Writing an amazing screenplay about fictional events can be challenging. By basing your screenplay on a true story, you can use the basic structure of true events as a framework to hold the rest of your narrative. It can also be a lucrative way to convert existing non-fiction writing into potentially valuable Hollywood property. Watching movies based on true stories is a good way to hone your screenwriting skills.Watch these movies to become a better screenwriter. Click To Tweet
Writing inspiration is all around us, everywhere we look. That guy at the next table at the coffee shop who’s alone and reading a book instead of playing with his phone. That little girl at the park sitting on the grass staring at a tree. That sparrow who is pecking at the crumbs of your cheesecake.
Books. Blog posts. TV shows. And, yes, movies.
Even if these materials aren’t specifically about writing, we can still glean inspiration from them. Today, I’m sharing watching material for movie buffs – or even the casual movie watcher. I’ve seen some of these movies, while the others are on my watch list. [Read more…]
Hi. My name is Noemi. I’m a Twitter addict.
Today, I’m sharing some writing tweets with you because…read the third sentence of this post.
Have fun! [Read more…]
Reading is essential to being a good writer, so here are the best blog posts I’ve seen this week, which I’d like to share with you.
Blog posts about writing you’ll enjoy
TED Talks used to be the hottest thing online, and while that may not be the case anymore, it doesn’t mean TED Talks doesn’t have anything to offer. Today, check out this article which includes talks from Any Tan, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Tim Brown. Topics range from creativity (and where it hides) to success and failure and the drive to keep on going. [Read more…]
Sticklers for punctuation seem to have a thing for the semicolon. There are those who don’t really pay much attention to its use, while others may not have a clue. Then there are those who utterly dislike it.
“Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve been to college.” – Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country
Whether you agree with that or not, here’s a fun but informative crash course on how to use the semicolon.
This post isn’t about the use of this punctuation mark in the usual way writers talk about it, though. Let’s digress from grammar, punctuation, job hunting, and usual topics we talk about.
I don’t know if you’ve heard of the initiative called Project Semicolon, but I think everyone should be aware of it.
Project Semicolon is dedicated to helping people who struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. Their vision:
The vision is that together we can achieve lower suicide rates in the US and around the world;
That together we can start a conversation about suicide, mental illness and addiction that can’t be stopped;
We envision love and hope and we declare that hope is alive;
We envision a society that openly addresses the struggle with mental illness, suicide and addiction;
We envision a conversation embraced by churches and addressed with love;
We envision a society that sees their value and embraces it;
We envision a community that comes together and stands together in support of one another;
We envision a world where an escape is not found within drugs or alcohol;
We envision a world where self-destruction is no longer a escape to be used;
We envision a revolution of LOVE and declare that our stories are not over yet;
Isn’t that a beautiful use of the semicolon in the “real world”?
Their tagline is just as inspiring: “A semicolon represents a sentence the author could have ended, but chose not to. The sentence is your life and the author is you.”
For people who are – or have loved ones – struggling with the issues mentioned above, Project Semicolon means so much more than a punctuation mark.
I took a look at Twitter, and I was touched by many of the tweets related to the movement. Here are several of them, which I hope will inspire you, too.
— Project Semicolon (@ProjSemicolon) August 3, 2015
— Elisa Hategan (@elisahategan) August 3, 2015
Some have even gotten semicolon tattoos.
— shindigity sam (@SamanthaAnnMill) August 2, 2015
— lisa brock (@TeachPR) July 29, 2015
This last one says it all.
— Sarah Spring (@sarahspringg) July 30, 2015
There is so much more to the semicolon than I previously thought.
If you want to help in any way, visit Project Semicolon.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but we all aspire to write a bestselling novel. Whether you’ve been writing for online or print, there is just something about seeing your name on a book – even better if that book makes it to the top of the charts!
The sad truth is that many of us just can’t seem to get a novel done. There’s freelance work necessary to make a living. There are so many other things that keep getting in the way.
You may be at a point where you think of your novel as “could have been”, but guess what? It is not too late to publish your bestseller.
You might also like: 5 Writers Who Have Been Imprisoned
Sure, you have to find the time to write, but take heart. Some of the most renowned authors were late bloomers. Some of them toiled for decades before achieving success.
If they can do it, so can you!
Here is an encouraging infographic that will show you examples of authors who struggled before reaching that status they have now.
The next time you feel down and think you’ll never become the author you always wanted to be, take a look at this graphic. Tell yourself that you can still publish your novel. It’s never too late!
Are you stuck on something today? Are you having trouble getting a paragraph/chapter just the way you want it to?
Maybe you ought to take a break. Maybe you have to do or write something totally different from what you are supposed to be working on.
Or maybe, you just want to write something totally new, something not related to work – even if you’re not stuck.
Here are seven writing prompts that may get you out of your comfort zone, maybe give you a laugh, or maybe even take you to a state where you realize you are more creative than you think.
Disney princesses as hipsters
Retell a story – with a twist
Two kinds of people
Tell this story
I hope at least one of these writing prompts help you! Do you have your own writing prompts to share? Let us know in the comments below.
Or keep you going when you’re just about ready to throw in the towel. In other words, I’m sharing 14 inspiring writing quotes that ought to help you if you’re lacking in the inspiration department. If you’re looking for specific ideas for blog posts, take a look at my post last week: 5 Blog Post Topics When Your Inspiration Well Runs Dry.
So, hate them or not, quotes can help give you a boost, even though sometimes, it’s a temporary one. You know that we like sharing all sorts of quotes on Facebook and Twitter, so I thought I’d take a look at put together some of the most inspiring writing quotes I’ve encountered.
You may ask, why 14? I like the number, that’s all.
14 Inspiring writing quotes
- “Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.” ~Jane Yolen
- “If you can quit, then quit. If you can’t quit, you’re a writer.” ~R.A. Salvatore
- “This is how you do it; you sit down at the keyboard and put one word after another until its done. It’s that easy and that hard.” ~Neil Gaiman
- “The scariest moment is always just before you start.” ~Stephen King
- “Write even when the world is chaotic. You don’t need a cigarette, silence, music, a comfortable chair, or inner peace to write. You just need ten minutes and a writing implement.” ~Cory Doctorow
- “It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.” ~Ernest Hemingway
- “If you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion, it doesn’t matter a damn how you write.” ~Somerset Maugham
- “Start before you’re ready.” ~Steven Pressfield
- “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” ~Richard Bach
- “Don’t wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to work.” ~Pearl S. Buck
- “Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.” ~William Faulkner
- “If you write one story, it may be bad; if you write a hundred, you have the odds in your favor.” ~Edgar Rice Burroughs
- “The secret of it all is to write in the gush, the throb, the flood of the moment–to put things down without deliberation–without worrying about their style–without waiting for a fit time or place. I always worked that way. I took the first scrap of paper, the first doorstep, the first desk, and wrote–wrote, wrote…By writing at the instant, the very heartbeat of life is caught.” ~Walt Whitman
- “In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you.” ~Leo Tolstoy
I leave you with that last quote from Tolstoy, which may seem counterintuitive, but it does give you the license to take a step back and reflect for a while – but only for a while, after which you get right back to work. 😉
Earlier, I posted a review of the Dylan biopic I’m Not There at Filmsy.com. Now, I’m using a little tidbit that caught my eye while prepping that post to get this one rolling. Others may caution against quoting Bob, but I’m hoping to pull it off.
Here we go:
“It is the first line that gives the inspiration and then it’s like riding a bull. Either you just stick with it, or you don’t.”
That’s a Dylan remark about the writing process.
I’m not a Bob Dylan nut. There’s a lot to like about the guy and his music. There’s plenty to dislike, too. I agree with his sentiments on some things and find other statements he’s made nothing short of silly. This one isn’t right or wrong, good or bad. Assuming he was quoted correctly and was being honest at the time, his perspective on writing and inspiration is true. For him.
I’m wondering if it’s true for others. For you.
There are times when a great opening grabs me and pulls me along at sprint, opening doors for me until the last period hits the page. In those situations, I’m a true believer in the power of a first line’s inspiration. It makes bull riding easier when that happens, too.
In other cases, I develop an almost visual understanding of the completed piece and it begins to write itself. It’s sort of like A Beautiful Mind, only it’s not high-level mathematics and rarely, if ever, represents what would pass for pure genius (unfortunately).
Sometimes, I know how the work ends and it’s all a matter of figuring how to get to that point. I almost work backwards to the beginning.
And I can’t overlook the times when every word is failure and the only way to put the train on the tracks is to keep plugging along until I have a draft to revisit.
I stay on the bull even when the first version of the first line is a clunker.
For me, the underlying inspiration in all of those situations more often involves the ideas at issue than the words I’ll eventually use to express them.
What about you?
Does it all start with the first line for you or does that initial kick-start come from somewhere else?
If the first line had been “Maggie comes fleet foot / face full of black soot” instead of “Johnny’s in the basement / mixing up the medicine”, would “Subterranean Homesick Blues” be materially different?
By the way… “It’s a Bob Dylan day” wasn’t one of those inspired openers. I wish it had been.
As much as I love old school – old school hip-hop, pen and paper interviewing, in-person interviewing, library research, etc., I have to admit, the new school is pretty darn fun too. Everyday there’s a new blog on how writers/freelancers can maximize their efforts to get work, get noticed and build a reputation through social media. AND everyday there’s another writer who is quick to say, “Bah! I don’t use all that stuff. I’ve got a website, a solid client list and I’m good.”
Those poor souls are wrong.
They are also likely the same people who wanted to hang on to their typewriter. Then their word processor, then their 486 IBM and finally that laptop that weighed 300 pounds. If being a great writer is about growth, why can’t technology be a part of that growth?
Social media enhances the article writing experience.
Where else can you hop on your little pedestal and say, “Have you ever tried [insert random product or therapy for depression]? How did it work for you? I’m writing an article on coping with depression,” and people instantly contact you with their stories and sources? Social media tools allow for writers to reach out to the lady in California, the guy in Idaho and the professor at Carnegie Melon without leaving their homes. Why is this important?
Access to real and diverse folks. Access to a homogeneous pool of sources – the choice is yours. Social media allows you to pull sources and resources from your audience making the articles you write more insightful, richer and more appealing.
Diversify Your Social Media
I know, I should slow down. I just got you interested in how it can actually help you in your work and now I want to get all crazy with it. Yeah well..So anyway, diversifying! Even if you aren’t a social media maven, you know about Twitter and Facebook, the two biggies. They are great, fabulous and…crowded. Don’t abandon them, they are still the hotspot for the social media community, but also look at other tools in the social media belt.
Like LinkedIn. Mainly a hang out for business types, meaning you’ll find less pictures of someone’s cats, LinkedIn still provides a wealth of information and connections to sources. Join groups that not only interest you but impact your particular niche. If you don’t have a niche, it’s still important to keep your ear to the ground with what’s going on in that world. Like in social media groups.
YouTube is not the wasteland of old Michael Jackson videos and dramatic squirrels most people think it is. In fact, it can be a wealth of knowledge for a writer. Video blogs and tutorials are rich sources of information and contacting those who produced them is a great way to get off the beaten path for sources.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed in this Tweeting, linking, YouTubing, Facebooking time, but it’s better to embrace it than being the last known user of dial-up. Take a look around, focus on your niche and see what connections you can make. It’s a big social media world out there, but the key is to scoot into an area that feels like home for you!