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January, 2008

Free Writing Resources!

Back To School!
IN and The Writers Store team up
By  IN House Staff

Enter the annuls of intellectual thought and writing educational excellence.
ath? Science? Phys-Ed? HA! It's back to school-time for writers and your name is on the roster!

These 25 courses are top-of-the line items for beginner, intermediate and advanced writers. Broken into two educational sections; the first, writing in general, and the other, specialized in writing for the screen.

They are in no particular order, so read through the page and take a look at what we have listed. We're sure that you'll find something of interest to learn during the coming months.

There is also a search function at the bottom of this page that will display all available courses: Online, Person-to-Person/Groups, Audio, CD, DVD, Video and Print.

General Writing

So, Is It Done?
If you are doing any kind of writing, you will need to revise. Whether you are earning a degree, writing on your own after the kids go to sleep, or fulfilling a retirement dream, chances are you’ll be unhappy with your first draft. Revision can involve the writer taking risks with structure, or re-envisioning character, plot, or setting. For your work to live up to its potential, you’ll need both internal and external insight; you’ll need your creative instinct, your conscious critic, and readers you trust. You may seek these insights many times, over many drafts. Acclaimed writer and teacher of writing Janet Burroway, and the featured authors on this DVD, present five rounds of revision that you can try on your own or with a group or class.
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Eats, Shoots and Leaves CD
Through sloppy usage, and low standards on the Internet, in e-mail, and now “Txt Msgs” we have made proper punctuation an endangered species. In Eats, Shoots, and Leaves, former editor Lynne Truss dares to say, in her delightfully urbane, witty and very English way, that it is time to look at our comas and semicolons and see them as the wonderful and necessary things they are. If there are only pedants left, then so be it. This is a book for people who love punctuation and get upset when it is mishandled. From George Orwell shunning the semicolon, to New Yorker editor Harold Ross’s epic arguments with James Thurber over commas, this lively history makes a powerful case for the preservation of a system of printing conventions that is much too subtle to be mucked about with.
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Plot Planner Workshop DVD
Learn techniques useful for creating a compelling plot and for heightening tension and suspense. By looking more closely at the dynamics of cause and effect, you will be better able to create scenes that lead to a solid plot. By exploring how well constructed characters in conflict act as the driving force behind an exceptional story, you will be better able to create your own exceptional story. By delving into theme, you will be better able to give your project lasting meaning. Whether you are a novelist, short story writer, memoirist, or writing creative nonfiction, you will benefit from a well-constructed plotline of the dramatic, emotional, and thematic elements of your project.
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Scene Tracker Plot Workshop DVD
Writers of novels, memoirs and creative non-fiction require some sort of system to keep track of all the scenes and the information in each scene - the dates; the action plot line; the character development and the thematic significance. A simple technique is to create a visual representation of your story called a Scene Tracker. This technique works especially well for sorting out all the threads of your project, saving you both time and effort. Think of the Scene Tracker as the loom that holds your story ideas, scene fragments, character development, snippets of dialogue, research and details, tension and conflict in roughly the order you envision the story will unfold.
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Using Myth to Power Your Story CD
Using the archetypes and themes of myths and fairy tales is a powerful way to link to your audience’s emotions. Whether you write screenplays or novels, short stories or plays, Using Myth to Power Your Story is the perfect Audio CD to help you bring an added depth to your work. Christopher Vogler, a natural storyteller, guides you through the worlds of the hero, and the four major movements of any story. You’ll also learn about the cast of archetypal characters who will resonate with your audience, including the hero, mentor, threshold guardian, herald, shapeshifter, shadow, and trickster.
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How to Write Selling Humor
Inside are two separate workshops from experts who can help you ride the comedy wave to successful humor writing. First; What was Seinfeld all about? Hear producer and writer Peter Mehlman’s take on that (no moral lessons, lie and scheme shamelessly, lust, lust lust) in this 90-minute workshop recording. Learn the secrets of a good episode and how Jerry Seinfeld, the star, and Larry David, the co-creator, assembled one of the most successful and long-running (1989-1998) television comedy series ever broadcast. Second; Top comedy writer and professor of humor Mel Helitzer presents a 90-minute workshop on the basics of how to make humor work for you, whether you’re writing humor, using it in business or just want to make a point with a punchline. Learn the theory of humor and its six ingredients, how to use “reverses” and “triples,” the 10 kinds of jokes and how to handle jokes that are based on sex.
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On Writing - Volume One
A two in one deal! Writing Your First Novel: Learn how to write the Great American Novel from veteran novelist James Magnuson. Topics include how to: Use Autobiographical Material, Find the Spine, Complete the Manuscript, Handle Rewrites, Keep your Vision, Avoid Common Pitfalls. How to Write Historical Fiction: Listening to Roberts Gellis is a privilege. Her no-nonsense approach to writing historical fiction will answer questions you didn’t know you had and keep you on track with your manuscript. Topics include how to: Carry Out Useful Research, Pin Down a Historical Period, Discover How Historical People Lived and Felt, Pick a Key Event, Create Believable Characters.
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On Writing - Volume Two
Another two in one deal! Thickening the Plot: Pay attention to plot, says Carolyn Banks, and reap the rewards. A good plot outline can be used in a book proposal and as a safety net for you, the writer. Topics include how to: Develop your Plot, Use Resolution and Suspense, Differentiate Concept from Plot, Create Dramatic Impact. Finding Your Literary Voice: Benjamin Alire Saenz examines the importance of language and who you are as a person to the voice you choose as a writer. “Assume people don’t care; make them care with language,” he says. Topics include how to: Aim for Emotional Truth, Use Specific Language, Analyze and Select your Words, Achieve Mystery, Clarity and Immediacy.
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Gain knowledge of prose markets—from glossies to zines. Dissect magazines to discover their editorial sensibility. Listen in as top editors confide their turn-ons and turn-offs. Master the art of cover letters. Hear “survival” tips on managing rejection. Learn about literary agents. And read published stories. An encyclopedia of market listings is not enough. This DVD set gives you insiders’ perspectives on the world of publishing and increases your odds of publication.
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The Art of Writing Comedy CD
Fade In Magazine presents the Art of Writing Comedy 4 CD Pack. Over 360 minutes (4 CDs) of expert instruction from the film industry’s highest paid comedy writer- writer/directors: Gary Ross (Seabiscuit), Lowell Ganz, Charles Shyer (Alfie) and Steve Oedekerk (Bruce Almighty).
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Writing The Natural Way
For those who yearn to write but falter at the sight of a blank page, the unique, student-proven techniques in Writing the Natural Way will help unlock natural writing style and storytelling abilities. Writing easily, meaningfully, and spontaneously is a simple matter of flowing with, rather than resisting, the mind's natural cooperative rhythms. By abolishing formal rules and quelling the painful inner critic, Writing the Natural Way helps writers of all levels acquire the spontaneity and ease of uninhibited self-expression.
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Syd Field's Screenwriting Workshop DVD
Whether you are working on your first screenplay or are a seasoned professional looking for technical help from the master himself, Syd Field's Screenwriting Workshop is an invaluable writing tool that you will rely upon again and again. Available for the first time on video, this legendary course will help you convert your idea into a properly structured screenplay: one you will feel confident submitting to Film Studios and Production Companies worldwide.
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The Hero's 2 Journeys DVD
For the first time, two of Hollywood's top studio script consultants Michael Hauge and Christopher Vogler; story experts and authors unite to reveal the tools and principles you must know to move your screenplay, novel or film project from the rejection pile to the production slate. In this special 3-DVD set, designed for storytellers and filmmakers in all disciplines, these two renowned writers and teachers provide their unique insiders' understanding of the ways story structure, character arc, and theme must combine with myth, archetype, identity, and transformation to touch the widest possible audience.
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Truby's Great Screenwriting
This course has trained the writers, directors, or producers of Shrek, Planet of the Apes, Flamingo Rising, The Negotiator, Inspector Gadget, Outbreak, Sleepless in Seattle, The Addams Family, Beetlejuice, Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Back to School, Rambling Rose, Star Wars and many more. How about you? Key point: top professionals use fundamentally different tools than amateur writers. These techniques include everything from grand story strategy to scene sequencing to setting up and paying off scene patterns to blending dialogue.
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How to Pitch and Sell Your Screenplay DVD
Writing a screenplay is hard. Pitching it and selling it is even tougher. In this DVD, filmed live at the New York City PitchxChange, you will learn how to pitch confidently, tell your story succinctly and answer the tough questions from development executives. Laurie Scheer guides you through the proper ways to prepare for your first pitch meeting. She critiques 10 pitches that were filmed live at the PitchxChange.
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High Concept: How To Create, Pitch and Sell To Hollywood CD
Why are studios making so many sequels, remakes, and films based on comic books? They’re bankrupt for original ideas. The High Concept approach begins with a unique, compelling premise that targets the needs of the marketplace. This seminar provides in-depth information on the creative process of screenwriting as well as practical aspects of the business side of the industry every writer should know.
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How to Write a Screenplay
What's the story you need to tell? The question goes right to the heart of the writer's passion, which is the crucial ingredient in any script. After twenty years writing and teaching in the movie business, Christopher Keane can tell the difference between someone's passion to write a story and a mild interest in getting into the industry. How to Write a Screenplay in the New Hollywood 2-CD Screenwriting Workshop will help you: Build your Story with passion that matters. Structure your piece in Three Acts. Create your main characters to lure Bankable Actors. Find the right Genre for your story. Make the right Agent or Producer stand up and take notice.
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The Perfect Pitch
A good pitch can mean the difference between seeing your name at the top of a lucrative studio contract or on a form rejection letter. Its a well-known industry fact that film executives typically devote about two minutes of their attention to directors and screenwriters who bring them their ideas hoping for a deal. Can you capture their attention and pique their interest in the time it takes to order a latte at Starbucks? Your future as a successful screenwriter or director may depend on it.
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Words Into Pictures Screenwriting Series DVD: Narrative and Structure
This program teaches how to get started, the main idea and servicing it, finding a movies spine, sources of inspiration, outlining, characters' relationship with structure, description, research, instinct vs. technique, writing a script vs. selling one. Subjects covered include: How to tell a good story, which stories are worth telling and which aren't, character arcs; real and illusory, finding a movie's spine, the use of myth and theme as organizing concepts.
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Words Into Pictures Screenwriting Series DVD: Dialogue and Description
This program teaches text and subtext, conveying emotion of the character and the situation they're in, research, rewriting dialogue, character profiling and specificity of vision. Subjects covered include: Something you write or something you hear. Should it be realistic? How to condense a good scene. Should a movie have one "voice"? Description: minimizing dialogue. Is there magic in description or should it simply be clear? How to persuade benumbed executives to read your description.
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Words Into Pictures Screenwriting Series DVD: Adaptation
This program on DVD teaches how to highlight the good parts and trouble spots, research, visualizing and dramatization, non-fiction vs. fiction, the echo effect, online reasearch vs. physical, changing directions, genre material, staying fresh and externalizing characters' thoughts. Subjects covered include: What to include. How to avoid the 200 page screenplay. How faithful should you be to the original? Is it easier to adapt fiction or non-fiction, trash or art? Which books, plays and stories will make good movies. How to rectify problems without alienating a book's fans?
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Words Into Pictures Screenwriting Series DVD: Character
With this top notch DVD series, you will learn the mystery of character, character dictating plot, character information, biographies, real characters vs. fictional characters, writing a franchise character, rules to break and not to break. Subjects covered include: Who should be your protagonist? Does plot or character come first? How do you find the right characters to suit your needs? How do you get a character to do what you want? How to you get your characters to do what they want?
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Making a Good Script Great DVD
Audiences remember characters – characters that breathe, characters that are larger than life, characters that are rich, exciting and dimensional. The ability to create memorable characters can make the difference between the success or failure of your project. Linda teaches you how to create characters your audience will react to, as well as the important lessons of structuring the story and expressing a cohesive theme throughout your script.
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Professional Screenwriters Series - Vol 1
This five-CD set features 90-minute class sessions focusing on the fundamentals of writing professionally for the screen, including such topics as outlining, structure, theme, dialogue and the importance of the first ten pages. The sessions are conducted by some of Hollywood’s hottest A-list screenwriters, including Steven de Souza (Die Hard), Don Roos (Happy Endings), Gerald DiPego (Phenomenon), Bruce Joel Rubin (Ghost) and Preston Whitmore (The Walking Dead).
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The ACTION/CUT Filmmaking DVD Pro Collection
Ignite your passion with one of the most acclaimed filmmaking seminars in the industry, now available as a 12-hour / 3-DVD collection complete with detailed, production info workbooks, Crucial for writers: learn visualization on the page and enhance the sales success of your work by focusing your writing skills to be more reflective of your visual story intentions. Working director/writer Guy Magar, presently on contract to Miramax Films, designed this shot-by-shot inside look at the filmmaking craft from A to Z, with an in-depth, audio-visual study of the skills, tools, and industry trade secrets to take any project from the page through the shooting process to final film. The Action/Cut Seminar has received rave praise from press and participants including director/writer Brad Jacques: “Better than 4 years of film school, and I went to NYU!”
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Whose Books Are Turning Into Movies?
Bald Ego
Mouse Over To Pause

Writer’s Block
The path to inspiration starts
Upon the trails we’ve known;
Each writer’s block is not a rock,
But just a stepping stone.

Poetry Is Not
Penned to the page
Waiting for us to admire.
It is only a lonely thought
Caught by tears on fire.

Silent Echoes
A quiet rhyme upon a page
Is what a poet gives;
Some gentle words whispered in trust
To see if memory lives.

Bard From Deadlines
What makes a poem finally work
Is not the time it takes;
It’s how the poet used the muse
To prophet from mistakes.

Be Mused
The art and craft of poetry
Are not so far apart;
The craft comes from the cunning,
The rest comes from the heart.

Fine Vintage
Don’t plant your poem on the page
As though you’re hanging drapes;
It’s shape and flow should come and grow
Like wild summer grapes.

Getting It Write
Writers write what they know best,
Their passions, fears, and dreams;
Writers rarely write about
What other call their “themes.”

Double Vision
A writer’s life is paradox,
It’s more than what it seems;
We write of our reality,
The one inside our dreams.

The echo of a promise,
The thunder of a sigh,
The music of a memory,
A child asking why.

Letter Perfect
Twenty six symbols arranged on a page
Can send a soul to heaven or torment it with rage,
Can free a fragile world or hold it in its net--
The power and the magic of the mighty alphabet.

The Write of Passage
The jump from writing just for fun
To getting paid for it
Begins when you first realize
You know you’ll never quit.

It is not the magic of his wings
That sets us free from our bond.
It is the muse within ourselves
That lets our words lift us beyond.

Photo Poet
Consider your mind the darkroom,
Consider your life the lens,
Consider your eye the camera
On whose focus the poem depends.

Rising Moon
A poem is a rising moon
Shining on the sea,
An afterglow of all we know,
Of all we hope to be.

Star Light
Writing a poem,
Reaching a star,
In making good art
We find who we are.

Spider Web
A poem is a spider web
Spun with words of wonder,
Woven lace held in place
By whispers made of thunder.

The final draft upon the screen,
At last my poem’s through;
A verse of only four short lines--
I rewrote twenty-two!

Read All Of Charles Ghigna's Poetry at

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