Screenwriting Tips: What Father’s Day can Teach Us

People interested in screenplay writing can learn a lot from these examples of best Hollywood dads
Hi, Eric Edson here.

Father’s Day is a great opportunity to get to know one of the most important men in your life.

Aspiring screenwriters might also try thinking about what really impresses them most about Dad. Is it his sense of humor, turn of a phrase, or just the way he notices and appreciates what you do? All of these observational skills come in handy when writing a screenplay, because character development is so crucial to the success of a script.

If you don’t have a male role model in your life, you can always watch a movie to pick up some worthwhile screenwriting tips. Study the many ways in which dads are portrayed – some are heroes, some are villains, some have a heart of gold, and some struggle for redemption. People interested in screenplay writing can learn a lot from these examples of best Hollywood dads:

  • Atticus Finch: Gregory Peck’s masterful portrayal of Harper Lee’s hero in To Kill a Mockingbird presented the ultimate ideal of a principled man. But how would he have played the Atticus she wrote about in her recently-unveiled original manuscript for Go Set a WatchmanWhich character is more nuanced and real?
  • Father of the Bride: Whether it’s the classic Spencer Tracy version in 1950 or the updated Steve Martin version in 1991, this dad is full of love and humor as he prepares to see his daughter get married.
  • Darth Vader: No, not your typical dad, but a father nonetheless. What effect did his father’s conversion to the dark side have on the impressionable young Luke Skywalker?
  • Royal Tenenbaum: Does it take the news of impending death for a father to deal with the dysfunction he has created in his child prodigies? Gene Hackman showed how this can be accomplished with bittersweet humor, some of it brutally honest, and some with a lot of love.
  • Marlin, the Clown Fish: The story of a devoted father who searches desperately for his son Nemo, but also somewhere along the way, Marlin learns how to let his son go.

Take your pick – there are so many great examples of screenplay writing. If Dad’s a screenwriter like you, I’m sure he’d appreciate a copy of The Story Solution, one of the best books on screenwriting about writing a movie script. In it I present everything screenplay writers need to know about story structure, dynamic characters, rewrites, dialogue and Hero Goal Sequences. If Dad is just a film fan, take him to the movies with you and have a great time enjoying some quality time together.

Happy Father’s Day!
Eric Edson

The Story Solution, by screenwriter and tenured university professor Eric Edson, is an in-depth handbook for authors who are writing a movie script. It reveals the 23 actions screenplay writers should use to create dynamic, three dimensional heroes.


Recent Developments in Publishing

The 21st century has brought some new technological changes to the publishing industry. These changes include e-books, print on demand and accessible publishing. E-books have been quickly growing in availability in major publishing markets such as the USA and the UK since 2005. Google, and Sony have been leaders in working with publishers and libraries to digitize books. As of early 2011 Amazon’s Kindle reading device is a significant force in the market, along with the Apple iPad and the Nook from Barnes & Noble.[citation needed] Along with the growing popularity of e-books, some companies like Oyster and Scribd have pursued the subscription model, providing members unlimited access to a content library on a variety of digital reading devices.

The ability to quickly and cost-effectively print on demand has meant that publishers no longer have to store books at warehouses, if the book is in low or unknown demand. This is a huge advantage to small publishers who can now operate without large overheads and large publishers who can now cost-effectively sell their backlisted items.

Accessible publishing uses the digitization of books to mark up books into XML and then produces multiple formats from this to sell to consumers, often targeting those with difficulty reading. Formats include a variety larger print sizes, specialized print formats for dyslexia,  eye tracking problems and macular degeneration, as well as Braille, DAISY, audiobooks and e-books.

Green publishing means adapting the publishing process to minimise environmental impact. One example of this is the concept of on-demand printing, using digital or print-on-demand technology. This cuts down the need to ship books since they are manufactured close to the customer on a just-in-time basis.

A further development is the growth of on-line publishing where no physical books are produced. The ebook is created by the author and uploaded to a website from where it can be downloaded and read by anyone.

An increasing number of small authors are using niche marketing online to sell more books by engaging with their readers online. These authors can use free services such as Smashwords or Amazon’s CreateSpace to have their book available for worldwide sale. There is an obvious attraction for first time authors who have been repeatedly rejected by the existing agent/publisher model to explore this opportunity. However, a consequence of this change in the mechanics of book distribution is that there is now no mandatory check on author skill or even their ability to spell, and any person with an internet connection can publish whatever they choose, regardless of the literary merit or even basic readability of their writing.

Source: Wikipedia

The Story Solution: People are so Excited!


Dear Friends,

I’ve told you a little bit about (Virtually) Everything Story in the last little while – and the response has been INCREDIBLE!

Thank you to everyone who has written to me sharing how much value they have received listening to my interview.

If you missed my interview, you can access it here.

I’m personally SO excited about the opportunity here, and of course all of the other presentations that are going to be happening in just a few days! I thought you might like to get a peek at the full list – so I’ve got the schedule here for you.  These are the absolute TOP names in the industry sharing CUTTING EDGE information, which is going to put you 5 to 10 years ahead of your competition. This is what storytelling is going to look like in the future, and I don’t intend to miss out on ANY of it.

If you want to jump the line and get your ticket, click here and register:
“Yes, I want to register for (Virtually) Everything Story!”

Wednesday, June 15th
John Truby ~ Novels: The Number One Screenwriting Strategy Today: Why Being a Novelist is Your Ticket to Hollywood Success
Michael Hauge ~ Crafting Transformative Characters: Taking Your Characters From Identity to Essence
Sara-Jayne Slack ~ Cut the BS! – Busting Traditional Publishing Myths,
and Navigating the Industry

Thursday, June 16th
Jeff Goins ~ How to Use Blogging as a Creative Writer and Storyteller
Lee Jessup ~ Why Having an Agent Won’t Save You
Audra Casino ~ Storytelling Through Audio

Friday, June 17th
Jen Grisanti ~ Writing A TV Pilot That Sells: Setting Up The Structure
Katie Karlovitz ~ Talking to Ego: How to Present Well and Look Confident
When Talking to People Who Outrank You
Carole Kirschner ~ The Unwritten Rules of Hollywood: What They Don’t Teach You in Film School

Saturday, June 18th
Sarah Carbiener and Erica Rosbe ~ You Never Stop Breaking In:
Writing for TV in a Digital World
Marx Pyle and Kathie Fong Yoneda ~ Workshop:  Developing and Getting Your Web Series Off the Ground
Eric Edson ~ How to Write Plots Like a Hollywood Pro: For Screenwriters, Novelists, and All Storytellers

Sunday, June 19th
Pamela Jaye Smith ~ Creating Our Next Mythologies
James Napoli and Mindi White ~ The Story Dragons: A Meet-The-Reader Panel in which Seasoned Industry Story Analysts will Breathe Fire on Your Premise and Slay Your Narrative Dragons

Monday, June 20th
Sam Landstrom ~ Making Reading Addictive Via Interactive Fiction
Allison Moon ~ Transforming Your Story Into Income

Tuesday, June 21st
Kristan Higgins ~ Missed Opportunities: Making Sure You’ve Ticked Every Box to Create a Multilayered Story
Megan Dougherty & Elija Renard ~ Funding Options for Stories with a Greater Purpose
Matt Group ~ Game Writing:  How to Tell Stories Through Technology and Games

Wednesday, June 22nd
Lisa Bloom ~ Get out of the Attic: Storytelling to Attract Massive Interest, Book Gigs & Close Deals
John Bucher and Jeremy Casper ~ Creating Cross-Platform Characters: From Feature Films to Webisodes; From Video Games to Television

Thursday, June 23rd
Sarah MacLean ~ Mastering the Art of Great Conflict
Joan Stewart ~ How to Use Email to Attract Fans, Create SuperFans, Tell a Story, & Sell
Michael Jorgensen ~ Power Narrative: the Secrets of Documentary Storytelling

Friday, June 24th
Dan O’Shannon ~ What Not to do in a Writers’ Room
Save The Cat Peeps ~   Genre and Beats
Chris Vogler ~ E-Motion Pictures: How to Channel the Power of Emotions in the Body
If you’re as excited about this as I am, go ahead and register before the doors close:

“Yes, I’m ready to put myself 5 years ahead of the competition!”

There are TONS of bonuses available for attendees, and I’ll let you know about them in the next couple of days!

About The Story Solution:  The Story Solution, by screenwriter and tenured university professor Eric Edson, is an in-depth handbook for authors who are writing a movie script. It reveals the 23 actions screenplay writers should use to create dynamic, three dimensional heroes.


Publishing is the dissemination of literature, music, or information — the activity of making information available to the general public. In some cases, authors may be their own publishers, meaning originators and developers of content also provide media to deliver and display the content for the same. Also, the word publisher can refer to the individual who leads a publishing company or an imprint or to a person who owns/heads a magazine.

Traditionally, the term refers to the distribution of printed works such as books (the “book trade”) and newspapers. With the advent of digital information systems and the Internet, the scope of publishing has expanded to include electronic resources such as the electronic versions of books and periodicals, as well as micropublishing, websites, blogs, video game publishers, and the like.

Publishing includes the following stages of development: acquisition, copy editing, production, printing (and its electronic equivalents), and marketing and distribution.

Publication is also important as a legal concept:

  • As the process of giving formal notice to the world of a significant intention, for example, to marry or enter bankruptcy;
  • As the essential precondition of being able to claim defamation; that is, the alleged libel must have been published, and
  • For copyright purposes, where there is a difference in the protection of published and unpublished works.

There are two categories of book publisher:

Non-paid publishers: A non-paid publisher is a publication house that does not charge authors at all to publish their books.

Paid publishers: The author has to meet with the total expense to get the book published, and the author has full right to set up marketing policies. This is also known as vanity publishing.



Will Smith Talks Story with Michael Hauge, and Laura Leigh | The Story Solution

Will Smith talks Story with Michael Hauge, and Laura Leigh Clarke

“The First Ever ONLINE Screenwriting and Storytelling Conference, JUNE 15 – 24”

Hi, Eric Edson here.

Wanted to let you in on something very special…

My dear friend MICHAEL HAUGE just interviewed his longtime client WILL SMITH about Will’s insights into STORY.  Our producer for the upcoming (VIRTUALLY) EVERYTHING STORY event, the amazing Laura Leigh Clarke, joined Will and Michael for a three-way chat.

Here is a rare and insightful interview… one that offers tips on screenwriting from one of the most important filmmaking personalities in the world – Will Smith.

Will lays out for us the most CRITICALLY IMPORTANT STORYTELLING CONCEPTS major filmmakers and producers look for in screenplays and novels.

Thought you might want to take a look.

Here’s the link:

Will Smith talks Story with Michael Hauge, and Laura Leigh Clarke

During the interview Will talked about the powerful starting point he uses which becomes the north star in the creation of any movie:

The Universally Relatable Emotion.

He gives the example of I Am Legend where the emotion is being ALONE. He talks about how this guided the script, and everything else through to the tag line:

The last man on Earth… Is not alone.

Powerful stuff.

And have you checked out the (VIRTUALLY) EVERYTHING STORY conference schedule yet?  This one-of-a-kind Online Conference runs June 15 – 24!

They’re will be presentations and seminars with yours truly, Eric Edson, and Michael Hauge, John Truby, Jen Grisanti, Chris Vogler, Pamela Jaye Smith, along with some 25 other top speakers and producers in film, television, publishing, gaming and more, as well as many free bonus extras.

There has never been an online “virtual” ten-day conference on Storytelling event like this before.

As in Never.

If you’re a storyteller who wants to grow, then you are going to LOVE this line-up of teachers and experts.


Find out more details about this ground-breaking story conference here.


In this interview you will learn from Will Smith:

  • Why identifying the SINGLE RELATABLE EMOTION in a screenplay is essential to a film’s success.
  • The FOUR PRIMARY QUESTIONS that he asks about the hero of every story.
  • How to create POWERFULLY EMOTIONAL MOMENTS where everything collides for a hero or heroine.
  • The key tools for creating TRANFORMATION in a character – and in the audience.
  • His BEST ADVICE FOR WRITERS AND STORYTELLERS for enduring and overcoming the challenges of being a working artist.

To SEE THE ENTIRE VIDEO of Michael Hauge and Laura Leigh Clarke’s amazing interview with Will Smith, just CLICK HERE.

Eric Edson

P.S. Doors close early this week, so check out the rest of the presentations and workshops we’ve got lined up for you. One ticket gets you access to everything, and the recordings, in case you can’t attend everything live.

Register for this ground-breaking story conference here

About The Story Solution:  The Story Solution, by screenwriter and tenured university professor Eric Edson, is an in-depth handbook for authors who are writing a movie script. It reveals the 23 actions screenplay writers should use to create dynamic, three dimensional heroes.