The Artist's Prayer

Quotes for Writers:

"A professional is an amateur who didn't quit."

"It makes far more sense to congratulate yourself for having the courage to write than to berate yourself because you haven't yet succeeded.  If you're making progress, you're succeeding." (Kenneth Atchity, AEI)

"Stress is necessary.  It's not par for the course -- it is the course!"

"Writing is one of the highest forms of human creative potential.  So how can that be easy?  If it was easy, everybody would be doing it (instead of talking about doing it)."

"'Thou Shalt Not' might reach the head, but it takes 'Once Upon a Time' to reach the heart." (Philip Pullman)

Ten Commandments for Screenwriters

(Robert McKee)

1) Thou shalt not take the crisis/climax out of the protagonist's hands. The anti-deus ex machina commandment.
2) Thou shalt not make life easy for the protagonist. Nothing progresses in a story, except through conflict.
3) Thou shalt not give exposition for exposition's sake. Dramatize it. Convert exposition to ammunition.
4) Thou shalt not use false mystery or cheap surprise.
5) Thou shalt respect your audience. The anti-hack commandment.
6) Thou shalt know your world as God knows this one. The pro-research commandment.
7) Thou shalt not complicate when complexity is better. Don't multiply the complications on one level. Use all three: Intra-personal, Inter-personal, Extra-personal.
8) Thou shalt seek the end of the line, the negation of the negation, taking characters to the farthest reaches and depth of conflict imaginable within the story's own realm of probability.
9) Thou shalt not write on the nose. Put a subtext under every text.
10) Thou shalt rewrite.

Meditation in a Tool Shed - C. S. Lewis, MEDITATION IN A TOOL SHED by C.S. Lewis Copyright C.S. Lewis Pte. Ltd.. Reprinted by permission.

How Then Shall We Write - Gillette Elvgren

Visit my eBlog for many other great articles on the art and craft of screenwriting.


A writer's collective... But really for any one who is serious about "the page"... and is willing to share their journey with other scribes. Use this forum to talk through an outline, a script, a novel or any project that is intended to illuminate while it entertains.