Monday Starters #12

A collection of links, fun and serious, on film and culture, to start the week, with a special focus on what writers are posting in the blogosphere.


Secret cinema gently subverts Saudi Arabia’s puritanism, by David Batty (The Guardian)

“In a country where culture can be declared sinful and cinemas were shut down in the 1970s, just showing a film can be revolutionary”

Authors’ Rights

The Society of Audiovisual Authors: Private copying – sense and sensibility?, by Janine Lorente

“…according to Mr. Higgins, director General of digital Europe, it seems that the more consumers use ICT devices to enjoy creative content, the less the ICT industry should contribute to remunerate creators. They do not want to pay the remuneration for private copying.”


Kathleen and Eddie

“In 1985, fifteen-year old Kathleen lost her only brother Eddie, an American soldier stationed in Wiesbaden, West Germany. He had been killed by members of the Red Army Faction, a left-wing German terrorist group. Now, twenty-seven years after Eddie’s death, Kathleen travels to Germany in an effort to meet the women convicted of his murder.

KATHLEEN AND EDDIE is a feature-length documentary charting one womanʼs journey to transform the violence of her brotherʼs murder into a compassionate encounter with those who killed him.”

Kathleen and Eddie production still from Berlin.

Kathleen and Eddie production still from Berlin.


Blog link: Managing the Emotional Fabric of Story, by Britta Reque-Dragicevic

“If you move from controlling characters to trusting characters, you change the dynamics of how you receive and interpret stories. It becomes less about you, less about writing and more about listening and relating. You move into collaboration with characters. And that’s where you want to be. That’s where the gold is. That’s where your story takes on “a life of its own” because it has a life of its own.”


Blog link: Screenwriting Contests, by Hayley McKenzie (Script Angel)


Blog link: On the Romantic myth of the creative `genius’, by JT Velikovsky

“From the Romantic point of view, ‘it is the artist who creates, who expresses himself, who creates values. The artist does not discover, calculate, deduce, as the scientist (or philosopher) does. In creating, the artist invents his goal and then realises his own path toward that goal’ (Watson 2005, p. 609)”


Blog link: The Art of Screen Dialogue, by Guy Ducker

“Part of the challenge of writing really good dialogue lies in the many different layers there can and should be in a spoken exchange. This is one reason why most writers over-write on their first pass – they want to get their dialogue doing all that work, but they’ve not yet got it integrated.”


Blog link: Guerilla Tactics: Interview With Author & Screenwriter Max Adams, By Nancy Bilyeau

“If this is what you want and need to do, you say “Screw the odds” and you go for it.  Someone has to break in.  If no one new ever broke in, screenwriters would have died out a long time ago. And if someone has to break in, that someone might as well be you. That is really the attitude you need to hang on to and the hell with the odds.”


Brainpickings: The Power of Habit and How to Rewire Our “Habit Loops”, by Maria Popova


Shooting Dialogue as Action: An Interview with Fred Schepisi from Senses of Cinema

“In this interview, Schepisi discusses his approach towards adapting novels and plays for the screen, and his working relationship with actors. He also discusses his career-long collaboration with cinematographer Ian Baker, and the frustrations and disappointments of projects in America and Australia that were never realised.”


Blog link: 10 Problems/Solutions for Writers, by Niva (Riding Bitch)

“Feeling like I need to read or watch other books/films in order to write my own – It can be helpful to reference other material especially when seeking inspiration. But it can also be very time consuming and easy to feel discouraged.  I start thinking, “well, what’s the point of writing this if so-and-so wrote it and so much better?””


The Photographers’ Gallery: Stephen Gill


Pacing Your Plot, by  Cressida Downing

“Do you find yourself 90% of the way through writing your novel, but with a lot of action left to cram in? Or have you galloped through your main ideas, only to find there’s another 40,000 words left to write?”

A plot diagram from

A plot diagram from


“While many scholars have focused on noir as a dark visual style, or a worldview marked by the anxieties and stark realities of modernity, few have addressed noir’s high degree of self-consciousness or its profoundly quirky humor. In their new book,The Maltese Touch of Evil: Film Noir and Potential Criticism, Clute and Edwards focus on these under-appreciated characteristics of noir to demonstrate how films noir frame their “intertextual” borrowings from on another and create visual puns, and how these gestures function to generate both compelling narratives and critical reflections upon those narratives.”

Prose and Screenwriting

Blog link: Why prose and screenwriting make a good team, by Michelle Goode

“There’s a lot of merit in learning both crafts and indulging in both disciplines. Whilst the two approaches are very different, they do share similarities; not least the aim of telling a good story well. We all know that novels are ripe for adaptation, too, so knowing about screenwriting could help you approach your novel in a way that makes it attractive for this market.”


Joe Eszterhas on screenwriting


Your Brain on Fiction from The New York Times

“The novel, of course, is an unequaled medium for the exploration of human social and emotional life. And there is evidence that just as the brain responds to depictions of smells and textures and movements as if they were the real thing, so it treats the interactions among fictional characters as something like real-life social encounters.”

The Science of Storytelling: Why Telling a Story is the Most Powerful Way to Activate Our Brains from lifehacker

“Now, whenever we hear a story, we want to relate it to one of our existing experiences. That’s why metaphors work so well with us. While we are busy searching for a similar experience in our brains, we activate a part called insula, which helps us relate to that same experience of pain, joy, or disgust.”


Movie Title Screens

Steven Warren Hill’s site, started in the mid 90s, now has over 7,000 frame grabs from the title sequences of movies.





Blog link:  Are You An Overwriter or Underwriter? by D.B. Gilles

“Scenes can also be overwritten and underwritten. Overwritten means you’ve put in too much information or information the reader already knows or you’ve written a monologue that stops the forward movement of the plot dead in it’s tracks. Simple, the scene is bloated and needs to be trimmed or maybe even eliminated.”


“Some writers confuse authenticity, which they ought always to aim at, with originality, which they should never bother about.”
– W. H. Auden



  1. Wow, this is great Margit :) Nice work. Thanks for sharing these.

  2. Margit, thanks for visiting and linking a post to yours. What amazing information here! Happy to have discovered you.


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