Jennie Evenson

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Jennie Evenson is the author of "Shakespeare for Screenwriters" (Michael Wiese, 2013) and the forthcoming "Storytelling Secrets of the Masters." As a writer in LA, Evenson worked as a consultant for Netflix and developed ideas at production houses from DreamWorks to Focus Features. You can follow her on Twitter: @JM_Evenson

Posts by Jennie Evenson 39 results

Why Are So Many Viewers Obsessed with HBO’s “Succession”? The Answer is (Maybe) Shakespeare

[***This article contains SPOILERS for seasons 1 & 2 of HBO’s “Succession.”] There’s something odd about HBO’s hit television show “Succession.” It’s not the well-deserved accolades and prestigious nominations – that’s normal. No, it’s the rabid fandom that’s odd. From the “No Context Succession” Twitter ...

Picking the Perfect Story To Tell

You’ve got an idea for a screenplay. In fact, you’ve got three – plus the one your taxi driver is pitching you right now about space whales enmeshed in a bitter divorce. All the ideas are good, but you’ve only got a limited amount of time to spend writing. Maybe you’ve got a day job, or kids, or very needy cats that have trapped you ...

Why Do Character Arcs Matter, Anyway?

Picture this: We open on a girl’s frightened face. She’s wearing a red riding cloak of some kind and she’s scrunched up in a very tight space. We hear her voiceover: “It was dark inside the wolf.” Then, she stays there and does nothing and nothing changes. The End. Wouldn’t it be better to see the girl master her fear, wrench her ...

What Are Your Characters Hiding?

You’ve got a secret. Don’t you? If you’re like most of us, you have a secret you don’t want anyone to know. Maybe you’re wearing mismatched socks, maybe you’re the lunchbox thief at work, or maybe you’re a hundred rats in a trench coat posing as a Brazilian spy. The point is: most of us know what it means to worry someone will find out our secret, leaving us vulnerable to rejection and shame.

Five Things To Know Before You Write for Kids

Writing for kids can be lucrative. Books, movies, graphic novels, cartoons, and television shows aimed at children make up a huge segment of the storytelling market. The stories can get paired with toys and other products, which increases revenue, and some kids ask to re-watch items they’ve already seen, which means even more revenue.

Self-Care While Writing the Great American Screenplay

Everyone knows writing can be stressful. Not a writer alive publicly proclaims “this is always extremely easy!” and lives to tell the tale, especially if they have murderously jealous writer friends. Art isn’t always simple and effortless. There are ups, downs, and a lot of quiet space in between which you can spend slowly breaking down and digesting your own mind. It can be challenging.

The Four Types of “Yes” in Hollywood and What They Actually Mean

Every writer dreams of the day when a producer reads their script and shouts out a jubilant “YES!” when asked if they like it. We all want to be an overnight success giving an awards speech thanking those people who have been nice to us and there are probably more than a few of us who want to name every single one of our enemies until the music starts at which point we will produce a megaphone from under our dress and continue.

Want To Grow As A Writer? Try These Things

Anyone reading this article is probably looking to grow as a writer. Growth is one of the hardest things to do as a creative person, but most people who have ‘made it’ in this business will tell you it is a necessary and never-ending process. There’s no one Promised Land of Perfection where everything you write will be easy and flawless. The best any writer can do is work hard and keep learning.

10 Must-Read Quotes From Famous Directors

Filmmaking how-to articles offer us fresh ideas and new methods for creating material. Anyone looking to grow as a filmmaker needs to be constantly working on growing as an artist.

5 Tips on Writing Opening Scenes

When we talk about screenwriting rules, Hollywood legend Frank Capra said it best: “There are no rules in filmmaking. Only sins. And the cardinal sin is dullness.”

4 Things To Know Before Writing A Horror Movie

Horror movies and televisions shows are a perennial favorite among audiences. The storylines tap into our single most primal animal desire—to survive—and give us space to imagine how we would react if we were put into the same situation. But there’s more to horror than jump scares and music. It’s a complicated beast, as any director will tell you—and it’s not as easy as it may look.

5 Old School Ways To Write A Cult Classic

Everyone in Hollywood wants to write a cult classic. Who doesn’t want a crazed fandom going berserk over your movie and watching it obsessively while memorizing every single line and getting permanent tattoos on their arms in the shape of your main character’s face? That’s the dream, folks. Cult classics aren’t always the ones that garnered critical acclaim when they hit the theatres, but they’ve all found an extraordinary afterlife in the imagination of their viewers. If you’re one of those writers who dreams of writing a cult classic, let’s take a look at some of our favorites and see what makes them tick.
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