Having Too Many Ideas

Beginning writers often worry about ideas. The question “Where do you get your ideas?” has become a cliché, a question writers hate to answer, and the reason everyone hates it so much is this: non-beginning writers know that “getting ideas” is the easiest thing about writing. The difficulty, if you write regularly, is not getting […]

Book Review: New Boy by Tracy Chevalier

New Boy is a novel by Tracy Chevalier that follows the playground love story of two sixth-graders: a black Ghanaian boy, Osei, and a white American girl, Dee. Although set in a 1970s Washington suburb, the story is based on William Shakespeare’s play, Othello (as part of the Hogarth Shakespeare project, which sees bestselling novelists retell Shakespeare’s […]

Reframing Rejection

One of my earliest rejection letters, from age 22. This rejection letter reshaped my entire thought process around rejection and in retrospect was foundational in my career. Let me walk you through how it blew my young mind and made me rethink how I would view rejections forever. Most writers would do well to reframe […]

Best Screenwriting Books

Since I read #95books every year, and write screenplays, people often ask me what screenwriting books I recommend. This page archives my top recommendations. I will update this page regularly to reflect my reading around the topic. Sign up below and I will email you free format samples so you can see the basic differences […]

Why Fear Experimental Art?

No good name for experimental art exists. Many object to the scientistic experimental, claiming either that science has a capitalistic classism or art should not be reduced to a form of knowledge-production. Less grandly but more eloquently, filmmaker Guy Maddin once (in conversation) objected that it annoyed him when people called his work experimental, because he wasn’t experimenting, […]

Taking Notes — Revisions, Feedback, and Editing

Recently, I was asked to watch and give feedback on a cut of a short film called LOVE SONG by its co-creators Michael Sanders (director, photographer, kingpin of Electric Monk Media) and GMB Chomichuk (writer/illustrator, graphic novelist). We were joined by composer Jesse Hamel, who created the soundtrack for the film. Michael also owed me […]

Your Manuscript Format Reveals Your Mindset

As a writer, what matters more than talent, even more than hard work, is your mindset. (You need all three; in order of importance it goes mindset, hard work, talent.) Professionals can smell amateurs coming at them from a hundred miles away. Let’s look closely, very closely, at the simplest example of how this plays […]