December 6, 2016


I reached a milestone today.

You might know I’m working on my first novel, and today, I crossed 100,000 words. I’ve never written anything this long before, and while there are plenty of caveats to be had (it is a first draft, there are still a few tens of thousands of words to go, writing is rewriting — all of that), it feels good to have achieved this step.

Watch This and See Why Sorkin Is Still My Hero

July 24, 2016

Karel Segers, who Billie and I had the pleasure of working with through the 2015 ScreenACT Accelerator Pod, has a couple of posts up about Aaron Sorkin. The first talks about the Sorkin Masterclass that has had ads blanketing Facebook (spoiler: Karel says to do it, but for the fun of it more than the learning of it). The second picks apart his favourite Sorkin scene, from Charlie Wilson’s War. You should go read both.

Sorkin remains my all-time favourite screenwriter (I know, I’m not alone in that). Karel linked to this hour-long interview with Sorkin that’s a must-watch if you like his work and are curious about how he does it. Happy viewing.

Are you on Goodreads?

June 5, 2016


A couple of months ago I signed up for Goodreads. I’m very much enjoying the site. You can find my author profile here. Feel free to follow.

See you over there!

An Oh! Realisation

May 21, 2014

I had an “Oh!” moment this evening.

As I stood filling a bathtub with water for some steers, a podcast about screenwriting in one ear, I suddenly got hit by a realisation – what the main character in my YA novel has as a primary motivation. She’s the centre of the story and in most of the scenes, but she was a bit passive, a bit nebulous, a bit perfect. And I’m several thousand words into this thing.

And then there it was. The thing that happens in the first two pages, the decision she makes right at the start, has *impact*. That impact appears a few chapters down, but it is still early in the story. Instead of it being something that gets shaken off, it needs to be a *huge* problem. And the rest of the book is her trying to redeem herself for that first decision that goes so wrong unexpectedly.


The Name of My Book

March 17, 2014

What is the name of the book I’m writing? I’ll tell you below.

But first, my wife and fellow author Billie Dean and I have been talking about how public should one be about what one is writing as it is in progress. We’ve always played our cards very close to the chest. However, in this day and age, it seems like the rules are changing. It seems like you need to put it out there, and gather the interest as you go. For me, even talking about the name is a bit of a leap of faith.

But here goes.

It is with great pleasure that I let you know that the young adult novel I’m working on is (currently) called “Eloise Hydra Gumball III”.

There, I’ve said it.

*Goes and has a lie down.*

(And the next question is, do I release any of my writing as I’m working on it? If you have an opinion on that, I’d love to hear it in the comments below.)

Review of “Kickstarter for Filmmakers”

Kickstarter For Filmmakers cover

15 January 2013

My review of James Cooper’s ebook Kickstarter for Filmmakers: Plan and Execute Your Next Crowd Funding Campaign (Amazon) is up at Screen Hub. Have a read!

Sorkinisms – A Collection

Attention fans of Aaron Sorkin (I’ve already mentioned that includes me), you simply must watch this collection of Sorkinisms (and the way he recycles his dialogue).


Writing like Aaron Sorkin


Aaron Sorkin

Aaron Sorkin

I am an unabashed Aaron Sorkin fan. So I really enjoyed How to Write an Aaron Sorkin Script, by Aaron Sorkin.

A song in a musical works best when a character has to sing— when words won’t do the trick anymore. The same idea applies to a long speech in a play or a movie or on television. You want to force the character out of a conversational pattern. In the pilot of The Newsroom, a new series for HBO, TV news anchor Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) emotionally checked out years ago, and now he’s sitting on a college panel, hearing the same shouting match between right and left he’s been hearing forever, and the arguments have become noise. A student asks what makes America the world’s greatest country, and Will dodges the question with glib answers. But the moderator keeps needling him until…snap.

From there he shows the musical beats of the long monologue that marks the first episode of The Newsroom. A good read.

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Photo credit: Eric Weiss