BIZ TIP TUESDAY:

SELF DISCIPLINE

As April of this year ended, I'm looking over what I accomplished...

Back in March of 2008 I wrote a feature film screenplay and still found time to write some magazine articles and put up my script tips and waste a lot of time on message boards and have meetings on two other projects...

So far this year? Well, the STRUCTURING YOUR STORY Blue Book and I'm making progress on the DESCRIPTION & VOICE Blue Book (should be finished by the end of this month), and I've written a couple of short stories.

The most difficult part of being self employed is actually getting anything done. With a regular job there's a boss who expects you to get things done on deadline, there may even be a time clock to make sure you arrive at work on time and don't leave until your workday is over, and if you *don't* get your work done someone will probably yell at you. When you're self employed, you're the boss - and you may not be very good at cracking the whip on yourself. It's easy to start a script, then never get around to finishing it. Your "boss side" may not be strong enough.

If you can't seem to get your script finished, the first thing to consider is: Did you really want to write it? If you are passionate about the script, you can't wait to get back to work on it. If you're finding a bunch of excuses *not* to work on your script every day, maybe you never wanted to write it in the first place? If you're having the problem with script after script, maybe you don't really want to be a writer? I know that sounds harsh, but part of wanting to be a writer is wanting to write. If you find yourself *not* wanting to write on a regular basis, maybe you should reconsider this whole writing thing. Sometimes people want the *attention* of being a writer, but don't like the writing part. I've done a tip in the past about making sure that *your* motivations for writing are that you love writing (or having written). If you are writing for some other reason - revenge, attention, love, respect, whatever - you are not going to be successful. Writing is not a solution to emotional problems.

But if you do love to write and still end up not getting things done, your problem may be time management. There just aren't enough hours in the day to have a normal life *and* get your writing done. If you're like me, you can't wait until the holiday season when Macy's Department Store extends their hours - does that mean there are now 68 minutes in an hour? Those extra minutes are what I need to finish my script!

If you can't wait until the Twilight Zone of Macy's extended holiday hours, here are some other suggestions...

Best thing to do is set aside a certain time every day to do nothing but write. Nothing else gets in the way. Lock the door, do whatever it takes. This isn't easy if you have kids and a spouse, so you'll have to make sure they understand how important this is. You need an hour of absolute private time. The only reason they should bother you during this hour is to tell you the house is on fire or to tell you that aliens have invaded. I'm not saying this is going to be easy to set up, but eventually the family will get used to it.

There are hundreds of novelists who wrote their first book on a commuter train on the way to work every day - if you can do that or find some other time during the day (lunch hour) where you can just tune out the world and crank out some pages - do that.

I used to work in a warehouse about 48 hours a week - and even when I was driving the forklift or lifting heavy objects, I was still working on my script... in my head. I had a notebook in my pocket and jotted down ideas, dialogue, actions, etc for the day's writing. By the time my hour or two a day came along, I was ready to write. I'd worked out the scene in my head and had all of the best dialogue and coolest scene ideas. Even if you have a "brain job" you can still be thinking about your script. Driving to work, on your lunch hour, when you're waiting or between tasks. The best thing about the thinking part of writing is you can do it anywhere - even in the shower! Don't just veg when you're standing over the copy machine, think about your scene!

You may find that by the time you're finished with your day you're just too tired to write. In that case, I'd suggest *starting* the day with your hour of writing. I found that I could operate a forklift completely brain dead if need be, but I couldn't write in that condition. So writing came first. If I was tired at the day job, so what? It's easier to struggle through work than struggle through writing.

If the problem is that you're not productive during your hour a day, either you aren't as passionate as you thought you are or you aren't cracking the whip on yourself. The biggest problem with being self employed is actually doing anything. Your boss is too easy on that lazy employee! I'd suggest creating daily deadlines and a project deadline. Your daily deadline might be to write one good page every day. That was my "page quota" when I was working at the warehouse - write one GOOD page every single day. That's an easy quota - and 365 good pages equals three scripts a year! Stick to the deadline/quota. Punish yourself for failure, reward yourself for success. I get dessert if I make my page quota... If I don't make my page quota, no ice cream for me!

Other things you might consider: outlining your scene or page to get some momentum going. If I can't seem to get to work, I'll make a list of all of the things I need to cover in the scene and any interesting ideas on how to cover those things. This kick-starts my brain *and* gives me a blueprint for the scene if I'm still struggling. That scene may not be perfect, but I can get it on the page. You can rewrite it later. I find it's better to have a bad scene that contains all of the required story and character material than a bunch of blank pieces of paper. One can be fixed, the other is this roadblock preventing you from going any further on your script.

I find that once I get into the habit of writing, I can keep writing. If I take a few weeks off, it takes me forever to get the ball rolling again. So don't worry if you don't seem to have momentum when you start - but keep going (even though you may struggle) so that you can eventually get some momentum going.

It's tough to be that whip-cracking boss when you are also the lazy employee. But that's what you have to be.

Self discipline is easier than self bondage!

Okay - now quit goofing off and get back to work!



BRAND NEW

OUTLINES & THE THEMATIC!

bluebook

OUTLINES & THE THEMATIC Blue Book.

ARE YOUR SCENES IN THE RIGHT ORDER?
AND ARE THEY THE RIGHT SCENES?

Your story is like a road trip... but where are you going? What's the best route to get there? What are the best sights to see along the way? Just as you plan a vacation instead of just jump in the car and start driving, it's a good idea to plan your story. An artist does sketches before breaking out the oils, so why shouldn't a writer do the same? This Blue Book looks at various outlining methods used by professional screenwriters like Wesley Strick, Paul Schrader, John August, and others... as well as a guest chapter on novel outlines. Plus a whole section on the Thematic Method of generating scenes and characters and other elements that will be part of your outline. The three stages of writing are: Pre-writing, Writing, and Rewriting... this book looks at that first stage and how to use it to improve your screenplays and novels.

Only $4.99!


ALSO NEW!

DESCRIPTION & VOICE Blue Book!

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DESCRIPTION & VOICE Blue Book.

IS HALF OF YOUR STORY IN TROUBLE?

Most screenplays are about a 50/50 split between dialogue and description - which means your description is just as important as your dialogue. It just gets less press because the audience never sees it, the same reason why screenwriters get less press than movie stars. But your story will never get to the audience until readers and development executives read your script... so it is a very important factor. Until the movie is made the screenplay is the movie and must be just as exciting as the movie. So how do you make your screenplay exciting to read? Description is important in a novel as well, and the “audience” does read it... how do we write riveting description?

Only $4.99!


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NEW BOOKS!

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NEW AND HOT!

*** STRUCTURING YOUR STORY *** - For Kindle!


William Goldman says the most important single element of any screenplay is structure. It’s the skeleton under the flesh and blood of your story. Without it, you have a spineless, formless, mess... a slug! How do you make sure your structure is strong enough to support your story? How do you prevent your story from becoming a slug? This Blue Book explores different types of popular structures from the basic three act structure to more obscure methods like leap-frogging. We also look at structure as a verb as well as a noun, and techniques for structuring your story for maximum emotional impact. Most of the other books just look at *structure* and ignore the art of *structuring* your story. Techniques to make your story a page turner... instead of a slug!

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Alfred Hitchcock, who directed 52 movies, was known as the *Master Of Suspense*; but what exactly is suspense and how can *we* master it? How does suspense work? How can *we* create “Hitchcockian” suspense scenes in our screenplays, novels, stories and films?

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BRAND NEW!

*** THE BOURNE MOVIES

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Click here for more information on CLASS CDs!



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THE BOOK THAT STARTED IT ALL!

*** THE SECRETS OF ACTION SCREENWRITING *** - For Kindle!

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READY TO BREAK IN?

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NEW!

*** BREAKING IN BLUE BOOK *** - For Kindle!


Should really be called the BUSINESS BLUE BOOK because it covers almost everything you will need to know for your screenwriting career: from thinking like a producer and learning to speak their language, to query letters and finding a manager or agent, to making connections (at home and in Hollywood) and networking, to the different kinds of meetings you are will have at Studios, to the difference between a producer and a studio, to landing an assignment at that meeting and what is required of you when you are working under contract, to contracts and options and lawyers and... when to run from a deal! Information you can use *now* to move your career forward! It's all here in the Biggest Blue Book yet!

Print version was 48 pages, Kindle version is over 400 pages!

$4.99 - and no postage!

NO KINDLE REQUIRED! Get the *free* app (any device, except your Mr. Coffee) on the order page on Amazon!


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STORY: WELL TOLD!

*** STORY: WELL TOLD *** - For Kindle!


This book takes you step-by-step through the construction of a story... and how to tell a story well, why Story always starts with character... but ISN'T character, Breaking Your Story, Irony, Planting Information, Evolving Story, Leaving No Dramatic Stone Unturned, The Three Greek Unities, The Importance Of Stakes, The Thematic Method, and how to create personal stories with blockbuster potential. Ready to tell a story? Print version was 48 pages, Kindle version is over 85,000 words - 251 pages!

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MOVIES ARE CHARACTERS!

*** CREATING STRONG PROTAGONISTS *** - For Kindle!

*** CREATING STRONG PROTAGONISTS *** - For Nook!

Expanded version with more ways to create interesting protagonists! A step-by-step guide to creating "take charge" protagonists. Screenplays are about characters in conflict... characters in emotional turmoil... Strong three dimensional protagonists who can find solutions to their problems in 110 pages. But how do you create characters like this? How do you turn words into flesh and blood? Character issues, Knowing Who Is The Boss, Tapping into YOUR fears, The Naked Character, Pulp Friction, Man With A Plan, Character Arcs, Avoiding Cliche People, Deep Characterization, Problem Protagonists, 12 Ways To Create Likable Protagonists (even if they are criminals), Active vs. Reactive, The Third Dimension In Character, Relationships, Ensemble Scripts, and much, much more. Print version is 48 pages, Kindle version is once again around 205 pages!

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ACT TWO SOLUTIONS!

*** ACT TWO SECRETS *** - For Kindle!


Expanded version with more techniques to help you through the desert of Act Two! Subjects Include: What Is Act Two? Inside Moves, The 2 Ps: Purpose & Pacing, The 4Ds: Dilemma, Denial, Drama and Decision, Momentum, the Two Act Twos, Subplot Prisms, Deadlines, Drive, Levels Of Conflict, Escalation, When Act Two Begins and When Act Two Ends, Scene Order, Bite Sized Pieces, Common Act Two Issues, Plot Devices For Act Two, and dozens of others. Over 67,000 words (that’s well over 200 pages) of tools and techniques to get you through the desert of Act Two alive! Print version was 48 pages, Kindle version is well over 200 pages!

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SUBPLOTS?

*** SUPPORTING CHARACTER SECRETS *** - For Kindle! (Exclusive)


Expanded version with more techniques to flesh out your Supporting Characters and make them individuals. Using the hit movie BRIDESMAIDS as well as other comedies like THE HANGOVER and TED and HIGH FIDELITY and 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN and many other examples we look at ways to make your Supporting Characters come alive on the page. Print version was 48 pages, Kindle version is around 170 pages!

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Over 240 pages!

*** THE TERMINATOR MOVIES *** - For Kindle!


He's back! The release of "Terminator: Genisys" (now on BluRay) is set to begin a new trilogy in the Terminator story... 31 years after the first film was released. What draws us to these films about a cybernetic organism from the future sent back in time? Why is there a new proposed trilogy every few years? This book looks at all five Terminator movies from a story standpoint - what makes them work (or not)? What are the techniques used to keep the characters and scenes exciting and involving? How about those secret story details you may not have noticed? Containing a detailed analysis of each of the five films so far, this book delves into the way these stories work... as well as a complete list of box office and critical statistics for each film. This book is great for writers, directors, and just fans of the series.

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ADVICE FROM 1920!

*** VINTAGE #1: HOW TO WRITE PHOTOPLAYS *** - For Kindle!

***

Screenwriting books have been around as long as films have. This series reprints vintage screenwriting books with a new introduction and history, plus new articles which look at how these lessons from almost 100 years ago apply to today’s screenplays. Anita Loos book is filled with information which still applies. In addition to the full text of the original book, you get the full screenplay to Miss Loos' hit THE LOVE EXPERT, plus several new articles on the time period and women in Hollywood.

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I WRITE PICTURES!

*** VISUAL STORYTELLING *** - For Kindle! (exclusive)


Show Don't Tell - but *how* do you do that? Here are techniques to tell stories visually! Using Oscar Winning Films and Oscar Nominated Films as our primary examples: from the first Best Picture Winner "Sunrise" (1927) to the Oscar Nominated "The Artist" (which takes place in 1927) with stops along the way Pixar's "Up" and Best Original Screenplay Winner "Breaking Away" (a small indie style drama - told visually) as well as "Witness" and other Oscar Winners as examples... plus RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES. Print version is 48 pages, Kindle version is over 200 pages!

ONLY $4.99 - and no postage!


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BEST SELLER!

*** YOUR IDEA MACHINE *** - For Kindle!

*** YOUR IDEA MACHINE *** - For Nook!

Expanded version with more ways to find great ideas! Your screenplay is going to begin with an idea. There are good ideas and bad ideas and commercial ideas and personal ideas. But where do you find ideas in the first place? This handbook explores different methods for finding or generating ideas, and combining those ideas into concepts that sell. The Idea Bank, Fifteen Places To Find Ideas, Good Ideas And Bad Ideas, Ideas From Locations And Elements, Keeping Track Of Your Ideas, Idea Theft - What Can You Do? Weird Ways To Connect Ideas, Combing Ideas To Create Concepts, High Concepts - What Are They? Creating The Killer Concept, Substitution - Lion Tamers & Hitmen, Creating Blockbuster Concepts, Magnification And The Matrix, Conflict Within Concept, Concepts With Visual Conflict, Avoiding Episodic Concepts, much more! Print version is 48 pages, Kindle version is over 175 pages!

Only $4.99 - and no postage!


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PRO DIALOGUE TECHNIQUES!

*** DIALOGUE SECRETS *** - For Kindle!

*** DIALOGUE SECRETS *** - For Nook!

Expanded version with more ways to create interesting dialogue! How to remove bad dialogue (and what *is* bad dialogue), First Hand Dialogue, Awful Exposition, Realism, 50 Professional Dialogue Techniques you can use *today*, Subtext, Subtitles, Humor, Sizzling Banter, *Anti-Dialogue*, Speeches, and more. Tools you can use to make your dialogue sizzle! Special sections that use dialogue examples from movies as diverse as "Bringing Up Baby", "Psycho", "Double Indemnity", "Notorious", the Oscar nominated "You Can Count On Me", "His Girl Friday", and many more! Print version is 48 pages, Kindle version is over 175 pages!

Only $4.99 - and no postage!



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FINAL DRAFT SOFTWARE

Use your creative energy to focus on the content; let Final Draft take care of the style. Final Draft is the number-one selling application specifically designed for writing movie scripts, television episodics and stage plays. Its ease-of-use and time-saving features have attracted writers for almost two decades positioning Final Draft as the Professional Screenwriters Choice. Final Draft power users include Academy, Emmy and BAFTA award winning writers like Oliver Stone, Tom Hanks, Alan Ball, J.J. Abrams, James Cameron and more. * * * Buy It!

copyright 2018 by William C. Martell


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E BOOKS PAGE

bluebook E BOOKS: New Blue Books and Novelettes!
I am expanding all of the Blue Books from around 44 pages of text to around 200 pages! Some are over 250 pages! See what is availabale and what is coming soon!Also, I've been writing Novelletes and there will soon be novels.
E BOOKS: BLUE BOOKS & NOVELLETES

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B MOVIE WORLD
Cult Films, Exploitation, Bikers & Women In Prison, Monster Movies.

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NAKED SCREENWRITING CDs

Naked Class The NAKED SCREENWRITING CLASS ON CD! The 2001 London Class on 8 CDs! Recorded *live* the morning after the Raindance Film Festival wrapped. The two day class on 8CDs, plus a workbook, plus a bonus CD with PDFs.
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BOOKLETS & PRODUCTS

bluebook FIRST STRIKE BLUE BOOKS
Each Blue Book is 48 pages and focuses on a different aspect of screenwriting. Dialogue. Visual Storytelling. Your First Ten Pages. Act 2 Booster. Protagonists. Great Endings.
Seventeen Blue Books now available!

THE SECRETS OF ACTION SCREENWRITING The Best Nuts & Bolts Screenwriting Book On The Market!

BILL'S CORNER

My nineteen produced films, interviews with me in magazines, several sample scripts, my available scripts list... And MORE!
...............................BILL'S CORNER


Available Scripts

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Class CDs CLASSES ON CD! Take a class on CD! GUERRILLA MARKETING - NO AGENT? NO PROBLEM! and WRITING THRILLERS (2 CDs). Full length classes on CD. Now Available: IDEAS & CREATIVITY, WRITING HORROR, WRITING INDIE FILMS, more!
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