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In our blog we post interesting news, events, member specifics and other items. You can subscribe to our blog or categories of our blog. If you do you will be notified by email whenever we post a new entry in our blog.

How to Sell Your Story to Hollywood

I listened to a Webinar last night given by "Story Merchant" Ken Atchity. I've summarized his 8 steps to sell your story to Hollywood:

1. Write a "Log-Line" which is a one or two-sentence pitch to capture the essence of your story. Ex.: "He was left behind. On Mars." for the movie The Martian with Matt Damon. This will be used in advertising to attact an audience.

2. Write up a one-page pitch that includes a description of a strong protagonist and his mission as well as your antagonist. Hollywood likes a story that is American-related, has 3 acts that are clearly defined to form a story arc, and has a strong theme. 

3. Prepare a Treatment which is a short, written pitch that includes an emotional reaction to the story. Think of it as a letter to a friend describing your most exciting adventure -- written in present tense. Write only "obligatory" action, not any side activity.

4. Register your Treatment with Writers Guild of America at www.wgaregistry.org/registration.  (Costs about $35)

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Recent Comments
Kaye George
Good info, Cheryl--thanks!
Friday, 07 July 2017 18:24
Wayne Zurl
Now I've got to wrack (or is it rack? It's too controversial to care) my brain to find the characters to play those recurring role... Read More
Monday, 17 July 2017 15:20
Cheryl Peyton
Well, how about George Clooney (age 56) or Tom Hanks (age 61) as Sam Jenkins? I don't remember the physical description of Bette, ... Read More
Monday, 17 July 2017 17:44
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Free WordTips subsciption

Some time back I recieved an invitation to join this WordTips service for free and accepted. Since then, I have found it very useful and am recommending it to anyone who uses Word in their writing. It's a weekly brief newsletter regarding capabilities of Word that aren't well known. Subscribers write in their questions that are answered with a full, clear explanation with the Word task bar and windows on display to follow. 

They're always great tips to simplify formatting and word processing (ie. typing with smart quotes instead of straight quotes). 

There's no charge for this service and you can discontinue it at any time. You can also ask your own questions that will be addressed . If you'd like to try it, go to tips.net/subservices.html and sign up with your email address.

 

 

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Wayne Zurl
Thanks for the tip.
Friday, 02 June 2017 15:39
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PERFECT IS BORING

Perfect is Boring

Wayne Zurl

 

When I began writing police mysteries I said to myself, “Aha! This is fiction, not a documentary. I have the opportunity to make everything come out perfectly.”

           

I thought it would be cool to chronicle my old cases and correct any mistakes or ask the questions that never came to mind or make the clever comments I only thought of the day after. It looked like an “if only” moment—a chance for perfection.

    

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Wayne Zurl
I guess all charterers should be dynamic as opposed to static. Each character should be memorable regardless of their standing in ... Read More
Thursday, 27 April 2017 16:24
Cheryl Peyton
Ha! I was able to give you five stars. I would say that you're exactly right that a hero must be flawed to be interesting and t... Read More
Thursday, 27 April 2017 16:59
Tilmer Wright Jr.
Great points, Wayne. This, of course, is the tried and true method used by authors of horror novels all the time. How many times h... Read More
Thursday, 27 April 2017 17:00
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5 Comments

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Listened to a Webinar today given by Jason Schmetzer, Marketing Mgr. for Authors Learning Center. He is a writer, teacher, website designer and marketer who works with SEOs every day. Here's some of what he had to say.

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Cheryl Peyton
I just tried the rating and inadvertently gave myself 5 stars. Maybe I'm the guest. I'm also the member who had to moderate your c... Read More
Wednesday, 26 April 2017 20:14
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Another Suggestion To Make Your Writing Better.

Yesterday I posted the late Elmore Leonard’s best advice for good writing. Not everyone agreed with the old boy. Neither did I. Well, I liked 3 or 4 of his rules, but didn’t exactly agree with the rest. But those were his ideas and he has been successful.

 

Today I’ll try to get back into everyone’s good graces with my own advice. This is one I believe in—100%.

 

For many of us writing is fun. It’s what comes afterward, the promotions and marketing, that’s too much like work. But that’s life, and something authors must do.

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Kaye George
I tried to give a 5 star, but it kept saying 4 1/2! Sorry.
Friday, 21 April 2017 12:28
Wayne Zurl
Thanks, Kaye. I never noticed the star ratings before.
Friday, 21 April 2017 13:27
Cheryl Peyton
I still like most of Elmore Leonard's rules, except for 'never use a Prologue or start a book with weather' as there can be valid ... Read More
Friday, 21 April 2017 14:53
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Elmore Leonard's Ten Rules of Writing

What was Leonard’s secret to success as a writer? Here are 10 tips which were taken from a New York Times article, “Easy on the Adverbs, Exclamation Points and Especially Hooptedoodle.”

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Tilmer Wright Jr.
Wayne, This is very insightful. So much for opening with, "It was a dark and stormy night." I find myself struggling mightily w... Read More
Thursday, 20 April 2017 11:33
Wayne Zurl
It's too bad Elmore is no longer around for us to ask more questions. I doubt any writer had a better love affair with the Hollywo... Read More
Thursday, 20 April 2017 13:11
Kaye George
And, of course, rules are made to be broken, right? My favorite set of rules: There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortuna... Read More
Thursday, 20 April 2017 23:16
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6 Comments

Google Analytics 101

Google Analytics 101

All members receive, or should receive, a report on your page(s) on the AGT site. If you want to know a little bit more about terminology used on the report, I invite you to read attached document. One may also be interested to do some training to get even more familiar. I hope you get something meaningful out of this.

 

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The Length of What You Wrote & Other Things That Will Drive You Crazy

THE LENGTH OF WHAT YOU WROTE AND OTHER THINGS THAT WILL DRIVE YOU CRAZY

By Wayne Zurl

 

My problem isn’t unique to writers. If your personality demands that you and other people get the facts straight, you might cringe when you hear blatantly incorrect statements.

 

As a cop, I hated to hear crimes mislabeled. Most often, I encountered misuse of the term robbery. People would greet me at the door and say, “My house was robbed.” I got tired of saying, “Sorry, ma’am, only a person can be robbed. You weren’t home when someone broke in. It’s a burglary.” They’d look at me like I just said Santa Claus was a pedophile.

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Tilmer Wright Jr.
My debut novel, Motes, has a length that I believe has hampered my marketability. I'm a nobody. In the universe of nobodies, I am ... Read More
Friday, 31 March 2017 15:24
Wayne Zurl
Tilmer, When I hired a "book doctor" to help me finalize my first novel, he told me that a new kid on the block should not exceed... Read More
Friday, 31 March 2017 16:04
Cheryl Peyton
Wayne, You have to calm down, although it also bothers me when people use misnomers. Our Havanese dog is never correctly identifi... Read More
Saturday, 01 April 2017 08:17
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Taxes for Writers

Taxes for Writers

I post about taxes yearly since there always seem to be writers whose accountants have steered them wrong, saying that they can't take tax deductions unless they're making money. Not true! The IRS hobby rule doesn't have to apply to writers if you're serious about your writing. All of you need to know that you CAN deduct expenses--and for many, many years. Below is my standard post and at the bottom is a link to changes for this year.

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Kaye George
That would be fun! I'm signing books in Lenoir City, at the American Commissary's Spring Fling, April 7th, 2-4. That's the only lo... Read More
Monday, 13 March 2017 14:31
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REVIEWING MEMBER'S BOOKS

One of the great ways we can help other members is to review their books and post those reviews on Amazon, on the member's Authors Page and on GoodReads. 

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Tilmer Wright Jr.
Sam - I certainly appreciate the notes you made about my book. The one typo you found has been there a long time and has been miss... Read More
Thursday, 02 March 2017 15:03
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