A HUGE Collection of Advice from Working Writers

Jordan Zakarin of Buzzfeed went a little crazy and put together a pretty massive collection of advice from some of the most successful writers working in Hollywood today. He asked them all questions about their creative process, developing characters, dialogue, and much more. Go through the treasure trove of insights at Buzzfeed. Here are a few highlights to pique your interest:

Paul Feig:I say [dialogue] out loud. If I can’t say it and make it sound convincing and not clunky, then no poor actor will be able to make it any better. You have to trust that your audience is generally way ahead of you. They’re smart and they know the language of film. They can guess who’s going to fall in love with whom and who works where and what they want. If you start telling them things they already figured out, they’ll start to hate you for treating them like idiots. The only people who tend to want more exposition are executives who think audiences aren’t smart.”

Richard Linklater: “There are a million ideas in a world of stories. Humans are storytelling animals. Everything’s a story, everyone’s got stories, we’re perceiving stories, we’re interested in stories. So to me, the big nut to crack is to how to tell a story, what’s the right way to tell a particular story. So I’m much more interested in narrative construction.”

Diablo Cody:I envy writers who have their shit together! You should see my computer desktop. It’s like 9 million Final Draft documents, pictures of my kids, and photos of haircuts I wish I had.”

Michael Weber and Scott Neustadter: “For us, creating backstories isn’t as helpful as, say, asking what a real person would do in the situation and jumping off from there. If your character wouldn’t do what a normal person would do, then why not? What’s the deal with that? We’ve always found bringing it back to reality to be the most helpful tool with every project.

Brian Koppelman: “If a scene doesn’t have either internal or external conflict, it had better be damned interesting.”

More at Buzzfeed.

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