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For Screenwriters

Updated: Jun 29, 2023

While Blockbuster Living looks and smells like it belongs in the self-help section at the airport bookstore, it does double duty for the screenwriting crowd. And it might just help you get over writer's block.

Let me explain. “Blockbuster Living” is about transposing what works in Hollywood storytelling onto real life. The book braids memoir, our love of filmed entertainment and its formula of success onto our daily routine of family, love, work, faith, and the big question that is always lingering: what do we really want?

The story of how “Blockbuster Living” came to be is actually part of the book. Writing it was my version of a mini-movie that began like most filmed entertainment does with a hero in a funk with some unfinished business to attend to. Into this mix came a catalyst– that thing, news, information, event– that launches you into the story, and voila, the “Blockbuster Book Writing” movie had begun. The catalyst in my case or the letter that got me out from under the stairs, to use a Harry Potter reference, was Jamie, my wife, asking me one day if I’d be interested in moving to L.A. I was. And we moved here in late 2020 (with COVID raging).

This book is about understanding our stories and trying to affect outcomes with some intentional action. I use examples from movies, how the industry works, and the three-act traditional Hollywood paradigm to illustrate the ideas. We all watch a lot of drama these days so why not glean some story essentials from it? Suspend disbelief. I did and wrote this book.

As for screenwriting, and as a life-long student of the form, I discovered that understanding the craft with my own drama makes many of the concepts much stickier than what I’ve gleaned from other sources. Living it makes brings the craft to life. Concepts like plot points when they are identified with events you've experienced make their structural significance stand out. From there, art imitates life, and writing flows. (Of course with a few more explosions and evil villains thrown in.)

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