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Showing posts from October 12, 2020

Michael Neff Loses it at the Office

Yes, that's me in my younger days. But where was this version of Michael Neff? In the AEI Films and Books office in LA? Yes, that's it. I was a development executive then, yes, and holding a workshop there, attempting to talk a few genre writers into analyzing structure in screenplays before rewriting their novels.  So why did I become crazed? Rejecting a bad manuscript, or maybe a terrible pitch? That must have been it. A pitch too far, and I lost it. I tried to be patient, but it didn't work. The writer was a narcissist, a flipping ego maniac, thus escorting me to the brink, to the point where I actually resembled the Cage man himself! Look at the Cage man! What is he saying here? "I'm sorry, Alva, it's just too late. Too late to add a plot line with a cliffhanger. It's all TOO LATE!!!" To which the now terrified writer replies: "I'm sorry, Mr. Neff, I'll search passionately for a plot, and premise first, yes ... a p

Boot "Was" For More Verve

DO NOT ALLOW "TO BE" VERBS TO DOMINATE YOUR NARRATIVE Overuse of "was" and "were": an all too common feature of many young manuscripts. Yes, Janet Evanovich might use them a lot, or another author like Orson Scott Card, sure, but why do you wish to copy them? You're not Evanovich or Card, so the odds you can get away with instances of passive writing are much slimmer. Besides, why not write prose narrative that possesses more verve due to the liberal application of stronger verbs and more interesting sentence structure? Even Janet could benefit now and then!   Let's make a comparison. And keep an eye on "had" and "have" also: "Her love for the Kensai had driven her mad at times and there were moments when she had desired that this emotion was less overwhelming, but that would have made her ambitions for them less realizable. She knew also there was no way to know what form her love would take or if i