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TV or Not TV

I am so excited to introduce our guest blogger today, Pang-Ni (pronounced “Bonnie”) Landrum. “Writer. Mom. Food Truck Follower.” I’ve known Pang-Ni since high school, and she’s awesome in so many ways…but today, she’s awesome because she’s here to talk about writing for TV…or not.

TV or Not TV… Should that be the question?

As a writer who’s been fortunate to have made a career in television, I sometimes find myself falling for the cliche “the grass is always greener…,” thinking my life would somehow be more magical if I were writing for a different medium (movies, books, etc). Likewise, I’ve encountered other screenwriters, both in movies and TV, who, tired of the grind, dream of leaving Los Angeles to embark on writing the great American novel. Which got me wondering… is it ever the other way around? Do novelists ever consider becoming a screenwriter, specifically a TV writer? If, as an author, you’ve thought, “Hey, I could write for television,” here are a few things* to consider before dipping your toe into the Hollywood pool.

RESEARCH FOR DUMMIES

Let me begin by admitting that I hate research. 

Out Write, Out Pray, Out Last

Riddle me this. When is real life like a game of Survivor? When you’re a writer.

Okay. Yes. I’m a little obsessed with the show. I’ve been watching Survivor since the conception. If you don’t watch the show, I’ll explain it to you. So I’m stuck on this island, which I guess is a metaphor for my career. It’s an uninhabited island. Meaning it pretty much sucks, otherwise it would be inhabited. Right? Some days the sun shines brightly on my career—beg your pardon—I mean island. Most of the time the rain pummels me. I’m cold, wet, starving and I’ve got sand in my crack—uh—sorry—bathing suit. 

Kiss Me Like You Mean It

Kate did a terrific blog post a while back entitled ‘How much sex do you need?’ and it sparked an interesting discussion about sex vs. sexual tension. Most of us agreed that we preferred the build-up of sexual tension in romance novels to the actual “sex scenes”. But since February is the month of romance, I’m going to let you in on my favorite part of writing romance: The Kiss. Whether it’s the first kiss, or the kiss that let’s someone know they’re falling in love, or even that desperate, all consuming kiss of goodbye, it says so much without having to utter a word.

Soulmates, Do You Believe?

I was flipping channels recently and stumbled across the movie The Notebook. Against my better judgement, Rachel McAdams pulled me into the story, and I watched it to the end. And cried, like I knew I would.

Writing Three-Dimensional Villians

I’m riveted by fictional villains.  Sociopaths, psychotics, psychopaths, megalomaniacs, “The Big Bad”…whatever you call them, whatever their psychological damage – bring ’em on.  

Sequel Jitters

This weekend I saw the movie Nine.  I adore Rob Marshall (director of Chicago), and I found myself duly wowed by the visual candy even as I was wrenched by the wrenching emotional drama. 

Nine, for those who’ve never heard of the Broadway play or current film adaptation, is the story of Guido Contini, an Italian director of the Cinema Moderna period (think Fellini) who is struggling to put together his ninth film.  He was hailed as a genius (a maestro) for his early work, but his last few have been unanimously declared to be flops.  A jaw-dropping parade of women act as his inspiration as he wrestles with his latest attempt at immortality.

Fight! Fight! Writing Effective Action Scenes

I knew when I sat down to write a story that I wanted to have swords in it. But I didn’t know a thing about how to write action. That breathtaking fight plays out well on the movie screen, but in writing? Turns out the best way to write an action scene is to NOT describe the action.

Ten Dollars Will Buy You A Really Cool Word That’ll Change The Way You Write

Warning: Strap yourself down.  This is a long blog.  My bad.

I’m totally up for another round of blogging that isn’t really blogging, but more like a writing lesson … again.  I guess the question is, are you?

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