Tag Archives: Star Wars

The Greatest Synopsis that Ever Lived

Dear Agent Sir or Madam,

This is a follow-up to my querying letter about a million-word fictional novel trilogy. You can read that letter anywhere on the planet by firing up AOL and clicking on this World Wide Web thingy here: The Mother of All Query Letters.

Maybe you haven’t gotten to reading it yet, seeing how you’re busy selling my trilogy to Warner Brothers for one million dollars (I figure a dollar a word is fair). My niece Daisy has a library card and her nose in all kinds of books, not just Twilight, and when I told her about my fictional novel, she said I need to send every agent and editor in Manhattan a synopsis.

Now, “synopsis” sounded Latin and possibly dirty to me, so I asked whether that word involved sins, and Daisy said, “That’s a good way to look at it. List all the sins you commit in that book of yours.”

So here’s my list of the sinful things happening in each book of the trilogy, with each novel coming in at 333,333 and 1/3rd words apiece.
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Filed under 4 Writing Secrets Wednesday, Fiction

TIM’S PLACE: three minutes of film that’ll make you smile and cry

Hollywood will waste $3 million on six different screenwriters to screw up a script for a $238 million CGI explosion-fest like TRANSFORMERS 16: OPTIMUS PRIME RESCUES MEGAN FOX FROM THE NURSING HOME.

I can sit through something like that — if you pay me — and it won’t move me one bit.

But here’s 3 minutes of film, something that didn’t cost a dime to produce, that will make you laugh and weep and maybe even stop to think about life for a second.

Also: I love Tim’s tagline for his restaurant. “Where breakfast, lunch and hugs are served.”

That’s pure gold.

Tim, you rock, and I salute you.

Related posts:

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Guy - Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Guy – Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller that was a finalist for some award.

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Filed under 3 Tinseltown Tuesday, The Big Screen, The Glowing Tube

Possible script for STAR WARS VII by J.J. Abrams

First of all, J.J. Abrams should direct everything.

Not just STAR TREK and the new STAR WARS: EPISODE XVIII-whatever, but every film for one entire year. You’ll say, “That’s not possible — J.J. can’t direct every film made during a calendar year.”

Sure he can. We can clone ourselves an army of J. J. Abrams, or download his brain into that Big Blue supercomputer thing IBM built just to beat Ken Jennings in a game of Jeopardy. WE HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY.

And here’s a brilliant take on how the first new STAR WARS film should go. Now that Disney owns Marvel and Star Wars, I hope studio executives take notes.

Related posts:

Why new STAR WARS movies by Disney are an achy breaky big mistakey
Seven movie clichés that must be NUKED FROM ORBIT
Hollywood: Sidekicks do NOT need their own stupid sidekicks
Leonard Nimoy’s insane music video: The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins
Old Spock vs. New Spock

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Guy - Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Guy – Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller that was a finalist for some award.

Google+

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Filed under 3 Tinseltown Tuesday, The Big Screen

Four crazy music videos by William Shatner

Captain Kirk sings. A lot.

At least the original does. It’s not clear of Chris Pine likes to pick up the microphone, but William Shatner DOES NOT HESITATE, not even for a nanosecond, and the results are often epic.

Shatner singing ROCKET MAN in 1978

Shatner doing BOHEMIAM RHAPSODY

Shatner singing MY WAY to George Lucas with stormtrooperbackup dancers

Shatner killing SEEKING MAJOR TOM

Related posts
Leonard Nimoy’s insane music video: The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins
Old Spock vs. New Spock
Seven movie clichés that must be NUKED FROM ORBIT
Why new STAR WARS movies by Disney are an achy breaky big mistakey
Hollywood: Sidekicks do NOT need their own stupid sidekicks

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Guy - Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Guy – Photo by Suhyoon Cho

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller that was a finalist for some award.

Google+

3 Comments

Filed under 2 Music Video Monday, The Big Screen

Writers: can you do it in FOUR WORDS?

That’s the acid test for every writer: four words.

If somebody in line with you for the Largest Latte Known to Man asks what you’re working on, can you explain it in four words?

How about eight words?

Because if you can’t, you’re not really done.

What if I told you ... how to get to Sesame Street?

And I don’t care that you’ve spent the last seven years locked away in a French monastery, slaving away 25 hours a day, eight days a week to perfect (a) The Great American Novel, Even Though It Was Written in France, (b) the movie script that will turn Hollywood on its ear and stop it from spending $250 million apiece on Michael Bay explosion-fests involving robots that transform into cars or whatever  or (c) a punk-rock masterpiece with song after song with lyrics so beautiful, and rebelliously ugly, that anyone who listens to it quits working for The Man and buys an electric Fender so they can learn the only three chords you need to know to become AN INSANE ROCK GOD.

So let’s get down to it. If you haven’t already, read these posts to get all educated and such, even though it is technically cheating — because today, there is a quiz.

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Filed under 4 Writing Secrets Wednesday, Fiction, The Big Screen

The secret truth about writing

When was the last time you went to a movie and wanted to stay behind and watch it again?

What was the last political stump speech that made you laugh and cry and want to go knock on the doors of your neighbors to make sure they voted? When was the last time you read a newspaper story that built up to an amazing climax instead of petering off into boring little details?

More people are writing more things than ever before. Movies and TV shows, blogs and newspapers, hardcover novels and digital e-books. Yet most of it is forgettable. Trite. Boring.

It used to be, blockbuster movies were the ones that had amazing special effects.

STAR WARS showed us things we’d never seen before, like lightsabers. Who doesn’t want a lightsaber?

JURASSIC PARK gave us dinosaurs that weren’t claymation or puppets. Today, though, any old TV show can afford to have great special effects.

And with the written word — novels, speeches, non-fiction and poetry — every author has the same unlimited special effects budget. You can do whatever you want for free. So what’s the problem?

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Filed under 4 Writing Secrets Wednesday, Fiction, Red Pen of Doom, Romances; also, novels with Fabio covers, Speechwriting, Thrillers and mysteries

Evil storytelling tricks NO ONE SHOULD KNOW

I don’t care what you’re writing: whether it’s spy thrillers, speeches, newspaper stories or romances about men in kilts, the only thing that matters to the reader is the journey you take them on.

How far – and how fast – is that ride? Where does it start and where does it end?

The roller coaster you take readers on is far, far more important than how pretty you’ve painted things with words.

Oh, there are people who write so beautifully that they can make a trip to Safeway sound more interesting than the latest Michael Bay explosion of robots and cleavage. And yes, there are people who are bestsellers despite the wordsmithing skills of a middling sixth-grader whose main hobby is eating paste.

Those bestsellers are millionaires because story – structure, really — beats pretty words.

Ronald Reagan wasn’t considered the Great Communicator because of his verbal skills. Go back and listen to his Berlin Wall speech, considered a great one. He’s got all sorts of verbal tics and delivery problems. He wasn’t that smooth of a speaker. Reagan’s genius was in being a great storyteller.

The same thing is true of great reporters. It’s not the quality of the prose that makes us hand out Pulitzers and buy Bob Woodward’s books. What he’s truly good at is getting people to give him juicy things to write about, so he can tell a great story, with twists and turns and shockers.

Bad writing is all bad in the same way.

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Filed under 3 Tinseltown Tuesday, 4 Writing Secrets Wednesday, Fiction, The Big Screen