Happy Friday! This week I worked on several half-hour TV shows. In each case, the writer had a good story but no outstanding feature to get the work sold. It’s hard to find a hook for a story because there are so many successful shows to compete against. The writer has to be willing to plow through many good stories. One project I was working on this week was a sitcom with a fascinating backstory, but the writer couldn’t find a current situation that would sell it. I suggested that he
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I feel like I have found “my teacher.”
For the first time, in all my years of taking various classes, I feel like I have found “my teacher.”
“Marilyn, It’s been an amazing year developing my script. Thank you for your mentorship and friendship.”
Allison-Author 101 University
“Just wanted to say I read your book and think it’s terrific. You took a process that can seem overwhelming and made it very accessible. One of my favorite quotes is this: “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” You really know your material and… Read more “Allison-Author 101 University”
“It is such an amazing ride to take your classes. Your generosity, insight and gracious support inspires me in so many ways. Not just as a writer but more importantly as a person with desires to live genuinely. Thank you so much! I look forward to learning from you again… Read more “Levin Lee”
Deborah Van Eck, executive producer, Bonyton Beach Club
“Professor Horowitz offers amazing insights and tools to keep the writer focused, disciplined and thinking out the box.”
Sam Cawthorn, Motivational Success Coach
“In 2011 I heard Marilyn speak and she massively influenced me during her talk. I then went to meet with her and she help me and worked on the book I was writing. Not only was my book published by Wiley Publishing House giving me a cash advance, but it… Read more “Sam Cawthorn, Motivational Success Coach”
GQ, “The Hollywood Issue”
“Marilyn Horowitz, full-time writer, producer and script doctor conceived this step-by-step programme that will genuinely get your first script completed.”
Michael Zam, Emmy Nominated Writer (Feud)
“For over a decade I have been recommending Marilyn to anyone with the intention of writing a screenplay (or a book or a memoir or…). Her 10-week workbook is one of the clearest and most-efficient methods around. I have used it in my own work both as a teacher and… Read more “Michael Zam, Emmy Nominated Writer (Feud)”
Brad Winters, Emmy Nominated Writer (Oz)
“Rather than bringing yet another set of theoretical tools to the table, she leads the student to the living tools already within us.”
John Köehler, publisher at Köehler Books
“Marilyn Horowitz is a multi-tasking rock star. Whether giving advice, coaching writers or teaching classes, she goes big. Like her new novel, The Book of Zev, which we have the privilege of publishing in December. The book is big. Zev is big. Marilyn is …. not as big as Zev!… Read more “John Köehler, publisher at Köehler Books”
Russ Stevenson, Russ On The Radio
“It was my pleasure meeting with you at Author 101 University…You have impacted many authors and so many told me of your success. I would love to have you on my radio show and to promote the people who you are training.”
Caytha Jentis, Creator (And Then Came Love & The Other “F” Word)
“Marilyn helped me turn my raw first draft into a marketable screenplay that I ultimately produced starring Vanessa Williams and Eartha Kitt and was sold to Warner Bros.”
“MH is the best. Scriptwriting is tedious to perform but she has brought me and many others to a certain place with four common questions…I would like to say that when I started off with the idea of writing screenplay, I totally had no idea what it looks like at… Read more “Edu O.”
“I really don’t think I’d be writing today if it wasn’t for Marilyn and the way she’s taught me. Her methods, her 12-step map and really everything I’ve been learning from her in the five years I’ve been studying with her, it’s really made me into the writer that I… Read more “Nick B.”
“I’m just stoked to have known Marilyn, studied in her classes and I think she’s just a ‘given’ in my telephone book now.”
“Marilyn helped take a story that’s been in my head for 20 years and actually get it on paper. What she does that I think is really exciting is she provides you with a structure that I think enables you to actually connect personally with your story to make it… Read more “Cooper W.”
“Marilyn— I thank you for your help. Your system for storytelling, along with the process of outlining, has enabled me to organize my thoughts and proceed to a finished initial draft, which is the single hardest hurdle in the writing process at least as far as I’m concerned.”
“When I started reading The Four Magic Questions of Screenwriting, I couldn’t put it down. The book is easy to understand and gets right to the point. Marilyn encourages you to write and keep on writing. This book is a must have for screenwriters at any level. I have read… Read more “Kristen”
“I am working through the outline for my screenplay adaptation of “Great Falls, Virginia!” Very happy with the way it’s coming along. And yes, your input was helpful in structuring it – emotionally. I am finding it much easier to decide what scenes are necessary and can stand alone, what… Read more “Kristi K”
“The pitching advice you gave me in your ‘Writing Villain First’ class helped me secure an actual request for my script… Later, at our script consultation, your observations concerning my screenplay conclusion confirmed doubts I had been having, and your suggestions for remedying the problem were astute and on-target. These… Read more “Rich”
John Köehler, Founder and Publisher of Köehler Books
“HOROWITZ IS A ROCK STAR!!!”
How To Find a “Hook” for Your Project
Join my free class!
How To Find a “Hook” for Your Project
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
7:00 pm to 8:30 pm EST
A “hook” is the element that makes your TV pilot, film script, or novel irresistible to both producers and to your audience. Finding the right hook for your project is often harder than creating it. How did the movie, Big, get its name? What is the “hook” of Everyone Loves Raymond? Breaking Bad? Star Wars? How did J.K Rowling develop the idea for the Harry Potter series? Tune into my webinar to learn the techniques that will help you develop a new story with a great “hook,” or take your current project to the next level. This is how you’ll find success: You develop the story until when you pitch the idea or the script is read, and the fascinating possibilities of your story, are immediately apparent. The response you’ll get will be “Yes.”
In this seminar, you’ll learn:
1. How to develop a new story with a hook.
2. How to take your current project and improve the concept.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to attend, so I can admit you into class!
Episode Boot Camp: Write Your Half-Hour TV Pilot in Six Weeks
In this accelerated class, you’ll execute or revise a half-hour show using Marilyn’s fool proof method for structuring a story. A great pilot begins with a memorable main character, an unusual setting, a great story, and a strong supporting cast. I will review your story ideas before class begins.Click here to learn more!
From Idea to Concept
Were you unable to attend my recent NYWIFT seminar? I am excited to be offering the seminar in digital format.Click here to learn more!
How To Write The Perfect Pilot in 30 Days
In this practical workshop, Marilyn will discuss the elements that make up a perfect half-hour pilot.Click here to learn more!
Happy Friday! Woo hoo! My NYU Student, Helen, completed her screenplay in six weeks, and it’s good. I’m so proud of her! Helen’s accomplishment is an inspiration to all of us. We just have to commit to the motto of the HorowitzSystem ®: “Don’t get it right, get it written.” Brava, Helen! My webinar, How to Write a Great Scene, was really fun, and I’ll be giving another one in two weeks, and will let you know when and where. There was a confusion about the day of the week, and in the
Happy Friday! It’s so great to sit with friends at dinner. My Greek friend, Loannis, owns Big Nick's Pizzeria. He’s a very great chef and a wonderful storyteller. There’s been so much going on politically this past week that it’s hard to concentrate on writing! But concentrate we must! One way to focus is to write very short stories or character sketches using a timer set for fifteen-minute increments. This exercise will help keep you focused without pushing you beyond your
Happy Friday! Today is the first day of the weeklong holiday of Sukkot, celebrated five days after Yom Kippur. Sukkot is the Jewish holiday of the harvest and also commemorates the forty years that the Jews wandered in the desert after receiving the Torah. Much of the imagery and ritual of the holiday revolves around rejoicing and thanking God for the completed harvest. This holiday is celebrated in an unusual way. Traditionally, a hut is built outside, and the family will spend time