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May 29, 2012

Craig and John take a look at the difference between plot and story with some help from the Littlest Pet Shop and Game of Thrones.

Plot answers the "what" questions: What happens next? What is in the mysterious vault? What secret was the dowager keeping?

Story, however, is much more concerned with the "whos" and "hows"...

May 22, 2012

John and Craig open the listener mailbag and sprint through twenty questions in just under an hour.

➤ When John sets a timer for himself, what is his work/break interval sweet spot? (1:12)

➤ How do you break up with your manager? (2:16)

➤ Are there any tricks for organizing files when writing out of order?...

May 15, 2012

Screenwriters can learn story and structure, but the ability to create real, tangible characters is more elusive and ultimately more important.

The best gauge of good writing is whether a screenplay's characters feel distinct and alive. A lot of that comes from how the characters speak: what they say and how they say...

May 8, 2012

John and Craig open the 36th Scriptnotes with a brief discussion about contracts, and then face writer's block head on.

"Writer's block" is an overused term. When a writer claims to be suffering from it, he is usually wrestling with some combination of three common problems: procrastination, perfectionism, and...

May 1, 2012

On the 35th episode of Scriptnotes, John and Craig discuss the small, currently leaderless world of Walt Disney Studios, along with its challenges and opportunities.

With so many of Disney's distribution slots taken up by DreamWorks, Marvel, Pixar and Bruckheimer, whoever gets the job of chief probably won't be making...