Why Writers Are Better Off Than Most Other Peeps

Writers kick ass! Absolutely! We always knew it cuz, writers. But now there’s proof:

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by Vandita

Believe it or not, just 15 to 20 minutes of writing once a month is enough to make you physically and mentally strong. A study on the emotional and physical health benefits of express writing has found that there is a considerable amount of improvement in mood, stress levels and depressive symptoms in people who love to write. Those who write about traumatic, stressful or emotional events spend less time in the hospital, have lower blood pressure and better liver functionality. According to researchers, writing about distressing events helps people make sense of the events and therefore reduce distress.

Another study shares some more surprising findings. Writers’ wounds heal faster than the rest of us! In 2013, researchers monitored the recovery of wounds from medically necessary biopsies on 49 healthy adults. 76% of the group that wrote about their thoughts and feelings for just 20 minutes, 3 days in a row, 2 weeks before the biopsy had fully healed; 58% of the control group had not recovered.

One study found that blogging triggers dopamine release and has the same emotional and physical effect that running or listening to music has.

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The Writers Guild of America, West’s Take on Net Neutrality

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Edgar Allan Poe – Demon Hunter

Aw, c’mon, think about it. Swirl that concept around in your brain for awhile.

Then add Idris Elba to the equation and think again.

Idris isn’t starring, but he is producing – a project that was first devised back in the 1970s. If that isn’t inspiring enough for even the most impatient unproduced writer, what is?

Not Edgar Allen Poe but a genuinely cool guy!

Not Edgar Allen Poe but a genuinely cool guy!

by Victoria McNally

Once upon a midnight dreary, Elba pondered, weak and weary, over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—and then he found an old book about Edgar Allan Poe doing battle with the devil and thought, “I would absolutely pay to see that movie.” So his company, Green Door Productions, will be overseeing a three-part film adaptation.

While it sounds like an unholy concoction of supernatural nonsense devised by the guy who came up with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies or Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter—both of which also have their own adaptations too, by the way—Poe Must Die was actually written in 1978 by the late Marc Olden. Here’s the synopsis from Olden’s website, where you can also read a sample chapter if you’re so inclined:

Against a backdrop of New York City in the 1840’s, a hellhole of crime and squalor, Edgar Allan Poe plays out a deadly game, fighting not only the demonic forces waged against him, but also his personal demons, the memory of his beloved wife and the alcohol he consumes in order to forget her.

Pierce James Figg, a renowned ex-bare knuckle fighter, has arrived in New York from London carrying with him a letter of introduction from Charles Dickens to Edgar Allan Poe. Figg is pursuing Jonathan the sorcerer and spiritualist. The man who brutally murdered his wife.

Jonathan seeks the Throne of Solomon which will grant him immortality and dominion over Lucifer, Asmodeus and all the demons of the upper air. His search has led him to New York.

Frail, gallant Edgar Allan Poe and the grieving, brilliant boxer unite in a perilous mission to find and destroy Jonathan before he can achieve his goal of controlling Lucifer and thereby change the destiny of the world.

When is a VIdeo Game Not a Game?

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When it’s a story.

Oh, no, wait. No, then it’s still a game – but a great one. Like LIFE IS STRANGE:

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How to Develop a TV Show

By the ever-wise – and ever-funny – Ken Levine. So you know this is true:

by Ken Levine

Got some interesting comments on a piece I posted about visiting the DMV. You can read it here if you missed it or repressed it. thimk

A number of you suggested the DMV might be a good setting for a sitcom. You talked about all the wacky people the staff could encounter, etc. There must be plenty of goofy anecdotes that a writer could draw from. It’s an arena ripe for comedy.

You’d think it was a natural.  And it might be.

But it’s also a big trap.

What you’ve developed is a setting not a series. Good shows start from characters.

So how would I develop this? I keep a file of interesting settings, funny possible characters, fragments of ideas – a lot of stuff I’ll end up never using. In that file, among the crap, will be the DMV.

Let’s say that some time later I’m developing a series about a character who feels trapped. How does a person cope while trying to escape the chains of his life? I need to give him a job. What’s an arena that’s soul sucking and suffocating? Well, there are many to choose from, but that too is a trap. You need a boring job that won’t be boring for the audience.

Probably a good start is a work environment where he has to deal with the public. That also distinguishes it from THE OFFICE. So now I’m running through situations where the public is involved.

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TVWriter™ Top Posts for the Week Ending 2/27/15

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Here they are, the most viewed TVWriter™ posts during the past week:

TV Writing Master Class from HELIX Showrunner

Peggy Bechko: Writers Facing Conflict

Peggy Bechko: Writing, Solitude, and Us (Writers)

Cara Winter: The Anglo Files 12: The Honourable Woman

Looking for TV Pilot Scripts?

And our most viewed resource pages were:

Writing the Dreaded Outline

THE PEOPLE’S PILOT

THE PEOPLE’S PILOT: Enter

The Teleplay

THE PEOPLE’S PILOT: Rules

Big thanks to everyone for making this such a great week, and don’t forget to read what you missed, re-read what you loved, and, most importantly, come back for more soon!