Monday Starters #11

A collection of links, fun and serious, on film and culture, to start the week.

Starting from this week, we’ll be paying more attention to what writers are posting in the blogosphere
on writing, their work, the industry, or any good advice for the rest of us.



Blog link: Reacting to Emotions by Evan Jobb

“Each action your characters take has to be motivated by an emotion.

I’m writing about this topic because of a script I was writing.  I found myself stuck, sputtering ideas around in my head and not going anywhere.  I had the characters, I had the story arc, it all had a beginning, it had an end. But everything was going wrong because I found my characters trapped in the middle of the story.  It was clear why the characters were all there, and I knew where they would all be going.  But they didn’t want to go there.  I found myself forcing them to make decisions, I found myself making them say what I wanted them to say.  And I was getting nowhere.

And the problem was motivation.  The characters didn’t have any.”


Guggenheim catalogue archive

Hundreds of catalogues free for you to browse online. Books on artists such as Francis Bacon, Edvard Munch, Gustav Klimt as well as covering different eras in different countries.


Tohoku no Shingetsu

A feature documentary about the people of Tohoku’s heroic struggle to reclaim life, after losing almost everything.

“The horror of Japan’s 2011 tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disaster has subsided, yet over 350,000 people are still displaced and Fukushima remains a threat.

How does the human spirit heal? How does a community revitalise itself?”


Blog link: In Which My Toddler Helps Me Think Of “Character” In A New Way by Chuch Wendig

“Some of the images can be literal. Some more figurative or at the least more distant from the character’s actual present-day existence. What do the images mean? What do they say about the character?”


Blog link: Why Scripts Notes Are Like Fantasies by Dave Herman

“Armed with this kind of intimate knowledge of your script, you can identify far more directly what the creative suggestions you are receiving are indirectly flagging up. When the producer wonders out loud whether the main character should be a young man instead of an old lady, or whether the story might work better if set on a spaceship, these are their fantasies. And like your own fantasies about starting a new life in Mozambique or your fantasy about burying your spouse in your back yard, they are intuitive pointers to a specific but as yet unarticulated problem.”


Blog link: Insanely Great Endings by Scott W. Smith

What makes an emotionally fulfilling ending?


Blog link: Don’t Be Afraid to Say ‘No’ by Dominic Carver

“This doesn’t just apply to new writers. There will be times in your career when you’ll be asked to do something for free, because the producer doesn’t have any money to pay you for another draft, or be asked to make changes to your screenplay you disagree with, or be pressured into unrealistic deadlines. This is where you have to make a decision as to whether what you’re being asked to do is worth while.”

Blog link: “I have failed so you are penalized” by Julian Friedmann

Agent Julian Friedmann on saying ‘no’ to producers who want to pay you less because they’ve used part of the budget on a previous writer.


THE WIRE the Musical!

Featuring some familiar faces such as Michael Kenneth Williams as ‘Omar’, Sonja Sohn as ‘Kima Greggs’.

Michael Kenneth Williams as 'Omar' in The Wire the Musical

Michael Kenneth Williams as ‘Omar’ in The Wire the Musical


Hand this paper to an investor, any investor.

Independent Film as an Attractive Asset Class by Colin Brown

“In this regard, film investment can be compared to angel investors looking to invest in start-ups. Since each film project is analogous to a new venture that has no history from which to forecast potential performance, the best the angel can do is harness their considerable industry experience and insight to assess the track record of those behind those ideas. The packaging and sales agents, like super angels, are therefore the ones to bet alongside in the independent film world: the industry’s true insiders. An estimated 90% of startups don’t make their money back for investors. The same is true of independent films, although the stigma seems so much greater.”

Game Writing

Blog link: On Narrative Design (part 6 – creating quests) by The Bittersweetest Thing

“All writers are not equal. Some writers are better character writers but struggle at quest design. Others are the reverse. Some writers write very slowly while others write very quickly. Some writers know their strengths very well, while others tend to take on more than they can handle (the ability to discern that tends to come with experience).”


A short film in which Miranda July offers an effective solution to daily distractions.


Norman Buckley muses on spaces, places, images, and emotion in this review of Black Narcissus

“Likewise we create films, to keep a record of what matters to us. And films often create psychological states through the use of place. When I think about any specific film that’s had meaning for me, it’s almost always an image that comes to mind–no matter how clever the dialogue, it is the images that linger, that shape my feelings–and oftentimes it’s the place that the characters inhabit that shape that image, and my psychological response to it.”

(c)The Archers

(c)The Archers


Screenwriter on Twitter


In his own words: Screenwriter with a passion for dark and twisted thrillers. At it for 20yrs, 8 scripts produced – loving it!


Ludwig Wittgenstein’s passion for looking, not thinking
Ray Monk decodes the philosophy in the philosopher’s photographs.

“Thinking in pictures,” Sigmund Freud once wrote, “stands nearer to unconscious processes than does thinking in words, and is unquestionably older than the latter both ontogenetically and phylogenetically.” There is, in other words, something primordial, something foundational, about thinking visually.

Such a view is anathema to many philoso- phers, a good many of whom believe that all thought is propositional, that to think is to use words.

For Wittgenstein, to think, to understand, was first and foremost to picture.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Ludwig Wittgenstein


Blog link: 7 Ways to Boost Your Creativity by Fiona J. Phillips

“So often fear and self doubt keep us from even trying something. We doubt our talent or possibilities at success. How could anyone possibly take me seriously? Who am I kidding? We sabotage ourselves before we’ve begun.”


When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature. 

– Ernest Hemingway



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