based on the life of Zelda Fitzgerald — Natalie Portman was interested in playing Zelda — and went on to say that an important part of her writing process was finding the story’s central image. In…

Nov 6, 2009 · 6 Comments / ADD YOURS

RULES OF SEDUCTION: writing the viewpoint of the opposite sex

This is the revised version of an essay originally published at Storytellers Unplugged as the second half of a two part series about writing as the opposite sex. The first essay was by Richard Steinberg. 1 Storytelling is seduction, when you think about it. Seducers get inside your view of things and reshape it to…

Nov 5, 2009 · 6 Comments / ADD YOURS

how to figure out a plot problem

I’ve been having a little conversation with my undermind. The book isn’t working. Should I throw this part out and start again? It’s not that I’m eager to trash sixty pages. But there’s something appealing about looping back to the beginning: fresh slate, new possibilities. Undermind sends up the feeling: No. There’s a problem here,…

Nov 4, 2009 · 3 Comments / ADD YOURS

FORM VS FORMULA: the question every writer needs to ask, and why

1 I heard Kevin Rose give a speech to a crowd of young entrepreneurs about developing a successful website. The nuggets of wisdom Kevin tossed out included a story about this really cool guy on his development team who would say, whenever they were discussing a plan that excited them: “Okay. What can we take…

Nov 2, 2009 · 9 Comments / ADD YOURS

cool books entry #1 (tribal writer video blog)

[wpvideo 5K28Nbae] Please forgive the stupid hair flip at the beginning of this video — it was accidental — but this is the first in a series of vlog entries about books I love, am loving, or expect to love, or just happen to think are kind of cool. Amazon links to the books I…

Nov 1, 2009 · 13 Comments / ADD YOURS
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