The Weekend Read

Tools, tips and training to get you where you've been trying to go.
July 9, 2024
"Unsolicited Submissions"—You Don't Mean Mine, Right?

You've probably seen this phrase your entire career, no matter how long or short it has been: "No unsolicited submissions." Here are some FAQs to help you decide if and when to press "send" or otherwise share your creative content with other people.

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April 1, 2024
How — and why — to start writing story from the inside out (Step 1)

When you're writing a television pilot, your goal isn't to create a completed script, but to create a complete, and resonant, character. The reader has to know in the first 10 pages how your main character enters a room, what trait they fall back on in daily moments, and what they long for most deeply in their hearts.

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January 26, 2024
What to do (immediately!) when your story's lead character ISN'T your story's protagonist.

Quick! Who was the star of The Office, A Different World and The Big Bang Theory? If you said Steve Carrell, Lisa Bonet and Johnny Galecki, you're right (at least at the beginning of each series). Now, slower: who was the protagonist of those shows? If you said Michael, Denise or Leonard...well, and I think […]

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January 18, 2024
The Single Quote that Changed My Life...and is about to Change Yours.

I spent my 20s jumping on planes to places I didn't tell my parents about until I got there. "Collect call from Taipei" remains my dad's favorite side-eye memory. I had an enormous vision for my life, astonishingly little street sense, and the limitless sense of possibility and agency that is the birthright of youngest […]

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January 12, 2024
These Two Short Words Will Change Your Career — No Matter What Level You're At.

If you want to: Make this commitment right now, today: Make your first response to a Yes or No question: "Yes" or "No." Literally. When the person you asked to read your script says, "Are you repped?," you aren't, and you may want to say, "It's really hard to get an agent when you can't […]

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January 5, 2024
Why your script's first page has to be the last page you write. (Trust me.)

You've done it. You've fleshed out realistic, compelling characters with conflict-driving dynamics, you've beat out and outlined a solid story based on that work, and your treatment urges the reader forward, eager to know where the protagonist is headed. (It even propels you forward, and you already know what happens! Or so you think...) You've […]

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December 29, 2023
What you focus on...ignites. (The simple shift that will change your 2024.)

Over the next few days, a lot of us will be thinking about resolutions and goal-setting and envisioning what lies ahead in the new year. Let me offer this guiding principle: What you focus on ignites. You might read that, then think back on 2023 and say, “Uh, it certainly does not!” Maybe you had […]

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December 22, 2023
Does your script’s page one indicate your script's a “page-one” (rewrite)? Here’s how to fix that.

Every week, the hardest part of reading a script is flipping from the title page to Page One. (Unless the title page itself is awash in various fonts and images. Or has a typo. In which case, much of my hard work already is done.) When I take the plunge and turn to that first […]

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December 15, 2023
Why your red-hot writing sample isn’t a shoppable pilot (YET)

I'm writing this on a Friday, and like many execs and producers across L.A., I’m facing my weekend read with apprehension. Not because of the height of the stack (typically smaller at this time of year), but because of the temptation of it. I...LOVE...reading writing samples. They’re like a literary first date with a writer. […]

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November 30, 2023
Why you're in development hell - and how to get out of it (or never go in)

Writers, there is a special place called "development hell," that is more accurately called "writer's purgatory." I want to tell you why it happens so you can see when it's looming ahead and avert the crisis in favor of a creative win. Development hell happens because someone in the creative pipeline - a prod co, […]

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