Gremlin Watches: ‘9-1-1: Lone Star’

9-1-1: Lone Star with Rob Lowe and Liv Tyler

This show sucks. This show sucks so bad; don’t watch it.

That’s it, that’s the review.

Okay, no it’s not it, but that’s really all there is to it. Going over the writing, characters/characterization, and acting (and literally every other metric you can conceive) we’ll delve deep into the suckiness of this show.

Leave the actors alone! Writing scripts that actors love!

Lucy and Charlie Brown at Lucy's psychiatric help booth. The unofficial mascot of the dialogue doctor series.

Something I am guilty of doing in my screenplays and have to actively fix in later drafts of work is over-directing the actors. Adding too many ‘umm’s and notes. Not the worst no-no in screenwriting etiquette, but not a great look for anyone. It’s a habit that makes sense; you know how the scene is supposed to play out in your head, and writing it with every pause and tone clearly marked is comfortable and safe. Arguably it’s great for a first draft! There is no misinterpreting your words and meaning. Except that’s the problem, isn’t it?

(Betsy the Gremlin is a self-appointed Dialogue Doctor. Everyone says she’s good at writing dialogue and by gum she wants you to be good at it too! This post may contain affiliate links; I earn a small commission that helps support this blog when you purchase through these links at no cost to you.)

The Nicholl Fellowship looms.

I’m struggling a lot with what I want to write for my Nicholl Fellowship screenplay. I don’t feel confident enough in my old stuff to work from those, but I literally am having no ideas as to what to write for something new.

The early submission date is in 32 days. (I can wait longer and do regular or late submission, but it costs more).

As of right now, my brain is bouncing three subpar ideas around in my head;

  • A gay bull rider on the rodeo circuit trapped in the closet.
  • A young woman with control issues has to go to europe to collect her dead twin’s body after he commits suicide.
  • A school shooting.

That’s it. I don’t hate any of them, but they’re not giving me the passion I once had with writing, ya know? But maybe I just don’t have that passion anymore because I’m older and wiser and jaded. And I’m feeling a little gun-shy because the response I got back from my AFF coverage, while good, said it wasn’t the most original story. So now I’m wracking my brains trying to come up with something original.

Either way, writing is still hard. To win the Nicholl Fellowship would be a huge deal, and the fact is the story idea itself needs to be original, plus the dialogue and writing needs to be perfect. Even then it’s a long shot. I don’t anticipate this is going to be my year, but I want to submit nonetheless — this is my career, this is what I’d have to do to get noticed in my field.

Back to the drawing board.

Gremlin Watches: Shrill Season Two

(A tiny review.)

Hulu’s Shrill, featuring Aidy Bryant

I just finished the second season of the knockout hit, Shrill, and boy howdy am I happy about it. The first season was kind of life changing for me, and for a lot of the fat community; Lindy West’s creation and Aidy Bryant’s brilliant performance was the first time I’ve ever seen someone like myself on screen.

Chapter One; The Boy Who Found Harry after a Tragedy – Medium.com

This is the first installment of my very not-finished Potter Project, where I go through each chapter of the first Harry Potter book and try to find a way to translate it into a decent screenplay scene. This article focuses on chapter one and starting the proposed film at a different point than with the Dursleys.

If we break this down, one third of this project is light academia — looking at a text and interpreting it — while another third is practical; practicing for the sake of practicing — taking that interpretation and making it a viable screenplay scene as a thought exercise.

The final third is that I’m a nerd with some free time.

Betsy the Gremlin

Part two will be posted eventually, but for now, check it out here. ↙️

Chapter One; The Boy Who Found Harry After a Tragedy

Wants and Needs and What That Means – Medium.com

© Disney Pixar’s Ratatouille

The first medium.com article I ever wrote, exploring the way that screenwriting instruction focuses on what characters want and need, but without explaining what those things actually mean in terms of writing. It’s a strange little language/code-switching barrier that warrants a deeper look, with Remy’s journey as a focal point.

One of the core elements in any text on screenwriting is to understand your protagonist’s want versus their need. On the surface, this seems reasonable. Knowing your character’s motivations — used here as a term for wants and needs as a driving force — is fundamental and relatable. How many times have you known that something you wanted was bad for you in some way and still wanted it? The internal conflict of a protagonist is when wants and needs don’t match up.

Betsy the Gremlin

Read the rest of the article here; ↘️

Wants and Needs and What That Means

Welcome to my blog!

Well, I tried tumblr for my professional blog platform but it was too simple; my only concern now is that wordpress is too complicated? I have no idea what I’m doing. Tumblr was a hell of a platform and I love the gifsets and reblog concepts, but it’s time for bigger or better things.

There is something optimistic about starting a new page though, and learning the ins and outs of it all. The weird thing is that I grew up blogging; I copied my father starting a blogger blog and did that for ages, then meandered to livejournal and finally tumblr. I get the concept but it’s always a rare, interesting treat to start anew.