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Jurgen Wolff
London most of the time, Southern California some of the time
Interests: Books, theatre, films, drawing and painting, cartooning, animation, conversation, travel, photography, fitness, marketing, graphic design.
Recent Activity
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A reader who published an article that attracted comments from a few trolls says he made the mistake of trying to argue with them and asked whether I have any advice on the best response--or whether it's better not to... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2020 at Time to Write
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It used to be acceptable to start your screenplay or novel with an extended introduction to the normal life of your protagonist before getting the actual story started. In the 19th Century, a lot of books started with the entire... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2020 at Time to Write
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I ran across an older interview with J. K. Rowling the other day in which she recalled how she felt a week after she got her American deal for the first Harry Potter book. She told The Guardian: "...One of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 7, 2020 at Time to Write
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The stigma of self-publishing and assisted publishing (in which you pay a publisher to produce your book) is long gone. Many good and successful books have been self-published both traditionally and as ebooks. But one thing that seems to have... Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2020 at Time to Write
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The problem with a lot of goals is that their rewards are off in the future. Sometimes it's hard to stay motivated when the prize is far off. To stay motivated, come up with a way to make your progress... Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2020 at Time to Write
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I don't know about you, but I have days when it's just not happening. Days when I look at my to-do list and get a sinking feeling. Sometimes the easiest solution seems to be to forget about all of them... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2020 at Time to Write
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Decisions, decisions! They can be difficult any time, but is there a best time to make them? I just read a long article in the newsletter of the Urban Monk, and the research-supported bottom line is: The morning, when your... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2020 at Time to Write
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I just saw an ad for new screenwriting software that says, “Did you know that a typo or an incorrectly formatted montage can make a script reader put your script down?” Uh, no. I was a script reader for a... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2020 at Time to Write
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Various types of writing can help us get through these tough times. Here are some things you can do: Write a short story or some flash fiction to turn your frustration into a creative act. The process of doing it... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2020 at Time to Write
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I noticed a pattern today in the "free reads" books featured by Amazon Prime this month. Here are the log lines of a few of them: "A novel of secrets, memory, family, and forgiveness..." "A chilling story of a woman... Continue reading
Posted Jul 27, 2020 at Time to Write
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One of the most common questions I get is "Do you have any tips for rewriting?" That's because when we've written a screenplay or novel it's really hard to be objective about it. I've written about this before, but I... Continue reading
Posted Jul 27, 2020 at Time to Write
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Do you have a panic list? (If not, don't panic.) As mentioned in an old issue of The Writer magazine I was perusing while procrastinating the other day, author Janet Groene says she has a panic list: a list of... Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2020 at Time to Write
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I love the old screwball comedies like "Bringing Up Baby." The characters in those typically were fast-talking, witty, and playful. Even if your script or novel isn't populated with those kinds of characters, often it's easy and fun to slip... Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2020 at Time to Write
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I happened across a question someone asked on Reddit about what to do when you get stuck in the course of writing a screenplay. The following answer is by "Hotspur Jr", a member of the Writers Guild of America (I'd... Continue reading
Posted Jul 23, 2020 at Time to Write
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Screenwriter Michael McDowell said this to his potential screenwriting partner: "If you’re going to work with me, look at it like we’re working in a bank. We get in at nine, we have a cup of coffee, we say good... Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2020 at Time to Write
I saw two very wise quotes about the film business by director Gina Prince-Bythewood ("The Old Guard"): "This industry is about overcoming 'no'." That's true of the publishing industry as well, and probably all of the arts. "You need just... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2020 at Time to Write
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There are some scenes in movies that are cliches, or too improbable, or just plain silly. Here are ten to avoid: An alarm clock goes off, the character wakes up, groans, and feels around to turn off the clock. Extra... Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2020 at Time to Write
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WHEN NORMAL IS BORING Act One in a screenplay comprises the first quarter or so of the script and often it is described as relating the "normal world" of your protagonist before they are plunged into the new world of... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2020 at Time to Write
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In Writing Magazine, author Jack Gantos shared a bit about his writing process. These tips are great anytime, but they may be especially helpful if you're blocked or just feeling uninspired: COMING UP WITH IDEAS "A lot of my books... Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2020 at Time to Write
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At the moment our stories about what is normal are in disarray. It doesn't seem normal not to hug your friends, not to be able to go to the movies, not to be within six feet of people in a... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2020 at Time to Write
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As I write this, there is a great deal of uncertainty about the near-term future of film and TV production. What is certain is that for at least the next year, productions will have to adjust. What does this mean... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2020 at Time to Write
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I had an email saying, "I've done several screenwriting workshops and gained a lot from them. Are there any other courses you think are beneficial for writers?" Yes! The more you have an understanding of the other aspects of filmmaking,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 5, 2020 at Time to Write
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A former student emailed me the other day with a big question: "Where's the money in screenwriting? He added, "I don't mean just hitting it lucky and selling one script, but in screenwriting as a career." Let's look at the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2020 at Time to Write
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In this video, TV producer/writer Dan Harmon shares the "story circle" he uses to structure storylines for his TV series, "Rick and Morty." As you'll see, it's kind of a simplified version of the Hero's Journey (click on the text):... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2020 at Time to Write
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The weakness of a lot of screenplays is that the protagonist's central problem isn't big enough. It has to be something formidable enough to keep them challenged for the entire script. While many stories are about matters of life and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2020 at Time to Write