Professional coaching tips to help you figure out point of view, structure, and master all the elements of story.
She skis sightless, a monster at her heels!
Marilyn My Marilyn by Art Johnson
In Art Johnson’s last novel, he continues his style of combining historical fact with fiction to offer the reader a steady stream of drama, tension and humor. Marilyn, My Marilyn reveals fresh insight into the most iconic woman of modern times, not as a biography, but with a view of a nation which often buries the truth with its dead.
All my life I’ve been focused on stories–writing and editing them,; publishing them; analyzing them as a professor of comparative literature and Fulbright professor at the University of Bologna; reviewing them for The Los Angeles Times Book Review; developing them; representing them; and producing them.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
You begin to see it as a smooth road, the longer you endure the journey. What seemed like bumps at the time, looking back are merely the natural patterns, the ups and downs of the most exciting and least secure career in the story marketplace. The struggles were about clarifying and securing rights, dealing with people whose egos have suddenly blossomed, herding cats to get a project into production or a book into press, and, always, finding a way to stay “at the baccarat table” until the payoff comes. But if you have lots of ideas, there’s no downtime that isn’t filled with making them happen one way or the other.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
We set up movies and television series on one coast, books on the other and through our own imprint, but my favorite activity is the one we’re known best at: developing intellectual properties for the widest possible markets. What sets us apart is that we’ve done it all, for over thirty years–we’re even dealing with theater and opera. We specialize in recognizing great stories.
What were you like growing up?
Born in Louisiana Cajun country and growing up in Kansas City, I was a serious student, especially of languages–Latin, Greek, French, Spanish and by the time I got my PhD from Yale Italian, German and recently just published a book on “domestic Japanese.” I love language because they unlock stories, so learned Greek to read Homer, Spanish to read Don Quixote, Italian to read Dante, etc.
4 Ways to Succeed as a Writer
For all storytellers—novelists, screenwriters, journalists, nonfiction writers, and children’s book writers.
Learn more about One-on-one coaching to help understand a Type-C personality and equip you with practical tools to make yourself more productive and less frustrated with storytelling.
Learn more: http://www.thewriterslifeline.com/
Professional coaching tips to help you figure out point of view, structure, and master all the elements of story.
Learn more: http://www.thewriterslifeline.com/
A personal finance book that teaches you how to budget your expenses for the purpose of investing in the stock market and how to properly analyze and pick stocks in an easy, accessible way.
Learn more about One-on-one coaching to help understand a Type-C personality and equip you with practical tools to make yourself more productive and less frustrated with storytelling at http://www.thewriterslifeline.com/
Follow Ken's series on IGTV @storymerchant Facebook @thestorymerchant
Writer Dennis Palumbo gives quarantined writers permission and perspective amid COVID-19.
“One of the problems that is endemic to this situation is, we have an enemy, this virus, and the weapon we use against the enemy is inaction, just sitting in your house. I think that’s very hard on the psyche.”
With the COVID-19 pandemic in its third month in the US, Connect spoke to psychotherapist Dennis Palumbo about recurring themes in his therapy practice with writers who are under extended stay-at-home orders and grappling with an entertainment industry on indefinite pause.
For three decades, Palumbo has been a licensed psychotherapist for working writers and others in creative fields. To the therapy setting Palumbo brings his own experience as a sitcom writer, screenwriter, and, more recently, crime novelist (2018’s Head Wounds is the fifth installment in his Daniel Rinaldi series). Palumbo’s non-fiction book Writing from the Inside Out (2000) was an adaptation and expansion of his regular columns for Written By.
You’re both a therapist for other writers and a writer yourself. So how is your writing going?
Dennis Palumbo: I’m a little more desultory because, like anyone else, I feel some of the stress of the uncertainty of this. Plus, you know, dealing with deliveries and putting on my mask and gloves when I go to get the mail. It’s certainly having an effect on my patients. My own writing is going ok. I have patients who are writing up a storm and I have patients who can’t focus for more than ten minutes. Because they’re thinking about the pandemic, and especially if they have young children they’re doing home schooling or trying to keep them entertained. Plus, there’s the omnipresent media. I have patients who just cannot stop watching CNN. As this thing has gone on and on, one of the first things I’m recommending to people is to very much curtail their watching of the news.
It’s a slippery slope between staying informed and getting lost in it all.
Palumbo: Check it in the morning and then check it in the evening to make sure there hasn’t been an alien invasion or something. Other than that, I think one of the problems that is endemic to this situation is, we have an enemy, this virus, and the weapon we use against the enemy is inaction, just sitting in your house. I think that’s very hard on the psyche. We have a fight-or-flight mechanism. When someone throws a rock at you, you pick up a rock and throw it back, or else you run away. And we can’t run away, we have to stay in the house, and we can’t fight it. So I think our cortisol levels are always being elevated because we’re in a state where there’s no tool we can use against the virus, other than staying put. I think the body doesn’t like that. The psyche certainly doesn’t like it. So no matter how busy you are, either with your children or with your writing, this sense of impotence contributes to depression and anxiety. And then you add to that, there’s no end date. Most people don’t like uncertainty. One of the real problems with the quarantine is the uncertainty.
So much of anxiety is typically about what you invent in your mind, but COVID-19 is a very real external crisis. How does this affect the tenor and substance of your practice?
Palumbo: It’s sort of like a background hum that’s always there even if you’re not talking about it. The way most therapy sessions go, the first ten minutes the person talks about how they’re dealing with the pandemic, they had a good week, a bad week. But even if we then go into other issues after that, this is always there. People say, “Oh, well, if your patients are writers they’re all used to being alone in a house.” Well, 60% of them write for television, so they’re used to going to rooms, number one. And number two, they still want to be able to go out and have coffee or lunch with a friend. So it’s a palpable thing that invades everyone’s consciousness all the time.
And writers are like antenna. The raw materials of a writer’s life is their feelings and their ideas, and the meanings they give to their feelings and ideas. If it’s permeated by something from the outside, then you’re really going to be sensitive to it. The uncertainty around when the quarantine will end, as well as what life will look like in the future, exacerbates a person’s inclination toward either depression or anxiety. One of the hallmarks of depression is the belief that nothing you do will make you feel any better, and how you’re feeling now is how you’re always going to feel. Because there’s no end in sight, it reinforces those two aspects of depression.
So it’s ok to spend the entire session talking about the pandemic?
Palumbo: That 50 minutes belongs to you. A lot of people worry that their careers are going to get sputtered out and maybe not come back again. It’s the same fears that writers always have in a strike, particularly people who had something that was going. Look at the people whose pilots didn’t get made. You go from the elation of getting a pilot script greenlit to production, to a pandemic hits and no one’s making a pilot.
You mentioned that some of your patients are writing up a storm, and some aren’t. What about the added stress and guilt of, “Oh, I should be writing more right now.”
Palumbo: For many, many years in my practice, almost to a person, every writer says, “Boy if I had the time, I would write my personal novel, or that spec screenplay about Elizabeth the First.” Now they have the time, and nobody’s writing it. It just runs the gamut. There are people, like I said, who are writing up a storm. Some of them have to because they’re working in animation, and animation is rolling right along. But for other people, they’re having a hard time focusing.
I’m a therapist, not a writing coach. Whenever someone has an issue with their writing, whether it’s blocks or procrastination or a story point, to me it’s inexorably bound up in whatever their personal issues are. It’s much more important to look at the underlying issues, the meaning you give it.
What about practical advice in terms of creative work right now?
Palumbo: I do think you should have a structure. You should create a fake structure. The other thing is, and it’s really hard, but to stay in the present. Just do what you need to do on a Wednesday. I think if you start saying, “But I wonder, are we going to be able to leave our homes in September, I wonder if my kid’s school is going to open in September, I wonder when production’s going to start, what if it doesn’t start till January?” All that catastrophizing the future does is create anxiety. And I often suggest to my patients that, your feelings don’t predict the future. You can feel like, oh my god this is never going to end, but that doesn’t mean it’s never going to end. You can feel like, oh this is going to just put a nail in the coffin of my career. That’s a feeling. It predicts nothing. And in my 30 years of practice, I’ve had so many people sit on that couch and tell me, “Well, my career is over.” And two years later they have a show on the air.
None of our feelings predict anything. They’re just data on what it feels like to be us in that moment.
Many submissions from both novelists and screenwriters are filled with “non-conflicted” writing, passages in which “something happens” that is filled with emotion, description, and symbolism in which no conflict happens to change the character(s) and forward the story, from a dramatic point of view.
In professional storytelling, drama is all that matters—not just in general, but in each and every scene.
The “scene” is the unit of drama. What makes a scene different from an event, or “something that happens,” is that in a scene a conflict is introduced and/or resolved. It’s that simple. A scene has a well-defined beginning, middle, and end; the beginning’s purpose is to “set up” the conflict, the middle works through the conflict’s components or obstacles, and the end “resolves” the conflict and/or, in some cases, introduces the next conflict.
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
Hardcourt Brace Jovanovich
CONSOLED with the aphoristic acrobatics of Italo Calvino and the allegorical dramas of Dino Buzzati, 20th-century Italian literature had been awaiting the breakthrough Garcia-Marquez represented for Latin American literature. Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose heralds the coming of age of the Italian novel, synthesizing the lyricism of Dante’s tradition with the intellectualism of Petrarch, the romanticism of Manzoni, the historicism of Morante and Moravia, with the introspection that Pirandello brought to the stage. And all this is cast in the suspenseful guise of a 14th-century detective tale.
Along the way Eco, professor of semiotics at the University of Bologna, provides a taste and view of the late Middle Ages, when all morality had been transubstantiated: “He seemed to me one of those crippled beggars of Touraine who, as the story goes, took flight at the approach of the miraculous corpse of Saint Martin, for they feared the saint would heal them and thus deprive them of their source of income, and the saint mercilessly saved them before they reached the border, punishing their wickedness by restoring them the use of their limbs.”
If you had a romantic notion of the relative simplicity of the late Middle Ages, reading this will complicate your view beyond (or at least up to the necessity of) belief. Fra Dolcino (Gherardo), a renegade Minorite, is one of the many villains, daring to preach love against an orthodoxy preferring the power derived from insisting on discipline—their instruments the rack and the collection box. Eco anachronistically transplants Dostoevsky’s Grand Inquisitor, showing us that figure’s historical roots.
In an abbey in northern Italy a secret council is held to react to the upstart Pope John XXII’s announcement that the just won’t enjoy Paradise until after the judgment, devastating the lucrative business and holy function of the saints—and its opening rituals are conducted more in the odor of politics than of sanctity.
For all but the highest clergy, this was a time when everything and anything was believed, a time when “for fifteen days and fifteen nights, the rhetoricians Gabundus and Terentius argued on the vocative of ‘ego,’ and in the end they attacked each other, with weapons.” Stories were exchanged about the “scipods, who run swiftly on their single leg and when they want to take shelter from the sun stretch out and hold up their great foot like an umbrella; astomats from Greece, who have no mouth but breathe through their nostrils and live only on air; bearded women of Armenia….the monster women of the Red Sea, twelve feet tall, with hair to the ankles, a cow’s tail at the base of the spine, and camel’s hoofs….”
Eco helps us keep perspective with a bawdy explosiveness of language reminiscent of Rabelais, narrative taking life in its own hands to serve the same purpose then as now. Brother Salvatore, describing cheese in batter, gives his recipe to Adso (the narrator):
“Facilis. You take the cheese before it is too antiquum, without too much salis, and cut in cubes or sicut you like. And postea you put a bit of butierro or lardo to rechauffer over the embers. And in it you put two pieces of cheese, and when it becomes tenero, zucharum et cinnamon supra positurum du bis. And immediately take to table, because it must be ate caldo caldo.”
Eco shares Rabelais’ relative disinterest in character, preferring ideas and plot—revealing his affinities to the mystery genre he’s adopted for his masterpiece. What genre, after all, is more philosophical? As Adso and his master, William of Baskerville, unravel the perplex of bizarre ritualistic murders in the abbey and its labyrinthine library, we recognize (in addition to the obvious Watson-Holmes paradigm) G.K. Chesterton, Agatha Christie, and Dorothy Sayers—employed to reconstruct the world according to Aquinas.
Those who know Dante will recognize other thefts: “A dark veil descended over my eyes, an acid alive rose in my mouth, I let out a cry and fell as a dead body falls.” The novel is a crossword in the hermetic tradition of Gongora and Borges, of Joyce and Quevedo, demonstrating a breadth of learning and depth of historical insight rare in our time when structuralists and neo-structuralists disingenuously pretend to have invented analysis. Eco’s own semiotics are rooted, he proves here, in the classics and the development of European culture.
He reminds us how mysticism has long been wed to Eros as he moves freely from the sublime to the carnal. Brother Adso’s illicit experience of forbidden love leads him to wax psalmodic: “As if no one longer existed, not feeling one’s identity at all, or feeling lowered, almost annihilated: if some mortal…could for a single moment and most rapidly enjoy what I have enjoyed, he would immediately look with a baleful eye at this perverse world, would be upset by the bane of daily life, would feel the weight of the body of death...”
William of Baskerville, Adso’s master, is the sleuth who uses his mind and his knowledge of optics and time-management to unravel the labyrinth. “A mad and arrogant Englishman” with a “great heart,” William is one who “laughed when he said serious things, and remained very serious when he was presumably joking.” William defines himself:
“…It may be that, as imperial adviser, my friend Marsilius is better than I, but as inquisitor I am better. Even better than Bernard Gui, God forgive me. Because Bernard is interested, not in discovering the guilty, but in burning the accused. And I, on the contrary, find the most joyful delight in unraveling a nice, complicated knot. And it must almost be because, at a time when as philosopher I doubt the world has an order, I am consoled to discover, if not an order, at least a series of connections in small areas of the world’s affairs. Finally, there is probably another reason: in this story things greater and more important than the battle between John and Louis may be at stake…”
Opposed to him are those in the party of inquisition, who declare, “The first duty of a good inquisitor is to suspect first of all those who seem sincere to him.”
Adso recognizes William as an intellectual: “I had the impression that William was not at all interested in the truth, which is nothing but the adjustment between the thing and the intellect. On the contrary, he amused himself by imagining how many possibilities were possible.” He learns quickly his master’s runes: “And so, if I understand you correctly, you act, and you know why you act, but you don’t know why you know that you know what you do?
Eco dances on the banks of allegory without casting its inane waters. He examines the historical controversy over whether Christ possessed property in such a way that we recognize a problem today’s church has not yet resolved. Similarly, he presents the cynical rationalizations by which the Church justified her innocence of the Inquisition’s tortures and executions.
William solves the murders only after Eco has had his chance to peruse the world in which both characters and author seek to define truth. William’s sole instruments are reason and perspective, as Adso hints in his question: “But how does it happen,” I said with admiration, “that you were able to solve the mystery of the library looking at it from the outside, and you were unable to solve it when you were inside?”
William replies: “Thus God knows the world, because He conceived it in His mind, as if from the outside, before it was created, and we do not know its rule, because we live inside it, having found it already made.”
Just as William’s logic reflects life itself, Eco’s book is a book of books. “Often books speak of other books,” William explains. “Often a harmless book is like a seed that will blossom into a dangerous book or it is the other way around: it is the sweet fruit of a bitter stem….”
So we’re not surprised to find that the cause of the murders in the abbey is a famous book, the lost second book of Aristotle’s Poetics, dealing with comedy. Eco brilliantly creates the Aristotelian text as William reconstructs it—in all likelihood as good as having the real thing, should the real thing happened to have existed:
“We will show how the ridiculousness of actions is born from the likening of the best to the worse and vice versa, from arousing surprise through deceit, from the impossible, from violation of the laws, of nature….”
William’s antagonist, Jorge of Burgos (a wonderful parody of Jorge Luis Borges, upon whose “Parable of the Palace” Eco’s own paradigm is constructed), succeeds in repressing and destroying Aristotle’s book because it threatened to undermine the structure of all holiness. Eco’s prologue honors the tradition of Cervantes’ Don Quixote and Rabelais’ preface to Gargantua, and of Sorrentino’s Mulligan Stew, in its confusion of text and reality, its expression of authorial uncertainty and responsibility to narrative itself. Eco even asks us to believe that “On sober reflection, I find few reasons for publishing my Italian version of an obscure neo-gothic French version of a seventeenth-century Latin edition of a work written in Latin by a German monk toward the end of the fourteenth century.”
In Borges’ little fable, the poet’s word faithfully encapsulates the world, explodes it, and it its echoing replaces it. The conflagration at the end of The Name of the Rose is worthy in its epochal intensity of the conclusion of One Hundred Years of Solitude, with only one difference: the magic is here without the marvel.
When the labyrinth is unwoven our suspicions are confirmed: “The plan of the library reproduces the map of the world.” The final conflagration takes us, nostalgically but also with relief, from the Middle Ages into the Renaissance—which, escaping that alien world of ignorance and belief, reaches as far as today.
Kenneth J. Atchity
Novelists seeking representation complain that none of their books have been made into films. At any given moment, we have literally stacks of novels from New York publishers on our desks in Los Angeles. Going through them to find the ones that might make motion pictures or television movies, we — and other producers, managers, and agents — are constantly running into the same problems:
“There’s no third act... It just trickles out.”
“There are way too many characters and it’s not clear till page 200 who the protagonist is.”
“I can’t relate to anyone in the book.”
“At the end, the antagonist lays out the entire plot to the protagonist.”
“There’s not enough action.”
“There’s nothing new here. This concept has been used to death.”
“We don’t know who to root for.”
“The whole thing is overly contrived.”
“There’s no dialogue, so we don’t know what the character sounds like.”
“There’s no high concept here. How do we pitch this?”
“There’s no real pacing.”
“The protagonist is reactive instead of proactive.”
“At the end of the day, I have no idea what this story is about.”
“The main character is 80, and speaks only Latvian.”
“It’s set in Papago...in the 1960s, and is filled with long passages in Uto-Aztecan.”
“There are no set pieces.”
Of course anyone with the mind of a researcher can list a film or two that got made despite one of these objections. But for novelists who are frustrated at not getting their books made into films, that should be small consolation and is, practically speaking, a useless observation. Yes, you might get lucky and find a famous Bulgarian director, who’s fascinated with the angst of octogenarians, studied pacing with John Sales or Jim Jarmusch, and loves ambiguous endings.
But if you regard your career as a business instead of a quixotic crusade, you should be planning your novel from the outset to make it appealing to filmmakers.
Give us a strong (preferably male) lead who, good or bad, is eminently relatable — and who’s in the “star age range” of 35-50 (where at any given moment 20 male stars reside; a star being a name that can set up the film by his attachment to it).
Make sure a dramatist looking at your book will clearly see three well-defined acts: act one (the setup), act two (rhythmic development, rising and falling action), and act three (climax leading to conclusive ending).
Express your character’s personality in dialogue that distinguishes him, and makes him a role a star would die to play.
Have someone in the film industry read your synopsis before you commit to writing the novel.
Though I’ve observed the phenomena for several decades now, it still surprises me that even bestselling novelists, even the ones who complain that no one has made a film from their books yet, don’t write novels dramatic enough to lend themselves easily to mainstream film. It’s a well-known phenomenon in publishing that, with very few exceptions, the more books a novelist sells the less critical his publisher’s editors are of his work. So time and again we read novels that start out well, roar along to the halfway point, then peter off into the bogs of formless character development or action resolution.
A publisher invests between $25,000 and $100,000 or more in publishing your novel. A low-budget feature film from a major Hollywood studio today costs at least $40 million. There is, from a business point of view, no comparison. Risking $40 million means the critical factor is raised as high as can be imagined when your book hits the “story department” — much higher than the critical factor of even the finest publishers. Hollywood studies what audiences want by logging, in box office dollars, cents, and surveys, what they respond best to.
If you want to add film to your profit centers as a novelist, it would behoove you to study what makes films work. Disdaining Hollywood may be a fashionable defense for writers who haven’t gotten either rich or famous from it, but it’s not productive in furthering your cinematic career.
These photos will be included in Dan Donaghy's upcoming blog on Oscar’s music, VivaOscar.com.
Listen to Oscar's music on Spotify here
For all storytellers—novelists, screenwriters, journalists, nonfiction writers, and children’s book writers.
If you'd like more details or enroll in one on one coaching to perfect your story visit The Writer's Lifeline
This week "Writing Treatments to Sell" by Ken Atchity and Chi-Li Wong
As Hollywood insiders know, the first step in selling your story idea for film or television is preparing a treatment, the brief pitch that sells the concept to a busy producer or agent.
This manual is a step by step guide to writing the perfect treatment, and to using it to perfect your dramatic art and market your work to entertainment buyers and gatekeepers.
|Available on Amazon|
FORBES: Filmmaker Nicole Conn On Promoting Her New Film And Caring For A Child With Special Needs During COVID-19
Acclaimed filmmaker Nicole Conn has dedicated her career to increasing lesbian visibility in film. With her cult classic, Claire of the Moon, and films like Elena Undone and A Perfect Ending, she has racked up dozens of awards and built quite a following.
Right now, Conn is currently navigating the virtual promotion of her newest film while simultaneously prioritizing the safety of her son, Nicholas, who has special needs. Nicholas was born extremely premature, and his severe chronic lung disease makes him enormously susceptible to COVID-19.
“He cannot be exposed to this,” says Conn. As such, Nicholas’ 24/7 nursing rotation has been reduced from the usual seven nurses to only two who see no other patients. “We’re on a tight protocol around him,” Conn says. “He cannot be around anyone but me, my daughter, and these nurses.”
Despite these challenges, Conn also continues to promote her new film honoring Nicholas. More Beautiful For Having Been Broken, released in April, is the story of a woman who escapes from her problems to a small town, where she bonds with Freddie, a boy with special needs, and his mother. Freddie has a rare disease called Fanconi Anemia and is based on Nicholas.
“The representation of kids with special needs, or even adults with special needs, is so grim in the industry,” Conn says. “I really wanted to share who my son is with people. Because I, like many other moms, sit in elevators where people are averting their eyes…Our children are so exceptional and wonderful. I don’t want them to be a secret anymore.”
Conn hopes the film communicates the beauty her son brings to her life.
“Nicholas has always completely blown me away with just who he is in the world,” Conn says. “I know it sounds beyond corny, but he has always been my greatest teacher. He’s got mindfulness down. You cannot be around him and not just sort of absorb his universe.”
More Beautiful For Having Been Broken, she says, should help viewers understand that they needn’t pity parents of kids with special needs. “I don’t want people to feel sorry for us. I want them to realize we have something really special in our lives. That’s what I really want the film to say. That, and don’t make our kids invisible.”
Conn is grateful that the film made its way through the festival circuit before lockdowns began, but now, she is also thankful to have time to connect with fans.
“By having all this extra time, I’ve been able to communicate with people from all over the world,” she says. “It’s been sort of a blessing.”
On May 8, there will even be an interactive livestream event that includes a viewing of the film as well as a live Q+A with the Conn and the cast.
Of course, More Beautiful For Having Been Broken also features a lesbian love story, but Conn is proud that sexuality is not at all a focal point. “Today we’re at a place in our filmography where we can basically not discuss lesbianism, but just show our lives,” Conn says. “I just feel like we’ve done the coming out story. We’ve really, really examined that.”
And yet, Conn says it is still far too difficult to find lesbian films. “It’s just excruciating,” she says. “Unless the movie is studio made, like Carol, it’s almost impossible.”
As such, in addition to working on another film of her own, Conn’s current focus is on Nicole Conn Films Global, an international group that will fund and promote lesbian filmmakers in all genres.
“We just want our library to be full fledged,” she says. “There is more than enough room for all of us. Women think there is only room for one lesbian writer, one lesbian director, one lesbian show runner, and that’s just not the case.”
Conn is hopeful that she can help lesbian and other LGBTQ+ films become more mainstream. More Beautiful For Having Been Broken, in fact, was picked up for worldwide distribution through a partnership with Vision Films and Wolfe Video.
Conn hopes the film’s success will help bring more awareness to the need for special needs representation in film. So far, she says, its reception has been “pretty unanimously wonderful.”
Professional coaching tips to help you figure out point of view, structure, and master all the elements of story. If you'd like more details or enroll in one on one coaching to perfect your story visit: http://www.thewriterslifeline.com/
A fun, fresh, sexy, snappy, fast-paced thriller that starts in celebrity-obsessed Hollywood and climaxes in the exotic and remote cays of the Bahamas.
Available on Amazon
Nicole Conn and Lissa Forehan's "More Beautiful For Having Been Broken" will be available for streaming Friday, May 8th.
There will also be a worldwide watch party premiere on cya.live at 11:00am (PST) on May 8th.
A broken FBI agent, suspended from her job and struggling with the loss of her mother, travels to the small mountain town she used to visit as a child. She is befriended by a special needs boy who possesses the extraordinary gift of healing others through his unbroken spirit and unique outlook on life. Though she is hurting, she begins to see through his eyes as the puzzle pieces fall into place.
Streaming available at: https://bit.ly/3eFyUK9
Sometimes the struggle to publish can drain even the strongest creative dynamo. Here's how to recharge your creativity, to keep your career going...and going...and going...
Learn More about One-on-ONe coaching to help understand a Type-C personality and equip you with practical tools to make yourself more productive and less frustrated with storytelling.
Supported by The Purple Heart Foundation. The focus of this #FREE workshop will be your questions issues and questions.
The transition from military service to civilian life isn’t always easy. For many vets the problems feel insurmountable. This virtual Q&A session with story editor and career-change coach Dr. Ken Atchity (YalePHD) will revamp personal mythologies. Many vets come home trapped in dysfunctional stories they tell themselves. Dr. Atchity will suggest strategies & tactics to aid transition into taking charge of your own story—and making it happen.
Register for this event here and join us on April 30—or help us connect to people that need it.
➤Imagine a new form of web entertainment – an interactive experience where members can observe the most terrifying sea creatures that ever lived, each housed in the most advanced aquariums ever conceived, and the animals and people react and respond to your presence.
https://igg.me/at/megisland/x/23379186#/Clarke and Paul Knott Soundtrack by Maxime Michel
San Francisco Review of Books: 'Your VIP Biography: How to Write Your Autobiography to Land a Hollywood Deal' by Alinka Rutkowska and Kenneth Atchity
‘You oughta be in pictures!’ – and making it happen
Co-authors Alinka Rutkowska and Kenneth Atchity are both significant personas and writers in their own right, and their joining forces has resulted in publishing that special book every writer wants to find – how to write important character biographies, including (inhale, breathe) our own autobiography! Alinka is not only a best selling author but also a coach to many writers, ably sharing her experience and skills with writers around the world, as well as being CEO of Leaders Press. Kenneth is a producer and author, a “story merchant,” editor, speaker, career coach, columnist and professor of comparative literature. Strong combo, very strong results.
In the flavorful Foreword, Kenneth states, “A life is a story when it has a compelling beginning, a conclusive and satisfying ending, and a middle filled with unexpected twists and turns, highs and lows, happy breaks and dismal setbacks. If you’ve led a life like that, if you’ve taken an extraordinary path we would like all to know about, then this book is for you.’ A fine invitation and what follows in this book is a key to the door of opportunity.
Alinka and Kenneth share examples of successful memoirs that have become both best sellers and successful movies, and in outlining the aspects of these winners, they instruct us how to get there, from basic information about what constitutes a ‘memoir’ – the definition (and meaning) of Character, Conflict, Structure, Theme, Secondary story elements, and all aspects of the ingredients necessary in creating a memoir. Once defined, and supplemented with outstanding examples of successful memoirs we all know (Angela’s Ashes, The Wolf of Wall Street, The Glass Castle, The Pursuit of Happyness), they then guide us as to how to make it all happen in book form – and getting that book form cinematically friendly.
This is not only a fun read, a journey of its own to read, including the impressive and substantial ‘Entertainment Business and Story Market Glossary of Term,’ but it also is a very practical course in writing by two highly respected authors. Highly Recommended.