Posts Tagged ‘articles’

Article: ‘The Perils of an Overactive Imagination’

November 2, 2012

The website of the Israeli Science Fiction and Fantasy Association published my article, The Perils of an Overactive Imagination.


The article is in Hebrew. It was originally published in English at the Apex Publications blog.


The article details what happens to an SF authors’ mind when he stops writing.

‘The Indestructibles’ Film Journal Entry #2: The Auditions

May 7, 2012

The Indestructibles is an independent SF film for the web that I am currently working on. The Apex blog is kind enough to host the monthly film journal. Here’s an excerpt from the second entry:

When you hold auditions, you have to be ready for anything. I mean literally for anything.

Acting well means you’re going to be emotionally exposed, which means that rehearsals as well as auditions can become very personal. A lot of personal stuff comes out. I’ve learned (to my surprise) that when I hold auditions, you can tell me anything, and I’m going to react to it with absolute calm and acceptance. I want the actors to trust me, I want us to be able to work together on a personal level later on. The last thing I want any of them to feel is judgment from me.

If I sat across an actor in an audition and he told me he’d just shot a guy, I’d say “Oh, yeah? How’d that happen?” and my face would not even show surprise. That’s the state of mind I find myself in when I audition.

Read the full entry here.

Introducing: The Indestructibles

March 30, 2012

The Indestructibles is a 45-min science fiction film currently in production. It’s low-budget, intended for the internet, and is an epic film about superheroes… with a twist never seen before in a superhero flick or comic book. I wrote it and am now in the process of directing it.

The Apex Blog is kind enough to host the monthly Indestructibles film journal monthly blog. The first entry was just posted, regarding the background of the project. Over the next few months, once a month, we’re going to go over the auditions process, the rehearsals, the shooting, the post, and everything that might happen in the middle. (I don’t know what will happen – most of the process hasn’t happened yet).

Here are the first few lines:

A couple of months ago I decided enough’s enough. It’s time to embark on a new adventure.

It’s time to create a science fiction epic film.

I just needed to find a way to do it with no budget. Why? Well, allow me to show you my reasoning through a series of flashbacks.

Flashback: It’s seven years ago. I’m sitting in a café in front one of the country’s most influential producers, trying to convince him to produce a horror mini-series for TV I wrote and wanted to direct. At the same time, he’s spending more than an hour trying to convince me to change aspects of the script to something he can produce. Why couldn’t he produce it? His bottom line was (I’m paraphrasing): “I can’t put your show on TV because the audience doesn’t like horror. How do I know that the audience doesn’t like horror? Because there are no horror shows on TV.”

To read the entire article, click here.


If you want to be kept updated regarding The Indestructibles production, including film journal entries and the online release, join the mailing list by sending an empty email to this address with the subject heading ‘The Indestructibles’.

Seven New Story Design Articles

March 15, 2012

Continuing my weekly Story Design Tips articles, featuring tips about story structure, story timing, identifying with characters, and more, here are links to the last eight articles:

Identifying with Characters, Part I: 3 ways to get the players/readers to identify with your character.

Identifying with Characters, Part II: Being able to make your players identify with a character is a tool that cuts two ways.

Character Orchestration: Your story is music. Your characters are the musical instruments.

Depth through Surprise: Use surprise to help you create depth of character.

Stories have timing. Here are the rules:

The First Law of Timing

The Second Law of Timing

The Third Law of Timing





3 Articles about Beautiful Endings

November 17, 2011

In my weekly Story Design Tips column in Gamasutra, I wrote three articles giving advice on how to write beautiful endings.


The first article talked about how to get the most of closure.


The second article talked about how to give readers a feeling of beauty in your beautiful ending.


The third article covered the emotional core of a beautiful ending.



Comedy Writing Tips: 7 Articles

September 22, 2011

In my weekly column/blog at Gamasutra, Story Design Tips, I’ve published a series of seven articles about writing comedy. Here they are:

In Writing Comedy, Part I I introduced my comedy bona fides and gave us a shortcut to writing comedy.

In Writing Comedy, Part II we tackled the first basic element of comedy: Over-exaggeration.

In Writing Comedy, Part III we tackled the second basic element of comedy: Under-exaggeration.

In Writing Comedy, Part IV we tackled the third basic element of comedy: Comic Distress. The difference between dramatic distress and comic distress is the fine line between drama and comedy.

In Writing Comedy, Part V we tackled the fourth basic element of comedy: The comic problem.

In Writing Comedy, Part VI we tackled the fifth basic element of comedy: Distance. The fifth element of comedy, surprisingly enough, isn’t funny.

In Writing Comedy, Part VII we explored the most basic structure of comedy, both in micro and in macro, and the large role logic has comedy.


Story Design Tips: 5 Articles about Dialogue

August 2, 2011

In my weekly column/blog at Gamasutra, Story Design Tips, I’ve published a series of five articles about the art of dialogue.


Article #1: The Art of Dialogue

Dialogue isn’t words. It’s actions. Words are only shadows of the actions.

Article #2: Dialogue as Vectors

Once you know what actions are, you can look at them as vectors: what we do is the result of opposing needs.

Article #3: What To Do With Characters When They Talk?

Dialogue in a visual medium means you need to solve what the characters physically do.

Article #4: How To Save Bad Dialogue

Sometimes bad dialogue can’t be changed. How do you save the scene? Here are a few tips.

Article #5: 10 Dialogue Don’ts

Here are ten often-repeated dialogue mistakes that you want to avoid.


Then there was another article, not about dialogue, but about consistency. Consistency in storytelling is a virtue. But is there a loophole that allows us to be inconsistent? The article wHen iS iT oKay tO bE InconsistenT shows you that loophole.

Consistency in story design is a virtue. But is there a loophole that allows us to be inconsistent?

Story Design Tips: 5 Articles about World-Building

June 20, 2011

In my weekly column/blog at Gamasutra, Story Design Tips, I’ve just published five articles about world-building.

Article #1: World-Building Needs Closed Doors.

World-building 101. This time: The world you’re building needs doors that will never open.

Article #2: 2 Fallacies in World-Building.

Creating new worlds means there are things you need to avoid doing.

Article #3: The 3 Building-Block Principles of World Design.

The building-blocks every new world needs.

Article #4: Basing World Design on a World That Works.

The real world is your best resource for creating imaginary worlds.

Article #5: New Worlds Need Dust and Rust.

If you’re designing a new world, don’t make the mistake of making it shiny and perfect.

Article: How to Give Really Bad Interviews

June 20, 2011

Hub Magazine published an article of mine, called How to Give Really Bad Interviews. Download the PDF file to read the article. Here’s an excerpt:

So you’re an author and your newest book just came out. It’s time to give interviews to try and sell the book. You want to be proper, respected, serious, inspiring, and to give an air of authority. But why? Why would you want to give a good interview when you can give a truly horrible one? Isn’t it so much more fun?


I didn’t start out as a bad interviewee on purpose. I stumbled onto it. It was destiny, I suppose. And now I’m ready to take it to the next level. I’m ready to turn it into an art. I am here to share my vast and shocking knowledge in giving bad interviews with any potential authors out there who would like to glean a bit of the technique from an old master.


But first thing’s first: Let’s see how it all began. 


Read the rest of the article here.

Article: Why I Write About Women

May 11, 2011

The online magazine Flames Rising has a new article of mine called Why I Write About Women.

I started my career as a playwright, not as an author.

A long time ago, when I was twenty-four, I wrote an intimate one-woman play. The actress needed to play four women characters in extremely unstable emotional situations. I gave it to a few actresses, to see if they would do it (I sent the manuscript one at a time, of course). One famous actress invited me to her home to talk about the play. It’s not that she wanted to take it, she said when I came, the play was too dark for her; it’s that she needed to see with her own eyes that a man wrote it and not a woman. When I was twenty-four I looked fifteen, so that no doubt made it even more jarring for her. She kept saying how she couldn’t believe a man wrote that play, that a man would know so many things about women.

I’ve been getting that reaction to my plays – and to my stories and books – ever since. I like writing about women characters. I like putting them as lead characters. I prefer it that way, in fact.


Read the rest of the article.