Hello. Have you met Michael?

Screenwriters in the know are well acquainted with the masters of film and television storytelling such as Syd Field, Robert McKee, Blake Snyder, Billy Mernit, and Michael Hauge. These men have contributed much to the contemporary development of the art and craft of writing in the industry (and yes, there are a few women…a few) and continue to influence generations of writers.

Michael Hauge is one of the very best teachers in Hollywoodland. He sees what lies beneath the page and communicates in plain language so writers might learn and improve, not just memorize theory. Michael publishes a periodic newsletter that will be beneficial to new writers who want to pick up some solid understanding of the craft and to seasoned writers who want to keep their pencils sharpened.

Subscribe to Michael Hauge’s Story Mastery Newsletter at StoryMastery.com (formerly ScreenplayMastery.com).

And a tiny url for your sharing pleasure: http://tinyurl.com/c7uen44

The fab five: Canlit’s hottest up-and-comers

From the Globe and Mail this weekend, a tasty roundup of Canada’s latest literary stars. Add these authors to your Goodreads list and dive in!

With eBooks replacing hardcovers, social media replacing book tours, Amazon replacing bookstores, and bookstores replacing books with gardening supplies, the state of the book business (and of books themselves) remains uncertain.

Read “The fab five: Canlit’s hottest up-and-comers” by Kate Carraway and Victor Dwyer at globeandmail.com

And a tiny url for your sharing pleasure: http://tinyurl.com/6loz56e

Stakes (No Worcestershire Sauce Nor Fangs Required)

In Just What Is It About Mad Men?, I asked what draws viewers to the hit show season after season. I still don’t have that answer. What I do have is another question that perhaps the writers collected will discuss.

What are the stakes for Don Draper? In other words, what does he have to lose and how high are those stakes for him? For us? The discussion is relevant to the the writing of single stories such as novels and feature films as well as to the writing of stories told in series.
Read on

And a tiny url for your sharing pleasure: http://tinyurl.com/8ymtrfo

Just What Is It About Mad Men?

This week, I did a bit of informal research into the widespread appeal of “Mad Men”, 5-season hit drama from AMC. As one of the biggest successes in recent television history, I wanted to know what draws the people I know into this world of selfishness, callousness, ignorance, and much-discussed misogyny. Those who responded were fairly diverse within a somewhat narrow slice of contemporary society but as far as ratings are concerned, they also represent the choicest slice.

You’d think that with all the hype and chatter that the discussion would revolve around a core set of points: Walter White on “Breaking Bad” is heartbreaking and amazing; Tony Soprano of “The Sopranos” is terrifying but a sweetheart; “Arrested Development” is all about the writing. That sort of thing. But for “Mad Men”, the responses were surprisingly vague.
Read on

And a tiny url for your sharing pleasure: http://tinyurl.com/7yq5fqu