Book update: I’m still pushing for a release of my book this month and think all is on track. In the meantime, I’ll continue to post insights from Oscar-winning screenwriter Frances Marion‘s 1937 book, How to Write and Sell Film Stories. Since I’ve written a lot of post over the years on emotions, I was […]

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“[W]henever a plot demonstrates some angle of truth it will be very likely to have wide appeal. These sayings are adaptable to expression in the terms of modern life. They never would have become proverbs if they had not been of general and lasting interest.  . . . The theme ought to be broad enough […]

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“They have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.” Hosea 8:7 Proverbs, adages, maxims, parables, and legends supply an amazing proportion of story themes. This, of course, is because they are full of profound meaning relating to human life.  A proverb is a saying certified by the voices of generations, and the origin […]

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“I was astounded at how really useful ‘thematic thinking’ turned out to be.” Stephen King On Writing, page 207 While I have found many quotes from talented writers and directors talking about their disdain for the topic of theme, I will say I have found more from equality talked writers and directors who embrace theme […]

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“The more important the theme, the more important the story.” Frances Marion To show that the debate on theme in relation to screenwriting is nothing new, here’s what Oscar-winning screenwriter Frances Marion wrote in her book How to Write and Sell Film Stories—published in 1937: ‘If you cannot state the gist of a play in three […]

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To show that the debate on theme in relation to screenwriting is nothing new, here’s what Oscar-winning screenwriter Frances Marion wrote in her book How to Write and Sell Film Stories—published in 1937: “The theme is the underlying idea, the aim, the implication of the plot; it is the proposition on which the plot is based; […]

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Note: If you’ve followed this blog much you know that I’ve been writing a book based on this blog. It’s been a long in winding road to condense a greatest hits so to speak out of more than 2,600 post, but I’m hoping to actually see the release of it by the end of the […]

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“‘Girl-writer’” is honestly what they called me. This was because comedy shows for people like Bob Hope and Jack Benny were usually written by groups of men who were known as ‘The Boys.’” Madelyn Pugh Davis Madelyn Pugh Davis was kind of the Diablo Cody in the early days of sitcom television, when there weren’t […]

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Unless you’ve been stuck under a avalanche in Colorado the past few days you can’t have missed that Captain Marvel starring Brie Larson opens tonight. Here’s what the IMDB slash page looks as I type this post. But you may have missed that movie has Iowa roots. Captain Marvel co-directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck […]

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“The farm was a stage set; the tractor drivers and nurserymen were stagehands.” Steven Bach “When I order a tree at nine a.m., I want to be sitting in its shade by five p.m.” Moss Hart In 1937 Moss Hart (You Can’t Take It with You) was a rich and successful Broadway playwright and Hollywood […]

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