Matt Haynes

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Scientists uncover formula for box office movie success

A team of UK scientists believe they have found the formula for box office success.<p>After analysing data from 6,147 movie scripts and filtering it through a series of algorithms, the researchers have identified the emotional arc that makes the most money, called the “man in a hole” arc.<p>It could be …

Box Office

These 5 Books Will Make You a Better (and More Productive) Writer

Great writers have valuable lessons to tell: Learn from them.<p>Before I sat down to write this, I cut a soft green guava and a ripe mango for my daughter and me, peeled off half a slice of cold Emmental cheese (she had mozzarella), munched on some sour cream and onion potato chips (sinful but …

The 8 best books on writing:

Essential reading for aspiring writers.

Writing

This Podcast-Based Writing Course Will Get You Working on Your Dream Novel

Tim Clare’s Couch to 80K writing podcast is a delightful, intense, encouraging eight-week journey towards writing a novel. For the best experience, …

Unless you’re Stephen King

“Abandon every hope, all ye who enter here — Unless you’re Stephen King.”<p>I have read my share of books on writing, not always because I am looking …

Buy a cat, stay up late, don't drink: top 10 writers’ tips on writing

Made a New Year resolution to start writing that novel? Take some writing tips from Leo Tolstoy, Muriel Spark, John Steinbeck and other famous authors<p>Over the past year, Helen Gordon and I have been putting together Being a Writer, a collection of musings, tips and essays from some of our favourite …

Top 10

Complications, Roadblocks, and Reversals

In a story, a reader wants to see the Protagonist overcome obstacles along the way. Here are three ways for you to approach writing those …

Screenwriting

Screenwriting 101

Hundreds of observations about the craft of screenwriting from professional writers.<p>Abrams, J.J.: “The idea that this world we know isn’t just this …

Writing advice from iconic authors

If your job involves writing in any way—or even if you just pen an occasional love note—it always pays to improve your skills.<p>There’s plenty of …

The 10 Writing Quotes that Shape My Writing Process

“Writing is the socially acceptable way of getting naked in public. And in writing, getting naked is all about shedding your inhibitions, learning …

This Oscar-Nominated Screenwriter Shares His Thoughts on Success and Risktaking

Go big or go home.<p>Want to make it Hollywood? In this video from our Entrepreneur Live event, Oscar-nominated screenwriter Alan Wenkus sits down with Steve Lehman from Business Rockstars to discuss the importance of taking risks, rising above failures and how to get ahead.<p><i>Couldn’t make it to Los</i> …

Innovation

Find What Gave You Emotion

Find what gave you emotion; what the action was that gave you excitement. Then write it down making it clear so that the reader can see it too. Prose …

Writing

The Case Against Adjectives

Adjectives and adverbs can be used responsibly, but too much adornment can weigh your writing downWhen I lead a workshop, I often say on the first …

Creative Writing

Reader Question: Can writing a character bio get in the way of one’s creative process?

What if the bio veers away from the writer’s take on the character?<p>A question via email from Hamilton Hollands:<p>My question is do you think that when …

Why Imposing Restrictions Can Actually Boost Creativity

We all want to be more creative. After all, it’s disruptive technology, the next great book, song, or movie, or the ultimate scientific breakthrough …

This 2 Minute Read Will Make You Write Better Forever

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” <br>― Maya Angelou<p>The following 4 tips took me 3 years of writing to collect, but …

Google

How to tell a great story, visualized

A good story can make a campfire that much eerier. A good story can flip a conversation at a party from completely awkward to wonderful. Andrew …

Anatomy of a Scene: How to Write a Satisfying Third Act

Screenwriters have love/hate relationships with third acts. On one hand, you get to bring all of your plot threads together and bring the story to a …

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

10 Ways To Revitalise Your Scene Description

Click the pic to check out my books<p>Scene description is arguably the most problematic, yet most important, element of your screenplay. You probably …

The Psychology of What Makes a Great Story

“The great writer’s gift to a reader is to make him a better writer.”<p><i>“Stories,”</i> Neil Gaiman asserted in his wonderful lecture on what makes stories last, <i>“are genuinely symbiotic organisms that we live with, that allow human beings to advance.”</i> But what is the natural selection of these organisms — …

Creative Writing

Want to Be a Better Writer? Cut These 7 Words

by Joe BuntingIf you’re reading this, then you want to be a better writer. However, becoming a better writer is elusive, isn’t it? It’s more art than …

7 Crucial Logline Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Why is a good logline important? After all, it’s not printed anywhere in your script. And it oversimplifies your story to the point of absurdity …

33 Screenwriting Lessons from the Philosophy of Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee passed away suddenly in 1973, at the young age of 33, shocking the film industry and martial arts community. Over forty years later, his …

Motivation

STORY STRUCTURE: The 5 Key Turning Points of All Successful Screenplays

Hollywood movies are simple.<p>Though writing a successful Hollywood movie is certainly not easy, the stories for mainstream Hollywood films are all …

Blockbusters

21 Pieces Of Advice For Aspiring Writers

"Finish everything you start."<p><b>1.</b> Write from the heart as well as the head. Write about what makes you angry, what moves you to tears, the things about which you feel passionately. If you feel it when you write, others will feel it when they read.<p><i>—Malorie Blackman</i><p><b>2.</b> Open your mind to new …

Paris Review - Michael Haneke, The Art of Screenwriting No. 5

Interviewed by Luisa Zielinski<p>Issue 211, Winter 2014<p>On the set of <i>Code inconnu: Récit incomplet de divers voyages</i> (<i>Code Unknown: Incomplete Tales of Several Journeys</i>), 2000.<p>Michael Haneke was born in 1942 to an Austrian mother and a German father. He spent his adolescence in Wiener Neustadt in the …

Screenplay Writing: Taking the Mystery Out of Writing Mysteries

If you saw the season-ending episode of <i>Monk</i>, do you remember the clue that helped catch the killer?<p>Me, neither.<p>In the thriller <i>Fractured</i>, what was the …

BALLS OF STEEL: Becoming a Professional Screenwriter - What's Holding You Back?

<b>By Jeanne Veillette Bowerman</b><p>I had a conversation recently with someone who was frustrated with a co-worker, complaining that after two years of …