Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Writing is Writing, Who Knew

I was reminded at James River Writers Writing Show at the end of February, that all writing is writing.  And Editing.   
But it all has things in common no matter what form you are working in.
It really struck that Writing is Writing.
And no matter what the subject of the James River Writers Writing Show is that month - they are always the last Thursday of the month —  go to it. 
 You will definitely learn something. 
Or at least be reminded of some good points.

Like THIS point - can it be repeated too many times?

 the 1st 5-10 pages are crucial to hook the reader. Then you build the rest off a successful hook.

1st pages Critical with screenplay And books

First 5-10 pages need to hook the reader/viewer

First 5-10 pages need to hook the reader/viewer. #writingshow #writetip #jrwc13” Man. Novelists get one page.

 Show Don’t Tell

Don't tell emotion can insinuate but keep lean to point

With any writing -  after all, isn’t this what makes some writing flow along and others bog down?

keep the script lean, short, brief to the point.

 you can have the best plot in the world, but ruin it with bad dialogue.

 dialogue needs to be real, but not too real. Keep the interesting parts.

general rule of thumb, dialogue shouldn't be more than 4 lines. But there are cheats - breaking it up with actions.

when writing dialogue - spew it out, then go back and ask if it makes sense to say it that way.

when editing dialogue, there are multiple editing passes to get it right

dialogue is a 'musical' soundtrack to the story.

And to help with dialog - help readers keep individual characters straight:

Get to know char Find voice of char 

 know what the spine of the story. Follow the main characters, don't get distracted.

Network like crazy #jrwc13 Great advice for writers of any kind

Genre specific film festivals can help you more easily break into the film industry.

 film festivals are great networking environments. You never know who you might meet.

Make sure you party and have fun at film festivals, but network network network the entire time

festival awards can be huge. Just placing as a finalist can open doors

 participate in festivals and film groups. Network, network, network.

Go to conferences and festivals and network, network, network.

If you are doing screenplays - The Screenwriters Bible book Highly recommended

And don’t we all want to sell our writing -    

 Keeping the story marketable

And sell it well.    Guess it would be redundant to say, sell-J.K. Rowling-well.

Selling your writing had some interesting thoughts - apparently giving ‘visual’ mental clues to the writing is important to screenwriting, but also helps people with ‘placing’ books as well.
Some of the interesting, uh, ‘visual’ comparisons mentioned at the Writing Show  - 

LOTR battle scene with paintballs instead of swords
[Translation for non-fans, of Twitter or Tolkien - Lord of the Rings with battle scenes with paintballs instead of swords.]

Not to mention this one -

"Psycho meets Goonies." Never thought I'd hear THAT at the #writingshow. #jrwc13

And some other great writing advice / thoughts :

When it comes to persevering in the writing/film business, being stubborn can be a strength

Understanding the business improves writing and producing skills.

important to know your audience.

 Find where your project fits. Challenge yourself creatively.

Thanks to all the Twitter feeders from JRW Writing Show -

For more of their tips, 
and just great Writing Tips 
follow them on Twitter or tune in to hashtags      #JRWC13     #jrwc13        #writingshow

#JRWC13 .. Either cap or uncap - will also get you the great Twitter Chats that are going on with authors coming to the JRW Conference in October as well!  The Twitter Chats are happening all the time!

You can get great tips and information at ALL James River Writers Events -

Writers Wednesday - TOMORROW evening!  
Writing Conference - October
Writing Show -   next one,  is about Killing Your Darlins’  [my southern translation.  After all, it’s My blog, for more info’ on these and all events go over to the JRW site.
And even get a ’true’? Recap of the Feb. Writing Show, in non-Twitter speak.
So come to the Writing Show in couple weeks, on March 28th, and Tweet along with us.
— Get info’ on the JRW site

And speaking of JRW Events - James River Writers is a non-profit, which means we depend on your support and membership.
Another Great JRW event is their fundraiser in June.
Which is where JRWs Emyl Jenkins Award is presented.  Emyl Jenkins was an active member and supporter of JRW, and an important supporter and champion of all writers everywhere.    She touched a lot of writers and readers before she suddenly passed away in 2010, a great loss to JRW and to writers, especially to the ones who knew her, perhaps even greater to the ones that didn’t get that chance.
If you know of someone in Virginia who has made Virginia a better place for writers, we want to hear about them.  Go over to the JRW site and nominate them for the Emyl Award.   The guidelines are here -
Deadline is not that far away, so why not go do it now.
And keep making Virginia a better place for writers, like Emyl did.