the drama book shop yay!

February 1, 2014

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In the cool news department, the book is shipping out to The Drama Book Shop in New York and will be on shelves this month.  Yay!


:::visit the book page:::




max_bio A friend


Was just asking about screenwriting, which she’s interested in, and getting up and running learning the basics. I threw some advice at her and here it is again for anyone out there looking to start and not knowing where to start, screenwriting:


I sometimes teach beginning classes through Gotham Writers, but I don’t have any on the schedule right now and they aren’t cheap. The bulk of my classes are through The Academy of Film Writing [AFW] and are master classes, you have to have the basics to get into those.

Screenwriting U advertises free classes from time to time which might be a good place to start. They have a Facebook page. I don’t know how good they are, but free is free.

A book I highly recommend is David Trottier’s The Screenwriter’s Bible, which is a good place to start. That’s on Amazon.

Also, hit Terry Rossio’s Wordplay and read everything in the archives, all of Terry’s articles on writing are really educational, I make a lot of my students read those.

Seger has a couple good books, one is How To Make a Good Script Great, and the other is Creating Unforgettable Characters. Those are both on Amazon too.

Read scripts. Scripts, scripts, and more scripts.

This is a good source site for screenplays online:

Not all of these titles will be on there but some really great scripts in no particular order are When Harry Met Sally, Moonstruck, Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, Romancing the Stone, The Terminator, Fabulous Baker Boys, Blade Runner, Accidental Tourist, Last Boy Scout, Jaws, Shawshank Redemption, John Carpenter’s The Thing, American Beauty, and The Fugitive.

Don’t get thrown by format. Format has five parts: scene headers, scene description, dialogue cues, parentheticals, and dialogue. That’s it. Five parts.  People get all whacked out by format like it’s this big complex math equation but it isn’t, script format has five very simple parts, the end, and some people don’t even use the parentheticals.

Pay attention to verbs in scene description, reading scripts, that’s where motion comes from. And to the details given in character descriptions when they are introduced, that’s character work and the first impression a reader gets of a character. Character intro’s are especially strong in Shawshank Redemption and in The Fugitive.


There you have it. Max’s down and dirty screenwriting primer for beginners.


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At the risk of being grossly commercial here [hey it is Christmas, never say I do not understand the Christmas spirit o' commerce] if you are still running about and have not found that perfect gift for the screenwriter on your list [well diamonds would work too but let's say you are thrifty and want to keep it under thirty bucks] The New Screenwriter’s Survival Guide is available at these retail stores:


:::BOOK PEOPLE::: [Austin, TX]
:::BOOK SOUP::: [Hollywood, CA]
:::CINEMA BOOKS::: [Seattle, WA]
:::SAMUEL FRENCH::: [Hollywood, CA]


That only works if you are in Austin, Hollywood, Seattle, or Boston, but hey, we are doing our best here and you ARE the one who waited until Christmas Eve to shop, jeez.


*The book is also available on :::AMAZON.COM:::.  In case you get any pesky gift certificates and do not know what to do with them.


facebook for science

December 17, 2013


facebook_art_logo_200Ever since —

I started the AFW Facebook Page and the TNSSG Facebook Page, Facebook has been chiding me about not “boosting” posts.



Boosting posts is when you give Facebook money to send posts out to way more people than would usually see the posts. It is supposed to be savvy marketing. I have mostly given that a pass. But then came the Christmas book special. [That’s over now, it ran through December 15. did you see it on Facebook? No? Bummer for you. Next time hit the book site.] So I thought, What the hell, Facebook, show us what you got — and dropped a C note on Facebook for science.



What happened was one book sale coming out of a Facebook boosted post.

[Yeah there were more sales, but only one from that Facebook boosted post --- Facebook you are not the only king of the mountain tracking where this stuff comes in from.]



After you figure time put in writing, publishing, editing, doing layout work, paying for design work, picking up little things like ISBNs, website and marketing support [not including a Facebook “boosted” post], and what not, what’s left over from one book sale is not a lot of cash and is for sure not going to justify dropping a hundred bucks on Facebook to boost that post.

Or to boost any post.



I’m okay with that. It was for science.



Here’s what is unsettling.



Ever since I boosted one post on Facebook? All other posts on the AFW and TNSSG Facebook pages suddenly aren’t getting “seen” much according to Facebook numbers.

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Used to be, a solid post on one of the pages got “seen” a couple hundred times — and in really stand out moments, pages got “seen” up to 500 or 800 times.

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Post the “boosted” Facebook page event, any and all posts on the AFW and TNSSG Facebook pages are lucky if they make 20 “seens.” And some are way lower than that, like around 5 or 7 “seens.” And the top top post right now? 185. Not so hot, in comparison to what the top top posts were pre-Facebook “boost” post. And definitely more uninspiring still, when you look at the current average [unbefore known to man or beast] “seen” count post “the boost”:

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Maybe I’m just misguided and underestimating how many people are off the computer during the holiday season. But it sure feels on this end like all posts on the AFW and TNSSG Facebook pages are being squelched or misreported on the Facebook end post the “boosted” post – more than posts normally are squelched or unreported because of weird Facebook viewer algorithms.



The only reason I can think of for squelching “seen” numbers post a “boosted” post would be to convince someone their viewing numbers are so low without boosting a post, they’d better boost another post or they are going to be invisible from here on out.

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That seems like a whole lot of stick and very little carrot to throw at someone who just for the first time handed some cash over to Facebook.

[Jeez did no one there ever take a dog training lesson?]



Also that would require, to be convincing, someone with a really short memory on the other end of those new reported “seen” numbers who hadn’t seen and remembered over a year’s worth of Facebook “seen” stats prior to the “boosted” post. And didn’t think that was pirate action, stomping someone after they gave you some cash, to try to make them give you more.



Or it could just be me —

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Not really.



tnssg_cover_christmas_250HOLIDAY BOOK GIVEAWAY:

In the interests of getting the book name and link out there as much as possible, the plan here is to give away free books over the holidays.

HOW:  ::Contact::: me and submit your proposal for a group or site giveaway, let me know how many people are in the group and what sort of deadline or date scenario you have in mind.  If it alls sounds good, I’ll supply the book.

WHERE:  Groups with an online presence of some sort that can spread the word and link back to the book site are best.   But in person groups and meets are also a possibility if they are influential and get the title circulating among members.

WHEN:  Any time between now and the first of the year.

WHY: To get the book title out there and circulating and gaining some recognition factor outside my immediate realm of influence.  Anyone on my sites or connected directly to me already knows the book’s title and/or probably already has the book.  The idea here is to have giveaways in venues not directly linked to me to get the title circulating in new places.

WHO SHOULD DO THIS:  Anyone with a significant writers membership and/or online presence.

WHO PICKS THE WINNERS:  It’s up to the organizer to pick winners.  I’ll supply the book.  I’d also like to know, if and when this flies, how many people entered or were present for the book drawing.



PS: Max will be a #Scriptchat guest December 29th, 8 PM EST, discussing “Do’s and don’ts to get your screenplay read, sold, and produced.” A lucky #scriptchat attendee will receive a free copy of The New Screenwriter’s Survival Guide.



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The current Banksy map. Banksy’d states are blue. Non-Banksy’d states are blank.

States still to go:

Idaho (*)
North Dakota
South Carolina (*)
South Dakota
Wisconsin (*)



Salt_LickThe TNSSG Street Team and —

Terry Rossio are having a total barbeque frenzy Wednesday, October 23rd, in Austin Texas [yes the kick off day of the Austin Film Festival] at a totally famous Austin barbeque place.




I could tell you how to get to this fabulous extravaganza, but —

I don’t want to coddle you.

And —

I am bored with trying to bribe people.



Choose the correct door below and you will get the details. And could totally show for this faboo barbeque extravaganza.

Don’t choose the right door?




Good luck, Sports Fans.

Love and Kisses,

Your No More Coddling Adams Girl


:::door number one:::
:::door number two:::
:::door number three:::
:::door number four:::





Word on the street is we just went Banksy in Connecticut, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Yay yay yay!

That leaves us 18 states to go Banksy before Christmas.


Alaska [*]
Hawaii [*]
Idaho [*]
North Dakota
Ohio [*]
Oregon [*]
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota


*Asterisks mean someone said they’re taking that state, that doesn’t always happen just because someone says it’s going to happen, but hey, there’s a claim.


ow the knee ow

August 27, 2013




So foolishly Saturday night I went dancing in totally inappropriate shoes.  [Hey, I did not know I was going dancing, I thought I was going to a comedy club.  And I did that too.  The dancing was a surprise event that came after.]  Then for good measure, I trotted up and down unfriendly stairs in said inappropriate shoes, did two shots of some really suspicious cinnamon flavored brew, and slammed my [bad, okay, they are both bad, but I picked the most bad for this stunt] knee into a hard surface just to bring that baby home.



The knee is not feeling very forgiving.  My knees have never been forgiving.  In the words of a past ortho doc, “So pretty on the outside, so ugly on the inside.”  So I am a little hobbled here, but hey, the knee has not demanded the knee brace yet.  Ooh la la, I can still wear shorts and pretty dresses — if I don’t go crazy on the shoes.  [Yeah, don't count on that.]



Meanwhile, in other news.  If you were planning on that free bumper sticker with swag, you missed out.  That ended Sunday.  But the swag is still cool, free [bribe!] bumper sticker or not, and there is cool new book news on the horizon. 

:::THE BOOK::: is now available at Book People [Austin], Book Soup [West Hollywood], Cinema Books [Seattle],  Samuel French [Hollywood], and coming soon to Trident Booksellers and Cafe [Boston].  Yay!

[Check out :::WHERE TO BUY::: for the current list of booksellers.]

Also we’re talking to Book Soup about an author event.  That would seriously be yay, though involve [uh ohs] me getting on a plane.



And in other cool ass news, knee willing and the creek don’t rise, I’ll be playing softball in the upcoming Gridiron Heroes Celebrity Softball Tournament September 13-14 in Schertz Texas [that's by San Antonio for the geographically impaired] so if you want to see mind over matter, come out to the Gridiron Heroes event and watch me run on this punk ass knee.  Yay!

I promise to wear appropriate foot wear and swing that bat.  Also I throw in home via Second and yell “Not the face!” a lot [my short stop days are over shut up] and should be doing a fabulous Kirk Gibson impression from the year The Dodgers brought that baby home.  Except I’m shorter and blonder.  Bottom line, It should be entertaining as hell, if you like to see small blondes run and curse a lot.

AND.  It’s for a :::DAMN GOOD CAUSE:::

See you there.


Your Gridiron Heroes Adams Girl



*BTW, we have done hot crazy Gridiron Hero action here before. Oh yez, last year we did the hot poker tournament and auction. Stop in. We’re not going anywhere.




question_markI had a bit —

Of a blow up at my second father the other day. I’ve been killing myself posting about the book on social media sites. That’s what you have to do if you’re an author, just to make people aware a title is out there. That or rent a billboard in Times Square, which is sort of not in the budget. This has been going on a while, and there have been other all book fun things going on to help promote the book. The meme competition. Going Banksy. The book trailer. And now the book just came out in paperback and is up on Amazon. Cool, huh? And I share the link.

Not one member of my family ever shares the book link. Not one. Friends do. Fans do. But the family? Never.

So I’m feeling bruised and sharky, especially since he just posted a link of a cousin’s CD on his FB page. And I’m thinking, Really? My cousin rates? But not your daughter? And I snap at him. At which point he immediately posts a book link and I feel kind of bitchy and like maybe there was a better way to say it.

The thing is, lots of people, and not just the clueless-about-the-way-things-work-for-writers crowd, lots of authors too, have absolutely no clue about the impact social media has or how important it is to freaking help or even how to help an author struggling out there in Promotion Land. If they did, the people who say “I love you” on a regular basis would actually get behind you and your book and help you push. I am convinced of this.

So. A little help for those of you out there who would like to help a writer, you just don’t know how.



1. Buy the book. This would seem like a no brainer but it must be said. Sales help numbers and sales rankings and also, you know, that’s how the writer gets paid. The book sells and the writer makes a royalty. Also, a little known fact: Writers pay for their own books. So if you are sitting back thinking, Hey, I’m family, that writer should give me a free copy? News flash. It’s not a “free” copy to the writer. Just to you. Because the writer paid for it just to give it to you. Greedy! Go buy the damn book.

2. Write the review. Reviews places like Amazon and Barnes & Noble and iBooks and Good Reads count. A lot. They’re word of mouth. They tell someone else considering buying and reading the book that someone else out there liked it and thinks it’s worth buying and reading. Reviews do not have to be long or erudite. This isn’t being written for The New Yorker. They just have to be there and say, “Hey, I liked this, I think you will too.”

3. Blog the book. Lots of people out there have blogs. You have a favorite writer? Post their book. Say something nice about it on the blog. I don’t care if you only have ten visitors a month on that blog, every little bit helps. You can get fancy. Here’s a blog post about the book by author and editor Nancy Bilyeau. But it can also be short and sweet. Here’s a short blog post by writer and blogger Kym Kemp. And another short one from Patricia Burroughs. They all work. It counts a lot that they are out there. [Thanks Nancy and Kym and Pooks. You rock.]

4. Share the book on social media sites. Facebook? Twitter? StumbledUpon? A web community you visit regularly? Share the book. Post about the book. Talk about the book. This means more than simply hitting a like button when the writer posts the book. It means keeping the fire going by passing the link forward in the social media chain. Don’t just hit like. Hit “share.”

5. Talk about the book. This would seem like another no brainer, but apparently it isn’t. Talk. About. The. Book. That will be much more interesting at the next cocktail party than one more diatribe about Ayn Rand. Trust me. We have all heard the Ayn Rand diatribe. Time for something new. Yay!

6. Ask about the book at your favorite book store. Suggest the book store carry the book. [Do not special order the book and not pick it up. The book store people do not just shrug and put those special order books on the shelf, they return the books to the publisher -- which sucks for everyone. Just ask them if they carry the book and tell them you like it a lot and why maybe they should.]

7. Hit Amazon and add tags and like the book. This is more important than liking the book on Facebook, this is liking the book at the source, with a seller. It effects ranking. And tagging helps other people interested in the book’s subject find the book. I’ll stick a short tutorial in here to help you go about that.

8. Belong to a book club? A writing group? Suggest the club or group cover the book. Sometimes books are available at discounted rates if purchased in bulk by clubs or groups too so find out, everyone wins on that one because the group gets a better price.

9. Host a book event. Say a reading/book signing. This counts double if you, say, work at a book store. But it doesn’t always have to be a book store. My first book reading was at an art gallery. Some groups meet regularly and need speakers, well, surprise, the author is a speaker. Be a little creative here.

10. Post comments on author or the book’s Facebook pages and other websites. On Facebook, a page doesn’t get points because of how many people are hitting like buttons, a page gets points because of discussion happening on the page. So don’t just hit like. Say something on the page. It goes a long way.

That’s ten. Feel free to suggest more in the comments section. [Yeah, the comments section, we just covered that right?] Now here’s the video clip:



Now go forth and help an author. It doesn’t have to be me, though that would be greatly appreciated. But help an author today. You’ll feel good about yourself, and the author will like you too. Yay!

Also, here’s another great post on helping authors with promotions from Mike Duran:


Hit that baby, it’s good reading.


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