A Few Ways to Start Your Script

“Hey, what are you doing? The page is blank! You’ve been sitting there for 20 minutes… Just type something!”

“What do you mean? It has to start perfect. It’s a wonderful story about a German Shepard that convinces a planet-destroying alien species that Earth is worth sparing. Buddy, that’s the name of the dog, he’ll make you cry at the end. I can’t just type anything.”

“You’ll never make it as a writer if you just sit there. Look, you know what the story is about. I have an idea to help you. Here’s a couple of great ways to get a story started. Number 3 happens to be my favorite, but maybe you want to start with a teaser, like Number 1.”

Follow link to read lessons from great beginnings.

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Quote of the Day – Jack Kerouac

I think what Jack meant to say was “It’s not what you write, but how you write it.” Jack should take some English classes if you ask me.

Okay, enough bad jokes. This tiny little quote holds a lot of weight! If a story isn’t working for you, it might not be what you’re trying to say. It could be how you’re saying it. Maybe you need to throw a character in, or change the way you describe something. Maybe you need to take some of the description out of there is too much, or add a bit of dialogue to get a better feel for the character. There are many ways to mix things up! Think about why the story isn’t working, and try a few things and see what you like best.

The story is inside of you. You just have to let it out.

Plot Twists – Planet of the Apes Edition

This summer has had some great movies, especially in the past few weeks. My favorite so far has been “War for the Planet of the Apes.” This trilogy is one of the best that I’ve seen in years, and I feel like it’s flying under the radar for some reason. It’s just amazing to me how different and unique each ape is, and how real they feel. The acting in this movie is impeccable, and makes you really wonder if you should be rooting for the humans or the apes. I just had to give a shout out for my furry friends.

Speaking of the movie, this series has been known for it’s plot twists. A plot twist can make or break a story. There are many trilogies in the making that have seen their downfall after the plot twist at the end of a first otherwise good movie. Two of my favorites that stand out are “The Matrix” and “Back to the Future.” Watch out, because where we’re going, there are no roads…

Here’s a great video about the strange plot twists that have made “Planet of the Apes” so famous.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: 2017 Fellowship to theOffice

Looking for a writer’s sanctuary? A place where you can leave the distractions of life behind and sit down in peace to put words on the page? That’s what we offer here at theOffice – a quiet, communal workspace on the westside of Los Angeles. We have a roster of A-list screenwriters, novelists and more, but sometimes the cost of membership can be too much for up-and-coming writers. That’s why we started our free fellowship over 7 years ago and we’re thrilled once again to offer it to you.

Announcing the 2017 FREE 6-MONTH FELLOWSHIP TO THEOFFICE!

It works like this:

You send us a sample of your best piece of writing along with a short email explaining why this fellowship is right for you. Our judges select one winner who will receive 6 months of free 24/7* access to the space. This is equivalent to a Premium Membership, the highest level of membership we offer, worth upwards of $2700. The winner gets a private door code to access the space even when staff isn’t here. You wanna write at 2AM on a Wednesday night? The space is all yours. You also get all the other perks of membership including free coffee/tea, Wifi, Aeron workstations and all the peace and quiet you need to get the job done.

theOfficeThis year’s fellowship starts September 1st and goes through February 28th, 2018. It is completely free to enter. The winner will be announced the last week of August. Open to all new/aspiring/up-and-coming writers who are looking to kick their productivity into overdrive. Think of this as your own writer’s retreat right here in the city.

This year’s fellowship will be judged by 3 current members of theOffice:

Mark Cullen
A Hollywood vet and longtime member here at theOffice, Mark is the creator of numerous TV shows including Mr. Robinson (with Craig Robinson), Back in the Game (James Caan), Heist, Gary the Rat (Kelsey Grammer) and Lucky (John Corbett). He also co-wrote the feature Cop Out (with Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan).

Nicole LaPorte
Nicole is a contributing writer for Fast Company magazine, where she writes about entertainment business and technology. She was formerly a Senior West Coast reporter for Newsweek/The Daily Beast, and a monthly columnist for the New York Times Sunday Business section. She’s also the author of The Men Who Would Be King: Moguls, Movies and a Company called DreamWorks.

David Scarpa
David’s screenplay All the Money in the World made the 2015 Blacklist and is currently filming with Ridley Scott at the helm, starring Mark Wahlberg, Kevin Spacey and Michelle Williams. Other screenwriting credits include The Day the Earth Stood Still (Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Connelly, Kathy Bates) and The Last Castle (Robert Redford, James Gandolfini, Mark Ruffalo).

Pretty cool, right? Okay, so here’s what we need from you…

  1. An email with your contact information: Full name, phone, and email address. We will contact the winner via email.
  2. In the body of the email, please briefly explain why you want this fellowship and what you hope to gain from it.
  3. A 10 page pdf writing sample of your work. Attach this to the email. Your best 10 pages. Do not submit pages that need to be set up or explained. Send 10 pages that stand alone. Only pdf submissions please. All other attachments will be deleted.

Email to: theOfficeFellowship@gmail.com by August 8th, 2017. That’s it. You’re done!


theOffice3Some important points to remember:

  • Do your research on theOffice. Don’t submit if you’re not local, if you’re not sure you’ll be available, if you don’t like writing in a room with others. If you live across town and hate the commute, this isn’t right for you. If you don’t flourish in a quiet space, skip it. We want this to be of major value to the winner. Serious submissions only, please.
  • If you’ve never been to theOffice and would like to try things out before submitting, please do! We offer a FREE WEEK to all newcomers. Just be sure to call or email us first, on the day, for availability. Contact info here. More photos of the space here.
  • The fellowship is open to ALL up-and-coming writers. Submit 10 pages of your screenplay, play, short story, novel, memoir, poem, article, etc. We’ll read it all.
  • By “up-and-coming” we mean you can have no feature film credits as a writer on IMDb (short films are okay) and no more than 1 hour of television credit as a writer on IMDb. For authors, we just want to make sure you’re not someone with a three book deal and money to spare. This is for new/aspiring/struggling writers only.
  • DEADLINE TO ENTER IS AUGUST 8th, 2017. No submissions accepted past midnight PST.
  • You must have sole writing credit for the sample pages you submit. This fellowship is for one (1) free premium membership and is non-transferable.
  • If you have any questions, please either comment here, email theOfficeFellowship@gmail.com or ask us on Twitter: @theOffice_LA. theOffice staff will NOT be able to assist you with the fellowship, so please DO NOT call, email, or drop by theOffice with fellowship questions.
  • Current members of theOffice are not eligible.
  • Winner will be notified and announced by August 31st.

This is an opportunity to take your craft and career to the next level. If you are looking for a place to be inspired, a place to write with the big guns, a place to get it done, submit now. We look forward to reading your work!theOffice Exterior

*theOffice is closed to ALL members on Mondays 6PM-11PM and Saturdays 8AM-10AM due to outside rentals. Otherwise, the space is yours.

Friday Fun – A Writer’s Arsenal

Repin if you need this mug! #readinghumor http://writersrelief.com/

You can refer to me as a writer, but I prefer wizard. Now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about the writer’s arsenal. I have a few things that help me get through my day, and through my writing. These are personal, but if you want to be a wizard you can use them too.

  • Coffee – This isn’t just about coffee, but more about how you start your day. It can be tea, green juice, really whatever wakes you up. Working out can get your mind started in a way no drink can as well. The point is, don’t let your day start as a drag. Start with something you look forward to, like the first sip of that pour over coffee, or running a mile. Get that mind running and fueled up for the day. I do green juice, workout, and then coffee. Yes, I’m a little strange, but trust me it’s a great way to start the day.
  • Checklist – This is a great way to get all of the little things out of the way. When I take a look at my checklist in the morning, I know how good it’ll feel to check off each item, no matter how small. When I don’t check something off it nags at me, and that sense of guilt that I get is a great motivational tool. I like to create goals that are daily, and fit properly in with the day I have planned. If the little goals are too rigid it’s easy to get caught up in. Life happens. Checklists have been great procrastination killers for me too. The point is to work towards the big goal every day.
  • The Big Goal – When waking up, the big goal is the thing that makes me jump out of bed every day. This is a lifelong goal. Not to finish a certain amount of pages, or to finish the script, but something that will last long after that. The big goal for me is to share my vision with the world. My vision may change from script to script, but I write about what I think is important every day, and that is the most important tool in my arsenal.

There are all sorts of tools you can use to create a better day and writing environment. If you utilize them, your odds of success could skyrocket. Now make me proud and write something!

Friday Fun – Weekend Writing

Saturday Morning Thoughts: 

“I can’t open my eyes. Just a little more sleep.” 

One hour later. “It was National Donut Day last week….. Mmmmmm dooonnuuuts…” 

One hour later. “Wasn’t it National Best Friend Day the other day? I mean, I didn’t even find out until 11:50 P.M. I’m going to celebrate that today. Bff’s for life!”

‪Guilty… 😂 If you really do want to write, it’s a good idea to set aside a specific time to do it. Don’t leave any wiggle room! 
Don’t be a Homer.