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Neil Gaiman is without a doubt one of the most imaginative writers on the market today, so when he comes out with writing rules, you want to do exactly as he says. I love that his suggestions are not really “secrets”, but rather no-nonsense approaches to writing, with the first rule being to sit down and do it.
Check out all of Neil Gaiman’s Eight Rules for Writing below, then tell us your favorite one:
And to make it easy, the rules in text format:
- Put one word after another. Find the right word, put it down.
- Finish what you’re writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.
- Put it aside. Read it pretending you’ve never read it before. Show it to friends whose opinion you respect and who like the kind of thing that this is.
- Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or…
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A screenplay is made up of a lot of different pieces: acts, sequences, scenes, etc. Think of them as multi-sized blocks that you must stack, tear down, rearrange, and throw away until what you have before you looks something like a story. But before you can enjoy the tedious task of formation, you have to create these pieces, or blocks, from scratch. To help with this, screenwriter and frequent Tim Burton collaborator, John August (Big Fish, Corpse Bride), whose blog you should be reading religiously, released a handy infographic/PDF of his popular post “How to Write a Scene” that gives screenwriters an easy checklist of 11 bullet points that helps guide them through the process.