Archive | October 2013

STORY EXPO 2013 Recap


Screenwriting Course Event of the year

LOS ANGELES, CA – October 11th, 2013 – Eric Edson and The Story Solution team recently attended the largest expo in the screenwriting industry, STORY EXPO 2013 in Los Angeles, CA.

Starting this year, this expo brought together screenwriters, TV writers, novelists, journalists, graphic novelists, fiction writers, comic book writers and those who understand and appreciate the nuances that make a movie a box office success.

Derek Christopher’s STORY EXPO 2013 brought together over 60 Speakers, 100+ classes and 30+ exhibitors for attendees from all over the world, in what is being called the ‘screenwriting and scriptwriting event of the year.’  Screenwriter and university professor Eric Edson offered a completely new approach to writing powerful scripts to attendees.

The event had sell out numbers of both exhibitors and attendees this year, drawing industry members and exhibiting companies to the Westin LAX Hotel, September 6th-8th, 2013.

We embraced STORY EXPO as a perfect opportunity to share with many, many like-minded authors, students of screenwriting, members of the press, distributors, and retail book buyers. It was a place where connections were made, partnerships were forged, and brands were launched.

As we walked around the show and spoke with fellow authors about the current state of storytelling in the movie industry, a conversation we kept having at the event was how excited attendees were to be learning from so many masters in the field.

“It was just so much fun for both the presenters and the attendees to meet each other and discuss what we all love about writing, and to share insights in the creation of story,” said Eric Edson.

Syd Field delivered a poignant opening keyword speech about the writer’s development process. Syd is the author of 8 bestselling books on story and screenwriting, with sales topping 1.2 million.  Story Expo attendees were delighted to have such an inspirational and pivotal figure like Syd Field to open STORY EXPO.  Syd spoke about why we write stories, and the motivation behind why we try to change people’s lives with the stories we tell.

Michael Hauge and Chris Vogler delivered a Story Expo Exclusive! First time available anywhere. Christopher Vogler and Michael Hauge, creators of the iconic HERO’S 2 JOURNEYS course, explored THE ESSENCE OF THE HERO in this jam-packed, 90-minute session featuring the two legendary teachers.

The closing keynote was given by international known author and speaker Jen Grisanti, Story/Career Consultant at Jen Grisanti Consultancy, Inc.  Jen is also the Director for Writers on the Verge at NBC, a former studio executive, a blogger for The Huffington Post and author of Story Line: Finding Gold In Your Life Story, TV Writing Tool Kit: How To Write a Script That Sells, and her self-help book, Change Your Story, Change Your Life.  Jen Grisanti gave an empowering address about the importance of living the truth of your own personal story.

Eric Edson presented four seminars on two topics; “Cracking Screen Story Structure” and “14 Character Categories in All Successful Screen Stories.”  Each seminar was approximately an hour and a half. In these classes, Eric covered the 23 interlocking actions used in every successful movie to create dynamic heroes and emotion-filled plots, and the 14 character categories that are used by all successful authors.



Other speakers included John Truby, Dov Simens, Steve Kaplan, Rex Pickett, Ellen Sandler, Arnold Shapiro, Jeremiah Comey, Pilar Alessandra, Father Steve, Richard Hatem, Chad Gervich, Leslie Lehr, Lee Jessup, Pamela Jaye Smith, Alejandro Seri, Troy Devolld and many others.

“This was an amazing event full of fun, networking and learning. Derek Christopher has created something of real value.  We’re already looking forward to next year and making more new friends,” said Eric Edson.

Also included in STORY EXPO was an exciting pitch room where attendees had an opportunity to pitch their ideas and stories to over 80 major companies.  Connections were made and deals were struck.

Everyone on the Story Solution team felt the show was a roaring success given the great education and new connections made at the event.  Eric will be teaching new classes at the 2014 STORY EXPO and the Story Solution team looks forward to seeing old friends made in 2013, and new friends yet to come.

That wraps up our summary of STORY EXPO 2013.   As always, we’ll be sure to keep everyone informed with our latest news and future presentations for the book.  Thank you for your support!

For more information about STORY EXPO 2013 visit the Facebook Page or web site at or call 800-814-0544.

About The Story Solution: The Story Solution was written by accomplished screenwriter Eric Edson. It reveals the 23 actions used to create dynamic, three dimensional heroes and link all parts of a captivating screenplay. He also covers screenwriting tipsscreenwriting resources, and screenwriting booksVisit the website and Facebook page or call 818- 677-3192 for more information.



5 questions with new James Bond author William Boyd

(CNN) — You’ve heard that classic mixology before: “Bond went into the lobby bar to gather his thoughts and ordered a vodka martini, explaining to the barman the best way to achieve the effect of vermouth without diluting the vodka too much. Ice in the shaker, add a slurp of vermouth, pour out the vermouth, add the vodka, shake well, strain into a chilled glass, add a slice of lemon peel, no pith.”

Immortalized on the big screen and in Ian Fleming’s 14 James Bond books, practically everyone knows the British superspy and his drink of choice. But this drink — this Bond — was written not by Fleming, but by author and screenwriter William Boyd. He was asked by Fleming’s estate to write a new Bond novel; “Solo” hit shelves this month.

In “Solo,” Boyd took a retro approach, choosing to set his story in 1969 at the height of the Cold War. While there are plenty of cocktails, fast cars and alluring women, Boyd says he wanted to take Bond back to his roots. In Boyd’s version of Bond, there are no gadgets, no gimmickry, no flying cars and no villain with dreams of world domination.

Writer William Boyd wrote the new James Bond novel, “Solo.”

In the novel, Bond has just turned 45, and is now a veteran of MI6. He’s sent to a West African nation in the middle of a bloody civil war. His mission: quash the rebels and covertly help the established regime. While there, Bond is forced to go “solo” on a dangerous, self-appointed mission of revenge.

This Bond is still stylish, dresses impeccably, drives a Jensen Interceptor II, even knows how to whip up his own salad dressing (the recipe is included in the novel’s only footnote) but Boyd’s version is realistic, gritty and close to the original Fleming.

We spoke to Boyd about his take on the iconic character.

Fast facts: William Boyd

Age: 61

Early life: Boyd was born in Accra, Ghana. He grew up there and in Nigeria.

For fans of: James Bond, spy novels, literary thrillers.

What else he has written: 20 best-selling novels and 15 films including “Any Human Heart,” “A Good Man in Africa” and “Waiting for Sunrise.”

Special honors: He was named a commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2005.

Fun fact: Boyd has worked on films with three actors who portrayed James Bond: Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig.

Five questions for William Boyd

CNN: How were you approached to write a new James Bond novel?

Boyd: It just came out of the blue. It’s not something you’re even aware you’re being considered for or discussed. I just got a call from my literary agent one day saying stand by for this: Would you be interested in writing a new James Bond novel? I thought about it and said almost immediately, yes, please. Then the process gets a bit more involved. You have to meet the Fleming family and I had questions for them and they had questions for me. There was a kind of interview and after that I officially got the job. It’s something that just came right out of left field and took me completely by surprise. It was a treat. I took it very seriously but I had great fun. It was a wonderful thing to be asked to do.

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CNN: Was there any difficulty in taking on an iconic character like Bond?

Boyd: For some people there might be, but I had written two spy novels so I was very familiar with the demands of the genre. I’ve written a film about Charlie Chaplin. I wrote a six-hour miniseries about Hitler. So taking on a book about James Bond, somebody that’s present in the minds of millions of other people, didn’t seem as strange to me as it might have been to other writers. It was a challenge but it was a highly intriguing one. So I approached it very much in that spirit. I was also given a very free hand by the Fleming family. If they had wanted me to write to a formula or a pastiche of Ian Fleming I wouldn’t have done it. They really let me write in my own voice, invent my own storyline with a very hands-off, benign approach. So it wasn’t a daunting prospect, more an enticing one.

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CNN: You’ve written about Ian Fleming before, so were you already a fan of his?

Boyd: It was more of a curiosity. I became quite curious about Fleming as a certain sort of Englishman. He was a close acquaintance of Evelyn Waugh, a writer who I’ve read every word he’s written. I’m equally curious about Waugh but the two men didn’t like each other at all. I began to wonder why this should be and started to investigate Fleming’s personality and his particular nature, which I think in some ways is very English. I think he wanted to die, which is what’s so odd. He was a misanthrope and maybe depressive. He was only 56 when he eventually died but he was in a hurry to get to the grave as he said himself. So I was very intrigued by him as a sort of case study. In many ways he seemed rather similar to Evelyn Waugh and it was odd that the two didn’t like each other at all. So the Fleming curiosity was certainly there, I had put him in as a character in my novel, “Any Human Heart.” I don’t know if the Fleming family was aware of this, but I was certainly clued up about their famous ancestor.

CNN: Why did you choose to set the novel in 1969 and largely in Africa?

Boyd: I wanted very much to set the novel in the era of Bond. The novels appeared between 1953 and 1964 and if Fleming had looked after himself a bit better he could have conceivably written a novel in 1969. So it’s very much that world that Bond the character would know and it’s also a world of no mobile phones, the Cold War is raging, there’s no Internet, computers are fairly elementary, it’s classic spying. I very much wanted to exploit all those echoes and illusions and textures. I thought I would take him to Africa, because I said to the Fleming family when I met them that I wanted to write a very realistic Bond novel, a real spy novel about a real human being, a real spy on a real mission.

So I thought about my own background, my own upbringing. I’d been living in Nigeria in the late 1960s when the Nigerian civil war was on and it had a profound effect on me. I thought I’ll send Bond off to a nasty little war in Africa. You can’t get more down and dirty and gritty than that. So I paralleled the events of the novel pretty closely on the events of the Nigerian civil war. But in the interests of making Bond real and making his mission real, I didn’t want to write anything with too much gimmickry or gadgetry involved, or fantastical plots or organizations wanting to take over the world. I wanted it to be a highly realistic novel.

CNN: Is there another character from literature you would like to take on?

Boyd: When I come across a character I’m intrigued by, I often write a short story about this character. I fictionalize aspects of their life. I wrote a short story about Brahms, for example, because I’m a great lover of his music. I wrote a short story about Chekov for the same reason. In my novel, “Any Human Heart,” I was able to have my fictional character bump into all sorts of real people who either intrigue, infuriate or fascinate me. I guess I’m quite curious about Ernest Hemingway as a character. I’m not a great admirer of his novels but I’m very curious about him as an individual. So it might be quite stimulating to revisit Hemingway through the filter of fiction and see what I make of him the way I’ve been able to do with these other characters.

I’m currently writing a miniseries about Lawrence of Arabia, another deeply complex, strange man but because it’s a drama I’m able to move away from the restrictions of documentary fact and present my imagined portrait of T.E. Lawrence, which is a very fascinating prospect. So Hemingway, I keep reading every book that comes out about him. There’s obviously something about him in the same way as Fleming that intrigued me. So watch this space, maybe it will happen.



‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’ shocker: Key character dies in latest novel

(CNN) — Helen Fielding’s latest novel on Bridget Jones isn’t even out yet and it’s already reportedly a shocker.
This weekend, The Sunday Times published excerpts from Fielding’s upcoming book, “Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy,” that reveal a crucial character, Mr. Darcy, has been killed off.
Cue the collective gasps of horror from around the world.

Fielding first introduced heroine Bridget Jones in 1996 with her best-selling “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” a cheeky look at a 30-something single woman’s adventures with life and love in London. During that initial installment, Bridget gets to know the prickly but sweet Mark Darcy, and in the follow-up, 1999’s

“Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason,” he proposes.
But by the time we get to “Mad About the Boy,” Darcy is dead and Bridget is a 51-year-old widowed mother of two. (At least they got to have kids before he kicked the bucket — the reason behind which is still unknown.)
Fielding said when the new novel was announced that Bridget would be in a different place with “Mad About the Boy.” “My life has moved on and Bridget’s will move on, too,” the author said in February. “I hope people will have as much fun reading it, as I am writing it.”
That’s questionable, considering some of the intense reactions fans have had to the news of Darcy’s death.
“Just found out Mark Darcy, from the #BridgetJones sequel, was killed off !!!! I can’t handle this!” said one fan. “Helen Fielding killed off Mark Darcy in the new Bridget Jones book? My hopeless romantic heart is devastated,” said another.
Given that these reactions have poured in on Twitter, the conversation does occasionally turn hyperbolic:


“The news said that Mark darcy gets killed off in the 3rd Bridget Jones, my life has ended,” tweeted one distraught fan. Posted another: “If Mark Darcy is really dead I have no reason to live anymore. #overlydramatic #bridgetjones #whywouldshedothis”
Yet another clung to some “Dexter”-inspired hope: “Could it be that Mark Darcy fakes his own death & ends up as a lumberjack in the Pacific Northwest?” the user queried.
Either way, it is apparent that Bridget has moved on. In the Sunday Times excerpt, she describes her indecision between attending pal Talitha’s 60th birthday party, and spending time with her “toy boy,” a nearly-30-year-old named Roxster.
Both “Bridget Jones’s Diary” and “The Edge of Reason” were adapted into movies starring Renee Zellweger as Bridget and Colin Firth as Mark Darcy, and a third movie is expected to be on the way. At this point, we’re not sure if Firth should be quite so excited.