by Jared Jones

Composer and teacher Alain Mayrand once tweeted “You don’t score the man running, you score WHY he runs! Know the story!” This is film music gospel. Jerry Goldsmith would frequently espouse this idea. He never wanted to score what was already shown on screen. It’s already there! He wanted to compose music that tapped into all the reasons, emotions, and hidden narratives buried inside what we were seeing. He understood that that was the unique power music had over all other cinematic ingredients. Goldsmith frequently voiced his frustration over directors who wanted him to simply score what everybody was already seeing.
DUNKIRK And The Dawn Of The Anti-Score. (via pablolf)

Using the appropriate vocabulary in your novel by Jared Jones




It is very important that the language in your novel reflects the time and place in which the story is set.

For example, my story is set in Italy. My characters would never “ride shotgun”, a term coined in US in the early 1900s referring to riding alongside the driver with a shotgun to gun bandits. 

Do your research! A free tool that I found to be very useful is Ngram Viewer


You can type any word and see when it started appearing in books. For example…one of my characters was going to say “gazillion” (I write YA) in 1994. Was “gazillion” used back then?


And the answer is…YES! It started trending in 1988 and was quite popular in 1994.

Enjoy ^_^

This is really important, especially because language can change in very unexpected ways. 

For example, did you know that before 1986 people never said “I need to”?Instead, they were far more likely to say “I ought to”, “I have to”, “I must”, or “I should”.

Don’t believe me?

Anyway, most people won’t notice subtle changes like that. But your reader will notice and be confused when characters in your medieval world use metaphors involving railroads and rockets.

One of the things you can do besides use Google Ngrams is to read books or watch movies written in the time period you want to set your story. The key here is that they can’t just be set in that time period, they have to have been made in that time period.

Also, there’s a Lexicon Valley episode on this very topic which I highly recommend. It’s called Capturing the Past

SEE ALSO Etymonline.  Word origins and when they’re first recorded. So, say I wanted to find out when a “coffee break” became a thing – around the 1950s, as seen in magazine adverts – or characters might talk about more genrallly “taking a break” from the 1860s

by Jared Jones

Jeff Bridges said to me once, when we were doing Cutter’s Way, “I always figure that if they get it on two takes and they don’t ask you if you want to do another one or they just don’t do another one, they figure you’re too dumb to do it any better.” [Laughs.] I said, “Oh, okay. So that means if we only get two takes on each scene, that means we’re too stupid to do any better?” And he said, “Yeah, I guess.” But you always think you can do it better. No matter what it is.
John Heard on The Lizzie Borden Chronicles, The Sopranos, Sharknado, and more (via pablolf)

by Jared Jones




I feel like grabbing you by your ears right now and screaming, “I’m not fucking interested!”. Instead, I’m going to drive home and do some accounting.

Nightcrawler (2014) dir. Dan Gilroy

Writer friends, file under: how to structure, how to character, how to stakes, how to arc, how to escalate.

Also written by Dan Gilroy. Thank you, Dan Gilroy!

Here’s the pdf of this amazing script. Nightcrawler at la screenwriter.

by Jared Jones

Weinstein: I guess this happens in lots of rooms, but in The Simpsons room there’ll be 20 minutes or half an hour with everyone silent, thinking of a funny sign gag or a Groundskeeper Willie line, but when someone pitches a great idea or a joke, the feeling spreads. It’s like, when someone pitches a joke like “chimpan-A to chimpan-Z,” you start thinking of even better jokes and it all builds on itself. One nugget of an idea leads to a brilliant sequence, and that’s what The Simpsons room does best, with everybody feeding and playing off of each other.
The Simpsons’ Planet of the Apes Musical: An Oral History (via pablolf)

by Jared Jones

There’s a truism that does the rounds in the U.K. quite a lot, which is that: Comedy is based on conflict. 

I think that’s an over-simplification, or rather, it’s a step too far. I think comedy comes from difference. The friends in Friends aren’t in conflict all day, every day, that’s not what’s going on, but they never feel the same about a particular situation. They all have a different view on what dating is.

Andrew Ellard (via pablolf)