More about ‘Rejection’ from Mark Evanier

Mark Evanier, one of the biggest writing talents in TV, comic books, and blogging has been writing a series of articles on the subject of rejection as faced by all creative people.

Here’s Mark’s latest installment on the subject. (To be precise, it’s Part 25):

by Mark Evanier

This is a series of articles I’ve written about writing, specifically about the problems faced by (a) the new writer who isn’t selling enough work yet to make a living or (b) the older writer who isn’t selling as much as they used to. To read other installments, click here.

It’s been a while since I posted one of these…so long that the 50-year anniversary of my career as a professional freelance writer has passed. I’m now closing in on 50.5 years of supporting myself as a writer of all sorts of things but mainly comic books, animation for television and live-action shows for television. I have occasionally been paid as a director, producer, editor, artist or letterer but I consider those adjuncts to writing. When someone asks me what I do for a living, I say with no evasion and absolutely no shame, “I’m a writer.”

Here’s another lesson I’ve learned: Don’t get mad at the folks who could hire you and don’t. No matter how incompetent you might think they are…no matter how blind to your talent they seem to be…no matter how they run you around and dangle you and avoid giving you a straight answer, don’t get mad at them. I have met some great, benevolent and wise editors and/or producers — and I’m not saying that because they hired me because some of them didn’t.

Most of those who didn’t didn’t because I wasn’t useful to them. We discussed being “useful” in the previous installment of this column. Now, let’s discuss being cautious…

Try to remember this about that person in the hiring/buying position: They usually aren’t spending their own money. They were hired to buy scripts or hire writers so they have a boss. They may have numerous bosses and they don’t want any of them to say, “Why did you waste all that dough on that lousy script?” One of the reasons that credits and experience matter is that they provide a dandy excuse for those who hire you.

Let’s imagine for a second that I’m in a position that I never want to be in: Developing screenplays for a big movie studio….

Read it all at Mark Evanier’s outstanding blog

See all of the series so far

How to Recharge Your Lost Motivation

The very definition of an article on productivity. For reals!

by Adam Dachis

Even the most motivated people run out of steam sometimes. Maybe you’re exhausted or feel as though your creativity has been depleted, but for whatever reason, you can’t get your act together. Here are a few strategies for recharging your motivation.

Dear Lifehacker,
Lately I’ve been completely unmotivated to do anything. Getting things done at work is a challenge, and it’s even worse at home. My apartment is becoming a mess, I never cook anymore and I’ve been unable to keep up a healthy diet. I don’t feel depressed or all that unhappy—just very unmotivated. Is there anything I can do to recharge?

Dangerously Demotivated

Dear DD,

A lack of motivation is a difficult problem because there are likely many factors contributing to it, but the simplest way to get your motivation back is to do something you want to do. The problem with that is when you’re low on the necessary energy and willpower needed to start a particular task, your motivation is generally re-routed to indulge in something effortless like food or entertainment. Overindulgence, as you’ve likely noticed, only serves to make the problem worse. So what do you do? First, we need to pinpoint what’s causing your lack of motivation and then we need to find ways you can trick yourself into getting it back.

Social rejection can kill your motivation

Motivation can be depleted by a number of sources. A 2012 post by David McRaney, author of the human behavior blog and book You Are Not So Smart, discusses many of them. One study asked a group of students to meet each other and then write down who they’d like to work with on a piece of paper. The researchers conducting the study ignored their choices and told some that they were chosen and others that nobody wanted them. Unsurprisingly, the rejected were unhappy, but here’s how it changed their behavior and why:

Read it all at

2020 Oscar Contending Screenplays and Where to Read Them

Indie Film HUSTLE has done us all a solid with this very, very helpful list of Oscar contending screenplays:

See all that Indie Film HUSTLE has to offer

TVWriter™ recommends Indie Film HUSTLE podcasts


The latest helpful guide to screenplay and teleplay writing from our friends at Script Reader Pro:

by Script Reader Pro

If there’s so much information out there on how to craft the perfect three-act structure, why is it so hard to put it into practice in your own script? Why is it so difficult to know how the hell to fill those 50-60 pages in Act Two?

With close to a million different theories on three-act structure out there, this confusion is easy to understand.

Should you structure your script using Christopher Vogler’s Hero’s Journey or John Truby’s 21 Steps? Or should you go for the Save the Cat Beat Sheet or maybe Syd Field’s classic three-act structure?

In today’s post, we’re going to show you why you should stop fretting over plot points, page numbers and all the different structure theories that are out there. And what to focus on instead.

We’re going to show you the pros and cons of three-act structure and the right way to approach it so it empowers your creativity rather than stifles it.

Here’s what’s coming up:

• What is three-act structure?
• Why three-act structure works
• The problem with this structure
• A better approach
• How to write a story by first forgetting three-act structure
• So, do you really need three-act structure or what?

So let’s dive on in.

First, just what is three-act structure?

As we’ve already mentioned, there are many different screenwriting structure theories out there. However, they all fall into and work in harmony with what’s known as “classic” or “traditional” three-act structure.

Here’s a quick breakdown of classic/traditional three-act structure in a movie screenplay:

A screenplay should be roughly 90-110 pages long.

A single page roughly equals one minute of screen time. So the sweet spot of a 110-page screenplay is about a one-hour-fifty-minute long movie.

Applying a three-act structure divides these pages/minutes up like so:

• Act One: First 25-30 pages/minutes
• Act Two: Second 50-60 pages/minutes
 Act Three: Third 25-30 pages/minutes

Or like this:

• Act One: Beginning/Set-Up
• Act Two: Middle/Confrontation
• Act Three: End/Resolution

Or, as the saying goes:

• Act One: Get your protagonist up a tree
• Act Two: Throw rocks at him or her
• Act Three: Get them down again

More detail on what classic three-act structure entails


BET’s ‘Twenties’ Takes Us on the Journey of an Aspiring TV Writer

Lena Waithe knows how to be the best possible Lena Waithe
Lena Waithe knows how to be the best possible Lena Waithe

Yes, it’s true. Another indie web series has moved upward and onward to the Big Time, this time via BET. Lena Waithe’s series the truth, the whole truth, and – almost (because our memories are fallible and great stories need more drama than we’d like to welcome into our actual lives) – nothing but the truth.

Here’s the cool trailer for Twenties.

And here’s a worthwhile article on the subject.