LB’s Choices for the 2018 WGA Writing Awards

by Larry Brody

The 2018 Writers Guild Awards will be  given out next month. It’s pretty much a given that a lot of you won’t agree with me, but in the interests of total disclosure and all that hooey, here’s the Writers Guild Award ballot I just filled out:

By all means feel free to dispute my choices in the comments!

Intel has a Screenwriting Gig For You

Sometimes you find writing jobs in the weirdest places. Case in point, this call for a “script writing intern” at Intel:

Here’s what Intel has to say on their website:

Intel Software TV Script Writing Intern

Job Description

Come and join the Software and Services Group SSG as an Intern and work with the Intel Software TV Team as part of the Developer Content Team.

The responsibilities will include, but are not limited to the following:

  • The candidate will work with ISTV production staff to write scripts and copy for videos targeting our software developer audience.
  • The candidate will work within several of our distribution and archival tools to ensure they are up to date, and utilized correctly.

The ideal candidate should exhibit the following behavioral traits:

  • Be detail oriented, and able to follow instruction while being able to be task completion oriented.
  • Research, develop and document technical information.
  • Able to analyze technical content and to maintain continuity of style within newly generated content.

Qualifications

You must possess the below minimum qualifications to be initially considered for this position. Experience listed below would be obtained through a combination of your school work/classes/research and/or relevant previous job and/or internship experiences.

Minimum Requirements:

Must be pursuing a bachelor degree in film, video or related field.

Applicants must have a legal right to work in the US without sponsorship.

Minimum of 6 months experience with:

  • Planning, develop, organized, write and edit online video
  • Technical terminology and cinematic
  • Attach your writing portfolio or reel in your job application

Preferred Qualifications

Have some understanding to learn the backend of multiple video distribution platforms.

Inside this Business Group

The Intel Software and Services Group (SSG) connects Intel to the worldwide software community. SSG strives to bring competitive advantage to Intel platforms by helping independent software vendors, operating system developers, OEMs, channel members and systems integrators deliver exceptional customer value and achieve differentiation on Intel® processor technologies. SSG provides global leadership to the software community through its technical expertise, industry enabling activities, and developer products and programs.

The full job description is HERE

The application form is HERE

If you give this a shot, please let us know what happens!

 

Peggy Bechko: Getting Under Your Characters’ Skin

by Peggy Bechko

 

Characters!

They’re pretty darn important to story whether novel or script. I mean, let’s face it, we’re not telling stories about a tree that just stands there. Heck, even the Ents in Lord of the Rings were developed characters.

But there are a lot of problems with characters in stories and how they’re developed.

Fact is, women think differently and act differently than men. It’s tough either way – whether a woman writer is developing a male character or a man is developing a female character it gets tricky.

Traditionally, it’s been the female character who’s gotten the ‘short end of the stick’.

In case you haven’t heard, many female stars complain they can’t find strong female roles out there. Lots of readers complain about the female leads in novels turning out to be little more than some kind of appendage to the stronger male lead.

Not surprising, really. Think about it. Stories so very often focus on a male hero. Whether in books or scripts. That’s the way it is.

All too often the woman has a minor role or is constantly in need of rescue or screams a lot, or is some type of arm decoration for the hero or villain. Female stars have been known to take over what was written for a man. Remember Evelyn Salt? How about Ripley in Alien(s) etc.?

So let’s talk about how to write better characters for those favorite female stars you love, or for that matter how to write better female characters for your novels.

Where to start? How about by considering your characters a people, individuals with lives before you think of them as man or woman? Hard to do? Well, if it was easy I wouldn’t be writing this.

Here are some things to keep in mind. As a human being, your character needs to be well rounded and whole. There are times when the character is funny; other times when that character is serious. Success finds that person and so does failure, and there are times when the character does something really, really smart, and times when she or he does something pointless or stupid.

Don’t forget your character has a past, like any other real, live person. And, if he or she doesn’t end up dead by the end of your script or novel, a future. The things your character has done in the past influence what they do now and forevermore.

Always remember that the characters are existing within the framework of the time you’ve delineated. BUT to be real they also have to exist outside of the framework of the story you’re telling.

Now, since we’re focusing on punching up the female character here, I’ll just say it. Don’t create a stereotype.

We’ve all done it. But from now on, don’t. Of course there are stories and situations that lean toward a male or a female. Period pieces can be even more difficult if the writer remains true to the period. For example, if the story is set in world war II women were nurses and did heroic things during the bombing of cities and other places, but they simply were not soldiers.

Unless the story is going to be set in an alternate timeline or some other SciFi trick, it will be awkward for a woman to be a grunt soldier in that context. Just something to keep in mind.

Another little trick to help with writing a female character is to keep in mind that if you have two female characters talking to each other – it should be, at least some of the time, about something more than a man. Seriously, using the war setting – there would be more to talk about between women than a man.

Think about it. People, all of us, talk about a whole lot of things. Hobbies, books, things we’ve ready, the latest political debacle, family stuff that drives us crazy, you know, the stuff of our lives. Remember that when writing for your female lead.

Since your characters are people they deserve the depth real people have. Unless your story hinges on some guy being a mindless, empty macho man, don’t make him that kind of guy – and if the story hinges on him remember to reveal why he’s like that.

Same goes for our woman character. Sure, there are lots of brain-dead bimbos who only want nothing more than marriage and a guy to support her, oh, and babies! But the same goes for her – whether novel or script – if she is that person and important to your story, WHY is she that way? And make that bit of backstory good!

And lets ’pull back on the physical details. Only if it’s very important and pertinent to the script do you use something like “she’s a stunning blonde”. Scripts are short. Are you going to waste those precious lines on an unimportant physical trait when you could better use the space to indicate something about her?

There’s a bit more leeway in a novel, but how many times have we waded through pages and pages of unnecessary description? Give your readers and audience more solid information about who the character really is. Give them something better than stereotypes.

Give them depth.


Peggy Bechko is a TVWriter™ Contributing Editor. Learn more about her sensational career HERE. Peggy’s new comic series, Planet of the Eggs, written and illustrated with Charlene Brash-Sorensen is available on Kindle. And, while you’re at it, visit the Planet of the Eggs Facebook page and her terrific blog.

PEOPLE’S PILOT 2017 Semi-Finalists are Coming This Week

PEOPLE’S PILOT 2017 SEMI-FINALISTS
For contest ending November 1, 2017

Open up your calendar apps, gang. It’s time to put in an alert.

We here at TVWriter™ are happy to announce that this Thursday, January 18, 2018, will bring the announcement you’ve all been waiting for:

The names of the writers and projects comprising the PEOPLE’S PILOT 2017 Semi-Finalists!

Be here!

LYMI

LB & Team TVWriter™

TVWriter™ Don’t-Miss Posts of the Week – January 15, 2018

Good morning!

Time for TVWriter™’s  Monday look at our most popular blog posts of the week ending yesterday. They are, in order:

Kathryn Graham: ‘You’re No Hemingway’

Empty Promises: My experience submitting scripts to Amazon Studios

Looking for TV Pilot Scripts?

Kelly Jo Brick: The Write Path With Marc Zicree, Part 2

‘The Following’ Season 4 was Cancelled by Fox Because the TV Series Became a Victim of Lazy Writing

And our most visited permanent resource pages are, also in order:

Writing the Dreaded Outline

The Logline

PEOPLE’S PILOT 2017 Writing Contest

The Outline/Story

THE PEOPLE’S PILOT: UPDATES

Major thanks to everyone for making this another great week at TVWriter™. Don’t forget to click above and read what you missed and re-read what you loved!

Wolf 359 — Audio Drama At Its Best

by Bob Tinsley

Audio Dramas (aka Radio Dramas, though that comparison is WAY out of date) are starting to make big noises in the entertainment world. It’s a great proving ground for people who want to be in the entertainment industry as well as established stars, Laurence Fishburne and David Schwimmer for just two examples.

You might also keep in mind that people like Gene Roddenberry wrote for radio before he became a Big Deal. And several properties that began as interweb Audio Dramas are currently in development for TV and movie deals.

Audio Dramas are a lot of fun to listen to. The big advantage is that you can listen and enjoy while doing other things, like driving, cooking, working on the car, etc. They are also available in just about any length you like, from 5 minutes to over an hour, and in just about any genre you can think of.

So, where do you find these fun bit of mind candy? Download just about any podcatcher like, Podcast Addict, Podcatcher, iTunes, or even Google Play Music and start searching for Audio Drama.

To give you a head start, you might want to check out Wolf 359, especially if you like science fiction. It’s “Alien” meets “Good Morning, Vietnam!” It’s currently in its fourth season with 60 main episodes and another 23 mini-episodes. I’m only up to Episode 52. Gotta catch up!

The action takes place on a research station in orbit around the red dwarf, Wolf 359. You have a mad scientist who performs secret experiments on a crew member (without his knowledge) and creates a dangerous plant creature that prowls the station and hides in places the crew doesn’t know exist. Their mission is sponsored by an evil Earth corporation with an agenda the crew knows nothing about.

When the crew gets a little mutinous they get a visit from a ruthless team of “trouble shooters.” The captain of the previous crew of the Hephaestus, all of whom mysteriously disappeared, suddenly shows up in her own spacecraft. And then the aliens come!

From the website (http://www.wolf359.fm) :

Life’s not easy for Doug Eiffel, the communications officer for the U.S.S. Hephaestus Research Station, currently on Day 448 of its orbit around red dwarf star Wolf 359. He’s stuck on a scientific survey mission of indeterminate length, 7.8 light years from Earth. His only company on board the station are stern mission chief Minkowski, insane science officer Hilbert, and Hephaestus Station’s sentient, often malfunctioning operating system HERA.

He doesn’t have much to do for his job other than monitoring static and intercepting the occasional decades-old radio broadcast from Earth, so he spends most of his time creating extensive audio logs about the ordinary, day-to-day happenings within the station. But the Hephaestus is an odd place, and life in extremely isolated, zero gravity conditions has a way of doing funny things to people’s minds. Even the simplest of tasks can turn into a gargantuan struggle, and the most ordinary-seeming things have a way of turning into anything but that.

Wolf 359 is a radio drama in the tradition of Golden Age of Radio shows like Escape! and Suspense. Take one part space adventure, add one part character drama, mix in one part absurdist sitcom, and you get Wolf 359.

The production values are top-notch, as is the acting. It’s very easy to get drawn into the world of the Hephaestus. Luckily there are enough episodes already available to binge for a very long time. And a new episode is released every two weeks like clockwork.

Enjoy! I sure am.


Bob Tinsley is TVWriter™’s Audio Drama Expert-in-Residence. He’s also a fine sculptor and writer, currently living a life much envied by our Beloved Leader, LB.

The Idea that Inspired The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

What do you think? Fact or myth?

We’re leaning in the myth direction.

But that could be because we’ve been – wait for it – myth-directed.

Tolkienites, please, please, please set us straight!