Give Them Some Wants

Ask yourself this: what do my characters want? Not just your main character, which is a huge ginormous duh. You know, the other guys running around in your world.

Recently I watched a very funny BBC sitcom called ‘Whites’ which features a dysfunctional kitchen crew in a high-end eatery. In this show, every character has wants:

  • Roland wants Caroline
  • Bibs wants a baby
  • Skoose wants Bib’s job
  • Kiki wants Skoose
  • Caroline want slacker Roland to work harder and be more open-minded with his menu
  • Celia want Roland

Some of these are big wants, some are small wants. But they all want something.  It’s a great way to add definition to your characters: give them some wants.

TSA Contest, Good for the Environment! And totally vegan! Num!

1000 other screenwriting contest are out there. We’re primarily an educational organization and thus, our contest is created in such of way to provide education to empower you, the writer, to become better.

We also offer opportunities for our winning writers to develop relationships with people already working in the business where they can learn, grow and further develop their career.

Excelling within our contest can be utilized to help lend credibility to a writer’s skills as well as adding a nice shout out on their query letter.

So get onto the Contest Page to start your submission!!!

Your foriegn film suggestion of the week (possibly year)

If you are into foreign films, you may want to consider the following–

Therese Raquin (1953)–This black and white French film-noir centers on a dispirited housewife who brazenly begins an affair with a brawny trick driver.

Take My Eyes (2005)–In this Spanish drama, a battered wife flees her violent husband and struggles to start a new life as he desperately tries to win her back.

Story of a Love Affair (1950)–Consumed by the thought that his young wife is cheating on him, Enrico hires a detective to tail her in this quirky Italian thriller about jealousy, passion and betrayal.

All of these are available on Netflix streaming.

The Taming of the Logline

A good logline is a tough construct; On the surface it appears quite lucid, written in an elequent prose that’s easy on the eyes. Ostensibly a child could have written it, right?  To the contrary.  The logline is a beastly rap that needs taming.  In one line (maybe two), it is the soul of the tale:

genre, protagonist, goal, conflict

IE: War Movie – In WW2, a U.S. Army Captain must lead a squad on a mission through the Normandy invasion to locate one lone solider and bring him out of harm’s way. – Saving Private Ryan

All there before the period. And a great logline goes one step further: it compels. It is an enchanting siren in an ocean of sub-par one-liners, enticing the reader to Read me! Watch me!  There are some that can’t resist it’s call.  Instead of writing ninety or so pages, try boiling your tale down to one sentence.  Easier said than done.

It’s an amazing thing…

When the professionals show up.  In case you didn’t know, Tinseltown is a long ways away.  Getting professional guidance on the use of said tinsel is rare in these here parts; but when the miracle happens it is a breath of fresh air.  This week in our screenwriting meeting was just such an occasion.  Two of our members received feedback on their material from one of our professional screenwriters who happened to be in town this week (note the deliberate use of the possessive pronoun ‘our’–our shall remain nameless for the time being).  With the precision of a skilled surgeon, our carefully dissected their work and provided a delicate balance of constructive criticism and encouragement.  The feedback was delivered with finesse.  The porridge was just right.   For this writer, it is hard to recieve any other kind of critique.  We are fortunate to have our drop by from time to time.  If you weren’t there, you missed out.

It’s the start of a new day…

We writers are an enigmatic bunch; hesitant to embrace technology dedicated to the purpose of promoting the written word, we’ve meddled in our archaic traditions way too long.   But this is no more.  Welcome to the new TSA website!   We will strive to keep it updated with not only the latest and greatest TSA information but also news and information about screenwriting happenings both local and abroad.    Do you know when and where we meet?   It’s on here.  By all means, come and visit.  Want to get feedback on that great american screenplay you’ve written?   Become a member and pitch your story to us.   There are professionals (professional=screenwriter that has worked and been paid in Hollywood) amongst us from time to time.  Okay, enough already.   To the new I say welcome and to the been there done thats I say welcome back.

Bill Middleton

TSA President 2013