I have been hosting this blog for over six years now and since just about Day 1, I have been blown away by the people who follow it. Aspiring writers, professional writers, screenwriters, TV writers, novelists, playwrights, poets, musicians, directors, producers, managers, agents, execs, actors, and on and on. Comments here on the blog, dozens of emails each day, tweets on Twitter. Talented people, passionate about stories and storytelling, committed to learning the craft, then bringing that knowledge to bear on their creativity.
It’s been a 74 month-long conversation in which I trust we all have benefited from our collective insights into the creative process, writing and life in general.
And then there are special moments like what happened yesterday. Out of the blue on my Twitter feed, I see this:
— AllieandLiz (@AllieandLiz) July 23, 2014
Curious, I clicked on the link which took me to the blog of Allie & Liz: “Screenwriters, Sisters, Junk-Food Addicts.” There on the front page of their clean, well-designed and attractive website, I read this:
Allie and I are big fans of Scott Myers’ blog, Go Into The Story. The other day I’m writing a scene where one character confronts another, and I’m a little stuck, so I start trying to think of other movies that have similar scenes.
That didn’t go so well. It was close to lunch. I blame the hunger.
Anyways, I immediately think, “I know I’ll check out some daily dialogue posts on GITS. Maybe I can find some on confrontation.” I did turn to GITS. I did not find any posts on confrontation. Turns out it’s kind of hard to search for daily dialogue themes, so I did what any reasonable human being would do in that situation. I put down the screenwriting and coded up a little PHP script to scrape the daily dialogue RSS feed from GITS and create an index of all the posts based on theme.
Now I’m really intrigued, so I click on the second link and it takes me to an astonishing page: An alphabetized list of links to hundreds and hundreds of Daily Dialogue posts, sorted by topics. Like this:
- A Beautiful Mind (2001)
- Brian’s Song (1971)
- In & Out (1997)
- MacArthur (1977)
- Nixon (1995)
- Parenthood (1989)
- The Postman (1997)
- Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
- Bringing Up Baby (1938)
- Charade (1963)
- Duck Soup (1933)
- His Girl Friday (1940)
- Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
- My Fellow Americans (1996)
- One, Two, Three (1961)
- Serenity (2005)
- Some Like It Hot (1959)
- Sullivan’s Travels (1941)
- The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947)
- The Philadelphia Story (1940)
- You Can’t Take It With You (1938)
For years, I had been wondering about doing something like this to make the 2,261 Daily Dialogue posts (as of today) into more of a resource for writers. Just like Liz wrote, what if a writer needed a bit of inspiration to craft dialogue for a scene featuring a specific theme. Go to a list, search for the topic, and voila! Dozens of examples from notable movies.
I thought about it. Liz actually did it. On her own.
I was so excited when I realized what Liz had done, I sent the links to Franklin and here is how he responded: “JAW. DROPPED.”
This is an example of the type of thing that goes on here at Go Into The Story week after week, albeit what Liz has done is an extreme and extremely cool version of it.
My very first instinct about starting this site was to create a resource for screenwriters. The blog has evolved over time, but that mission is still a primary one. There are over 15,000 posts here and if there are ways to make it more user friendly or helpful to writers, I’m all for exploring those options.
Or as in the case of Liz and her sister, I’m equally happy to have readers just drop a Golden Egg of Virtual Goodness right in my freaking lap!
We’ll be figuring out how to incorporate the Daily Dialogue Topic Index into the site’s archives in a formal way with a permanent acknowledgement and High Hosannas to Liz and Allie, but for now, feel free to visit the page Liz created and worship its utter topical beauty. Then if you’d be so kind as to head to comments to thank the sisters for their commitment to GITS and creating such an awesome resource, I’d appreciate it.
Finally while we’re at it, occasionally I’ll open the floor for suggestions, so this seems like a good time to do that. If you have ideas on how to improve the site, things you’d like to see done, or anything you think would be of value to readers, please feel free to post your ideas in comments.