wtf_red_question_markMax’s Dictionary of Screenwriting Hmm Moments:  “Hmmm” = A moment reading a script when a reader stops on a dime and says, WTF?

A Few of Those Moments —

1.  The pilot of a passenger jet liner rolls down the cockpit window.  [For double credit, while flying.  For triple?  It’s not a passenger jet. It’s a submarine.]

2.  Someone whips out a cell phone.  In WWII Germany.

3.  Someone’s picking strawberries.  From a tree.  In a pine forest.

4.  INT.  DESK — DAY  [For double credit, recreate at random using INT.  TABLE — DAY || INT. WOOD BLOCK — DAY.  And your protagonists are not termites.]

5.  Someone’s doing a Google search.  In 1950.  On an iPhone.

6.  Doctors in an emergency room whip out defibrillator paddles.  To treat a concussion.  [For double credit, it’s a broken leg.  For triple?  She’s having a baby!]

7.  Intravenously shooting up marijuana leaves….

8.  Human beings without helmets or suits jump about.  In an outer space vacuum.

9.  People struggle with the safety.  On a Glock.

10.  People collect chicken eggs.  On a farm.  In a stable.


[I guarantee you the big fight here will be on chickens laying eggs in stables.  Shhh.  I will tell you why later.]




avedon twiggy

I was talking to one of my students. (You will notice this is a theme a lot around here — I talk to my students a lot.) It is about appearance. I am telling her she should go do something nice for her face.

This isn’t me saying anything damaging about her face, I just think a facial might be a nice stress relieving thing.

I get facials. They are nice stress relieving things. Also, I have essentially been making it up to my face ever since I shoved it into a windshield at sixteen. It started out as an apology but then just became habit. It’s working for me and the face. And —

It’s a nice stress relieving thing.

My student is balking, saying, Well doing that, taking care of my face —

Is such “Vanity!”

She says it with a capital “V” too. Also an exclamation mark. Apparently, this is seriously a sin, this being nice to the face thing.

I am unconvinced.

I know this girl. She goes to the doctor when she has health issues. She’s practically vegan. She’s very into healthy eating. She’s nice to everything else. Just not her face?

I say, Listen, Why is it okay to take care of your liver, your kidneys, your heart, but not your face? Why does it become “Vanity” if you are caring for your face, but it’s all good if you are caring for your spleen? Isn’t your face a part of you that you should be nice to too?


I don’t get the whole, It’s treating yourself right if you do something nice for your spleen, but it’s a mortal sin if you do something nice for your face thing. God created faces too, right? Probably he thinks you should treat them as well as you treat that spleen.


where the art work comes from:
that is richard avedon shooting twiggy


there are no puzzles here

November 8, 2008


Sometimes —

When I talk to people I have this feeling they are trying to find riddles in me that are not there. I say something simple like, The sky is blue, and a day later they say, You said this thing, The sky is blue, and I have been thinking about what it means and I think it means the sky is an odd circumvention of the jet propulsion system. [I am making that up but you get the gist.] And I sit there, kind of perplexed, and finally say, Well no, it just sort of meant exactly what I said: The sky is blue.

When I get in these situations I always feel like the person I am talking to is looking at a blackboard behind my head trying to find clues when really they do not need clues. I am pretty much a what you see is what you get girl. I do not speak in code. I say what I mean.


The other side of the coin is someone who continually tells me what my reactions or actions should be or would be if I was really saying what was true in a situation. I say, Hey, that made me mad, that is why I did that. [Mad as in angry, not mad as in hatter.] The person says, Well if you were mad wouldn’t it be more logical to do this other thing?

I sit there in those scenarios thinking, Um, what about being mad is logical? Mad is not logic, mad is emotion and emotion is not logical. And also why are you trying to rewrite me or change the meanings of my actions instead of just believing me when I tell you, When I am mad, this is what I do?


where the art work comes from :
that is from mcmone

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