Interviews On Writing

“Full Moon” Interview at …

As part of a free eBook promotion for Full Moon this past weekend, I was interviewed by Ellen at … Here’s the link:

Author interview with David Belisle of ‘Full Moon’


On Writing

A Novel Future …

It’s been two years since I stowed the Morgan Freeman narration and leaped the Grand Canon separating screenplays and novels. I do however keep an eye on the future of animation software. I recently tested Plotagon with a scene from my “Newfie, Come Home!” script … which can be viewed here.

The folks at Plotagon say that within five years their animations will be realistic. The technology is impressive, so much so that you can’t help but wonder what’s in store for authors and screenwriters.

I see a day within the next ten years where — much like the app craze where every computer geek was holed up writing apps for our phones — hordes of writers will get busy adapting novels to screenplay format allowing the animation software to take the story from page to video.

What would this mean? Actors images and voices would need to be licensed. The end-user would chose the story they want to see, select the actor for each character and hit play. A percentage of the viewer’s payment for the movie would go back to the actors. The new “B” movie list might include actors and famous people that have passed away more that 70 years ago, thus placing their image and voice in the non-costly ‘public domain.’ In the next few years, W.C. Fields, Al Capone, Babe Ruth, Gandhi, Al Jolson and George Orwell will join that domain. Imagine the possibilities.

J.K. Rowling is one step ahead of us writers. Her “Cursed Child” is ready to roll out already as a script. Take heart. The rest of us may not have to wait to be best-selling authors to see our works on the screen. The animation technology is a hungry machine and we have so many great stories ready for it to digest.



On Writing

Thank you, J.K. Rowling! …

Those whoops and hollers you hear from the Writing Well Spring are playwrights and screenwriters delirious with glee at J.K. Rowling’s fantastic foray … ahem, entrance into these two formats. Her just released Harry Potter and the Cursed Child stage play and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay, coming in November, are two deliciously demented wand blasts to the old adage, “nobody reads screenplays.”

They do now. Cursed Child sold 2 million copies in 2 days in U.S./Canada. Rejoice thy screenwriter within. Come hither! Come yon! There’s Ideas Begat and Thoughts Provoked in them thar pages. Plenty of eye-friendly white space too. Oh, the speed we will read. Want to know what a character is thinking? Dialogue and action. That’s it. That’s all. God knows Morgan Freeman won’t be around forever. Tally ho and take note thy nuance. Don’t blink, you may miss the small town of Symbolism.

Has the writing establishment come full circle? Forgive the foreshadowing, has the fair lady Rowling reconnected us to Shakespeare?

Stay tuned … a future blog will delve, dear reader, into just what awaits said screenplay and story for you.

Thanks again, J.K., for making magic.

On Writing

Are you adding to the heap? …

As a precursor to this blog, 100,000 of you have seen the “Make Your Bed Everyday” YouTube video featuring the sage advice of Navy Seal Admiral McRaven. If you haven’t, take a peek here:

Without stepping on the Admiral’s spit-polished shoes, may I add my own self-help wisdom for those hours following a well-made bed … when the naysayers’ supposed dust mites are in a mating frenzy.

Are you adding to the heap? No, this is not Mount Underwear in the corner. This ‘heap’ is the lily-white Pile of Good Things. Everyday you should make an effort to do at least one thing that places you one concrete step further down your path in life. This could be anything regarding your health, your family, your career, your financial security,  your faith, etc. After all, isn’t spirit the sidekick of religion?

This is not about keeping up the Jones’s. Fads and trends continue … but is 2016 the year we finally stop chasing this poor family? … Neither is this about he who has the most toys at the end wins.

‘Adding to the heap’ is goal-setting reduced to its simplest form. You’ve made your bed (or not). Now what? Add to your heap. Have lunch with your daughter, run that 20 minutes on the elliptical, write that 3-page scene, create that e-book cover, jot down that story idea that will be the novel you’re working on in 3 years because there are two other ideas ahead of it, etc.

Without getting too technical, Heap Diversification is key. True writers can get by living in a box with a view. Don’t forget to share those views outside that box with those who need you because you need them. Socialize.

At the end of the day, when you climb into your made or unmade bed, you can look back and tell yourself you’ve done something productive, something that advances your lot in life and something you can hang your hat on. Your actions are tangible. They tell you that you won the day and not the other way around. Effort is the surrogate mother to success.

There’s no gold medal for the biggest heap … because the smallest action may bring the most memorable reward.

I hope I’ve added to your heap. Good luck.


On Writing

SATAN helped me do it …

You’ve written a screenplay and pitched it to the world. Incredibly, all have taken a pass. But it’s a great story that deserves to be told. Somewhere. Do not despair. You are one lucky writer … a prime candidate … destined to meet SATAN.

Religious denominations aside, SATAN stands for Screenplay Adapted To A Novella. Countless Oscar movies have been adapted from novels. It’s time to spin Oscar and breathe life into that screenplay that has reached the depths of your despair.

Having recently completed two successful “conversions”, I found similarities in the process and report now on how you too can make SATAN work for you. There is a method to the madness. The Six Sins then — so there’s no confusion — needed to play the game.

It’s Okay to Read …

The only people who read scripts are Hollywood, Bollywood and Elijah Wood. The rest of the world reads books.

Unplug The Slug Line …

Plains of white space will disappear as you hack and slash slug lines, pausing only to make the Nebraska corn field more than just the “EXT — NEBRASKA CORN FIELD — DAY” it once was. The husks, combines and Stephen King scarecrow now beckon for you to set the mood and tone.

Behold The Voice …

Remember that little voice in your head you were holding back as you conveyed the character’s thoughts only through action and dialogue?  It’s time to release this hound … to corral your thoughts and provide the much-needed narrative string through the story.

The Bat Out of Hell …

You will quickly find that your screenplay by nature moves incredibly fast. You will know when to ease off the gas pedal to let the reader breathe. Just pretend you’re driving through a school zone every five pages. Slow down. Then again, comedy writers have a lead foot.

Weight Watchers Beware …

Where your screenplay was once a lean, sleek animal able to leap 90 pages in a single bound, you now need to add meat to the bone. How much meat? I hear the echo already … a story is as long as it needs to be. If you’re looking for a 300-page novel, you’ll need more than a week or two with SATAN. In that case, you’ll be heading back to your outline with major renovations to the story’s soul. SATAN promises a much quicker turnaround.

For the two novellas (Forever We Play and Screwball) I adapted from screenplays, I found that I added 6,000 and 4,000 words respectively to their already existing lengths of about 19,000 words each. Thus, the ‘N’ in SATAN stands for Novella.

Saving Grace …

Lo and behold. When you’re done, at the very least you have a novella you may peddle as an ebook on Amazon. You’ve put an end to that other little voice harping in your head, “Nobody reads screenplays.” It will now be saying, “Ching, ching, revenue stream.”

Your story can now be heard. Thank you, SATAN.