Thursday, December 28, 2006


Crazy-busy around here the past few weeks as we prep for the launch of Writers on the Storm 2 on January 2nd. But it's a good busy. We learned a lot from the first contest, and this year we have made a bunch of changes -- but have kept all the cool stuff about the first contest.

Oh, and we've upped the prize package to over 12 grand in prizes. No other contest puts this much development muscle behind your script! Check it out here.

Entry is still free with any Coverage, Ink analysis; top ten percent (all 'consider with reservations' or better for script) automatically advance to the quarterfinal round. And if you seubmit your script to Coverage, ink, you can polish the script as many times as you want and resubmit the script either to CI or directly to the contest (paying the $35 entry fee.) This unique 'do-over' feature means you can actually develop your script with us right up till the end of the contest (3/20/07.) Now there's a real reason to enter a contest early!

Much more to tell, but for now check out the contest site at for more info.

--Jim Cirile

Sunday, December 03, 2006

"LARGE"--and Not in Charge

Everyone, right now: stop using the word "large."

You think I'm joking, right? Jim's lost it. Oh, nay, gentle readers. Allow me to explain.

"Large" is a lazy adjective. It's also often vague, generally unnecessary and perhaps even meaningless. When I read a script--and I read lots of 'em--I almost always see way too many LARGES--sometimes a dozen of 'em on the same page. And the sad part is most writers never even realize what they're doing.

Interestingly, "small" is not nearly as over- or thoughtlessly used as "large"--but "young" is. Let me whip out a few recent examples.

1) Peter opens up a large can of coffee.

Okay, do we really need the word LARGE here? How many sizes of coffee cans are there? I think the writer just threw a "large" in there because he was conditioned to use an adjective, so he used the first one he thought of. How about "Peter opens a can of coffee"?

2) Marge storms into the large Wal-Mart.


She approaches a large CLERK (30s).

Okay, a LARGE Wal-Mart? I know, I know, they have regular Wal-Marts and Supercenters, but if it's a Supercenter, say so. Why use large? Isn't "Wal-Mart" enough? We all draw an immediate mental picture that the word "large" fails to enhance.

I'm willing to let "large CLERK" slide, since that's a fair description--but it is a bit boring. Can't we think of a less lazy way to describe him? How about "obese with thick glasses and a combover"?

3) Inside stand THREE YOUNG GIRLS.

Too vague. What does this mean? Are we talking toddlers? Teenagers? twenty-somethings? "Young Girls" could apply to any of these groups. It tells us nothing. Thank God it wasn't "THREE LARGE YOUNG GIRLS"!

When you're writing, analyze your adjectives carefully. If an artist carelessly slops on a color he hasn't considered thoughtfully, it will detract from his overall painting. Same thing with your adjectives. Train yourself not to fall back on tired, vague adjectives like LARGE. Choose a better adjective, and watch your pages come alive!

--Jim Cirile