Let the Screenplays Begin!

The early bird deadline for the PAGE Screenwriting Awards is January 20 this year.

Image by Futuregirl from Pixabay

Congratulations to colleagues who have placed in past contests and success to those who I know are applying in 2020.

Not yet ready to submit your work for review? I encourage you to plan now for next year, and for inspiration, immerse yourself in some of the best screenplays past and present for free here:

Simply Scripts

The Internet Movie Script Database

The Screenplay Database

So, screenplay writing isn’t your specialty? No matter! Scan scripts for snappy dialog, rich subtext, and visual writing styles. It can only serve to up your game.

Write on!

Simply Character

Some of my favorite windows into character are revealed in the smallest of gestures, those seemingly benign details that exist between action and dialog.

The Maltese Falcon (1st edition cover)

Here’s how Dashiell Hammett describes Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon, published in 1929:

“He talked in a steady matter-of-fact voice that was devoid of emphasis or pauses, though now and then he repeated a sentence slightly rearranged, as if it were important that each detail be related exactly as it happened.” [The emphasis is mine.]

And here’s how Sam Spade describes the man in the story he’s relating:

“He went like that … like a fist when you open your hand.”

It’s an act of writing almost like sleight of hand, but with an impact in the imagination that reveals far more than the sum of the words.

Write-ins: 10, 12, and 19 December

Drop-in gatherings for no-excuse writing.

Join us for a 90-minute stretch of focused writing in the company of familiar faces and perhaps a nosh or beverage.

We’ll keep the first hour dedicated to pens on paper, so bring your notebook/laptop and whatever writing project is on your front burner. Not working on anything specific right now? No problem. We’ll have a few prompts and writing ideas to get you rolling on something new.

For those who wish to share your work or your writing process, let’s discuss! We’ll lift the silence for the last half hour.

Tuesday, 10 December 2019
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Brew Bakers
209 W Main St., Grass Valley, Calif.

Thursday, 12 December 2019
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Brew Bakers
209 W Main St., Grass Valley, Calif.

Thursday, 19 December 2019
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Brew Bakers
209 W Main St., Grass Valley, Calif.

Write-ins: 3 & 17 October

Drop-in gatherings for no-excuse writing.

Join us for a 90-minute stretch of focused writing in the company of familiar faces and perhaps a nosh or beverage.

We’ll keep the first hour dedicated to pens on paper, so bring your notebook/laptop and whatever writing project is on your front burner. Not working on anything specific right now? No problem. We’ll have a few prompts and writing ideas to get you rolling on something new.

For those who wish to share your work or your writing process, let’s discuss! We’ll lift the silence for the last half hour.

Thursday, 3 October 2019
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Brew Bakers
209 W Main St., Grass Valley, Calif.

Thursday, 17 October 2019
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Broad Street Bistro
426 Broad St., Nevada City, Calif.

Show, Don’t Tell*

*Except, Tell Yourself!

Something I recognize in other writers is a propensity for self-flagellation. (Writing is, after all, such a solitary practice. If we don’t whip ourselves, who will?)

One writer recently confessed to me, “I hear this voice as I write saying, Show, don’t tell! Show, don’t tell! It seems all I’m doing is telling.”

“Fine,” I say. “Keep telling it to yourself so you can get it all down. Then walk away and visualize it as a picture you can show the reader.”

Telling is good because it is a note to the self. Showing is the picture we evoke from those notes.

photo by Bill Kaszubski
Bill Kaszubski 2019

The “how to show” may come later. But for now, welcome the telling as the acorn of the idea.

September Words about Town






Literary goings on in and around Nevada County this month:†

Workshops

Cultivate Clarity

Saturdays, September 14, 21, 28, 10:00 am–12:00 pm
NEO Youth Center
139 Joerschke Drive
Grass Valley, Calif. 95945

Tell Tailors is hosting a series of writing workshops to be held in Grass Valley, Calif. beginning in September 2019. In this first series learn a Revision process that gives your writing more focus, clarity, and grace.

Please RSVP by registering here to let us know we can expect you.

Writers Boot Camp

Monday, September 23–Wednesday, September 25
Incline Village, Nev. 89451

Three-day workshop for intermediate and advanced writers in Incline Village. For more information visit: www.writingforlifeworkshops.com.

Story

Nevada County Stories

Saturday, September 28, 10:00 am–12:00 pm
Madelyn Helling Library
Gene Albaugh Community Room
980 Helling Way
Nevada City, Calif. 95959

A gathering of teachers, leaders, story facilitators, and community members seeking ways to promote and engage story in meaningful ways among members of our community. Together, we would like to create programs for our community and find ways to record and keep them.

Words

Word Jam

Sunday, September 8, 7:00 pm–8:00 pm
Dark Horse Coffee Roasters

10009 W River Street
Truckee, Calif. 96161

Open mic story performances. For more information, call 530-386-3901.

Sierra Writers-Open Read

Wednesday, September 11, 6:30 pm
The Open Book
671 Maltman Drive
Grass Valley, Calif. 95678

Writers are welcome to bring their work for group discussion of craft, vision, and voice. 

Going to any events? Let us know!
Have more writerly announcements to share? Please do!

Write-ins: 5 & 19 September

Drop-in gatherings for no-excuse writing.

Join us for a 90-minute stretch of focused writing in the company of familiar faces and perhaps a nosh or beverage.

We’ll keep the first hour dedicated to pens on paper, so bring your notebook/laptop and whatever writing project is on your front burner. Not working on anything specific right now? No problem. We’ll have a few prompts and writing ideas to get you rolling on something new.

For those who wish to share your work or your writing process, let’s discuss! We’ll lift the silence for the last half hour.

Thursday, 5 September 2019
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Brew Bakers
209 W Main St., Grass Valley, Calif.

Thursday, 19 September 2019
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Broad Street Bistro
426 Broad St., Nevada City, Calif.

August Words about Town






Literary goings on in and around Nevada County this month:†

Story

Nevada County Stories Roundtable

Saturday, August 24, 10:00 am–12:00 pm
Madelyn Helling Library
Gene Albaugh Community Room
980 Helling Way
Nevada City, Calif. 95959

A gathering of teachers, leaders, story facilitators, and community members seeking ways to promote and engage story in meaningful ways among members of our community. Together, we would like to create programs for our community and find ways to record and keep them.

Please RSVP by registering here to let us know we can expect you.

Going to any events? Let us know!
Have more writerly announcements to share? Please do!

Write-ins: 25 July; 8 & 22 August

Drop-in gatherings for no-excuse writing.

Join us for a 90-minute stretch of focused writing in the company of familiar faces and perhaps a nosh or beverage.

We’ll keep the first hour dedicated to pens on paper, so bring your notebook/laptop and whatever writing project is on your front burner. Not working on anything specific right now? No problem. We’ll have a few prompts and writing ideas to get you rolling on something new.

For those who wish to share your work or your writing process, let’s discuss! We’ll lift the silence for the last half hour.

Thursday, 25 July 2019
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Broad Street Bistro
426 Broad St., Nevada City, Calif.

Thursday, 8 August 2019
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Brew Bakers
209 W Main St., Grass Valley, Calif.

Thursday, 22 August 2019
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Broad Street Bistro
426 Broad St., Nevada City, Calif.

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