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 45 results

Does the World Really Need Your Art?

Human beings have always felt the need to express themselves, beginning with cave drawings of buffalo and spears. The same impulse moves through current poetry, drama, music, and dance. We need art -- it is a fundamental part of human existence. That’s right: I’m calling screenwriters artists. I’m not saying every movie ever written ...

Three Ways to Avoid Tired Clichés in Your Script

Most of us have watched a movie scene that was horribly cliché. Maybe you’ve seen a frustrated detective take a shower and put one hand on the wall. Maybe you’ve seen a fight scene that involves the hero literally standing up in order to symbolize standing up for himself. Maybe you seen one character get injured and the other one treats ...

How to Avoid Being Jealous of Other Writers

Most writers feel jealous at one point in their lives. You might know a writer who is working on a television show you love, or they’re making more money than you are, or they’re getting the critical acclaim you crave. Maybe you’re jealous of the way they put together words, especially if you’re in a rut. Maybe every time you walk into ...

How to Survive Writing During a Pandemic

Every writer I know is struggling. They’ve got a good reason, too. Writing is tough under the best circumstances, so it’s no surprise that writers are having a hard time getting words on paper during a global pandemic that threatens our collective economic future. We are all doing our best to stay safe and help others.

Want To Create Dynamic Drama? Try this

Everyone wants to add more dynamic drama to their screenplays. It doesn’t matter if it’s a comedy or a horror film, drama is the secret sauce that makes a story great. Without it, the story falls flat. But how do we dial up the drama? What are some ways we drizzle that secret drama sauce all over our writing? Let’s take a look. ...

How To Use Personal Experience As A Writing Tool

Advice on writing usually starts with a grand statement about digging deep into your soul and unearthing a secret golden story that will bewitch the masses. If you can do this, so be it. But what if your soul is filled with…a lot of boring freeway commutes punctuated by frustrating phone calls with the insurance company over that one claim ...

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.
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