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E.C. Henry

Your use of clouds in this post to help illustrate some of the joy and frustrations of being a writer was AWESOME. I find myself "writing even when I'm not" phenomenom happening all the time. I'll like drift off thinking about something in the script. Like a cloud in the sky it's there -- then poof like a dream it's gone! So much of writing is like following clouds and chasing that rainbow for the pot of gold where the moments that make scenes memorible are found.

Anyway, currently I'm penning a new romantic comedy, and in the initial outlining stage I actually used your 7 basic romantic comedy beats that you laid out in your "Writing the Romantic Comedy." Page 109 - 117 in the paperback. Wrote them out, then how this script would use 'em. Structurewise the only beat I changed was the position of the "cute meet." In this new story I'm writing it happens in early ACT II, kinda like the Gerarld Butler/Hillary Swank delayed "cute meet" was in "P.S. I Love You."

Well-p, back to writing. Time to chase those clouds again!

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA


Yes, it's a strange tension, when to work and when to let it go for a while. I never get it right.

Interestingly, I started a little project the other day that began sitting at the bar of my regular haunt where I'd go and scribble nonsense in a book, passing time. About two months later I realized that I'd started something that could go somewhere and I've been working on it ever since.

But it basically began as time-killing, random scribblings.


I do a lot of writing while I'm driving.

...this could be why people frequently honk at me. And why I've nearly killed myself 20 times.


As I was reading this I was thinking that the two posts, together, are not unlike the advice people give to their friends who want to fall in love. Get out there! But also: Love will find you just when you stop looking for it!


I've always felt that for me, as a writer, I am constantly "writing" throughout my day. Sometimes it is day dreaming a scene, sometimes it is capturing phrases or ideas or bits of dialogue that interest me and I want to use letter, sometimes it is composing whole scenes. Other times, you need to know when to connect inspiration.

I don't think it is particular to writing. I'm sure Kobe Bryant thinks about basketball all day, or Sotamayor about law, or Obama on politics. When you love something, it is what you think about.

Karl Iglesias

As a regular reader of your blog, I thought a couple of the quotes in your article were familiar, so I looked them up in my book, The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriters, and was surprised my instinct was correct. Amy Holden Jones' and Tom Shulman's quotes were reproduced verbatim without attribution. I don't mind the fair use, really, in fact, I'm flattered, knowing you're a fan of the book. But I'd appreciate you mentioned where you got the quote with a link to Amazon, if it's not too much trouble. Thanks.

cynthia newberry martin

Nice post. We've been discussing just sitting down and writing something on my blog, and as you point out, this side of writing--when you're not--is often neglected. Great quotes, too.

Christian H.

Hey Billy,
I totally agree that writing takes a LOT of forms. Because I use an outline structure, I'm writing even when I'm not near a PC.

I work out interactions, double-crosses, how to make the scene more dramatic, whether I should go for funny or poignant, etc.

The thriller I consider my Master's thesis had me blocked for weeks. Finally I stepped back from my thoughts and went back to the Internet (research) and found the answer.

The scene worked even better. I was able to get a better transition, more realism, more suspense.

So I write when I write. I think my biggest problem right now is that I have 6 scripts being processed.

I think it helps though because sometimes thnking about ta comedy will get me a "sarcastically funny" line in a thriller and vice-versa.


Mernitman - What great posts! I'm sending my readers to you. xxo


EC: I'd try to scootch up that meet as close to the top of Act 2 as possible.

Bill: That is so cool. You got to drink!

J: Writers on the Road: Threat or Menace?

Kate: To be is a contradiction. (Or not.)

Eric: The not thinking about it directly part is the part that intrigues me.

Karl Iglesias has graciously agreed to keep speaking to me, after I red-facedly updated the post as it should have been posted.

Welcome Cynthia: And are you familiar with Karl's book?

Christian: Six, eh? And do you have staff?

Barbara: Yeah, but could you send donuts? Because now they're all camped out in our yard.

Christian H.

No staff. Unfortuantely. I actually picked up a script I put on the back burner yesterday as there's a similar project in the works. So that's seven.

But that's just active. The total number of started outlines is around 100.

That's not bad for two years and A LOT of them are high concept

It's one of those topics I'm surprised hasn't become more popular for movies - video games - and no NOT movies based on games.

karen from mentor

Everything I see, touch, smell, taste and hear eventually works its way into my writing somewhere.
I'm just glad that my brain never runs out of index cards.
Oh, sometimes one of idea index cards gets mangled when I leave it in the metaphorical pocket of my jeans and it goes through the washer/dryer, but the experience often only makes it stronger when I unroll the soggy little mess.

Great post.

Karen :)

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