What Happened to John Carpenter’s GHOSTS OF MARS?

“John Carpenter is huge to me for many reasons, three of which are ‘They Live,’ ‘Christine,’ and the fact that he lived only one block away from me on Wonderland Avenue back when residing in Laurel Canyon was cool.” Larry Brody

Writer-Director John Carpenter has been a cult fave for 5 decades, and deservedly so. Even our Beloved Leader Larry Brody is a fan.

Occasionally, however, in Mr. Carpenter’s work can go very, very wrong. Ghosts of Mars is one of those occasions, and yet in its failure there is a kind of success because – so many lessons to learn!

This and More From Ryan Hollinger

Re-Thinking Writer’s Block

Rethinking – yet again – that lively condition/situation/happenstance known near and far as Writer’s Block (or Writers’ Block, or Writers Block) because, hey, it beats trying to write, yeah?

by Will Dowd

Writer’s block is a serious disease. Whether it manifests as blank page syndrome or second novel disorder, the onset of symptoms is the same: an arthritic cramp in the creative faculty, a feverish spike of self-consciousness, and a peculiar amnesia that leaves the writer wondering how he or she ever managed to compose a single sentence.

Writer’s block does not discriminate—it’s as likely to strike a Nobel Laureate as a food blogger. And it seems to be contagious, judging by how readily it spreads in the humid hothouse of the MFA writing workshop.

For some the condition is fatal. In his early 30s, Samuel Taylor Coleridge was beset by a poetic paralysis that never lifted; Herman Melville was rendered effectively mute after Moby Dick; and Joseph Mitchell waged a brave but losing battle against the disease, showing up to his New Yorker office every day for 32 years without publishing a word.

Naturally, so-called “cures” abound. The internet is a repository of folk remedies ranging from the slightly embarrassing (write a stern letter to your writer’s block) to the absurd (write on a merry-go-round!) to the frankly self-destructive (take up smoking). You can purchase any number of books filled with writing prompts, such as “Tell a story from the pet’s point of view” or “Write a poem set in Finland.” You can try writing naked like Victor Hugo. You can follow Dan Brown’s lead and hang upside down in a pair of gravity boots. Of course, you can always see a shrink.Some writers simply deny they’re afflicted….

Read it all at writersdigest.com

What is Bad Writing?

Lifehacker.Com brings us a fun little article that takes an entertaining and educational look at “3 Successful Writers Stephen King Can’t Stand.”

This is gonna be good:

by Melissa Thompson

Stephen King talking about someone else he can’t stand – the current POTUS

We all have our own list of favorite authors. Some we have decided to keep a secret because we’re afraid of the judgment we’ll face if we say their names out loud. While your friends are making fun of people who read romance novels or light summer reads, you want to raise your hand and say, “HEY! That’s me! I read those! At least I’m reading, you jerks!” And that’s just it—at least you are reading.

In a world where we see people too busy looking down at their phones to check out their latest social feed, you’re sitting outside on your lunch break enjoying a new book. But it’s not only “cultured” readers who look forward to roasting an author they deem as insipid or impuissant. There are other prominent writers out there who have no qualms discussing the literary failings of their peers.

All Hail the King!

Stephen King is one such author who holds nothing back. A New York Timesbestselling novelist, King made a name for himself with his novels CarrieIT, and The Shining. Widely known for his work in the fantasy and horror genres, King has published 55 novels to date and won a vast number of awards for his work.

Despite winning literary awards and having a large number of works published, does that give King the right to degrade another author’s writing? Stephen King fans are inclined to agree; he’s earned the right.” Others that think King’s writing is overwrought will decidedly answer “No, he’s a talentless hack himself.”

There are three popular-selling authors whom King has had less than complimentary remarks for, including Dean Koontz, Stephenie Meyer and James Patterson. King himself has said, “talent is cheaper than table salt. What separated the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” So what is it about the three aforementioned authors that King finds to be abhorrent…?

Read it all at lifehack.org

LB: The Unfulfilled Potential of Video Games

Yes, it’s true. Diablo I is still LB’s absolutely favorite video game. What’s yours?

by Larry Brody

Here at TVWriter™ we haven’t had much to say about video games other than we like ’em. To be a bit more precise, I’ll sum up my feelings about video games and, especially, the writing that goes into them as best I can:

I approach video games the way I do TV shows or books. I’m into them for their world building, storytelling, and characterization. Which means that I end up obsessing on the whole ‘winning’ thing, because if I can’t make it through to the end of the last level it means I’ll finish the ‘book.’

All too often, even the most highly recommended video games fail to be worth all the OCD they demand. Mostly because they rely too much on the act of killing…and dying.

Which is why I found the approach toward games in the following video so, well, let’s say “persuasive.”

This video, which I wish I’d made but – alas! – didn’t, is from Pop Culture Detective, a YouTube channel we highly recommend you VISIT