Author Archives: Jeff Lyons

Jeff Lyons

About Jeff Lyons

Jeff Lyons is currently a story editor and story development consultant at Kensington Entertainment, Burbank, CA. He also teaches story structure and story development through Stanford University's Online Writers Studio, and guest lectures through the UCLA Extension Writers Program and the University of Toronto. His writing can be found in Script Magazine, Writer’s Digest Magazine, and The Writer Magazine. Jeff is the founder of Storygeeks, a professional services company offering story consulting, training and editorial services to screenwriters, novelists and nonfiction authors. More information can be found on his website, storygeeks.com. Follow @storygeeks on Twitter and “like” Storygeeks on Facebook. In 2015, he will be publishing a Anatomy of a Premise Line: How to Master Premise and Story Development for Story Success through Focal Press.

Story Talk: High Concept—Yes—It Actually Means Something!

As screenwriters, we have all come up against the agent, publisher, studio hack or fellow writer who when asked to give feedback on our story retorts, “Yeah, good idea, but… it needs to pop more. There’s no high concept.” Sigh. “High concept”: what the heck does that mean—really? What is a...

Story Talk: Playwrights Have It Better Than Screenwriters—or Do They?

We’ve all heard the laments: why are playwrights more respected than screenwriters; why do playwrights retain copyright and screenwriters don’t; why do screenwriters get treated like dirt  and playwrights like gods; why can’t you change a single word of a playwright’s work, but it’s okay to completely rewrite a screenwriter’s script?...

From Option to Premiere: A Writer’s Journey #2

September 2, 2012 To paraphrase an old military adage: movie-making is a lot like war—long periods of boredom punctuated by moments of life and death. And so … I (we) wait. Let us recap the process so far, the process every writer can expect after optioning a script: #1: Flurry of...

Story Talk: An Interview with Author and Producer Barbara Freedman Doyle

Barbara Freedman Doyle’s Make Your Movie: What You Need to Know About the Business and Politics of Filmmaking is anything but another run-of-the-mill, how-to book on breaking into the film business. This is a blunt, real, smack-you-upside-the-head resource that is essential reading for anyone smitten with notions of a future working...

From Option to Premiere: A Writer’s Journey #1

In May 2012, I optioned a screenplay to a production company in the United Kingdom.  Sadly, I’ve been in the screenwriting game long enough to know that optioning a screenplay is a lot like promising someone, “the check’s in the mail.”  Options tend to be black holes out of which nothing...

Story Talk: Aaron Sorkin Critics vs. Reality

Salon posted a scathing article July 19, 2012, by Alex Pareene, entitled “Aaron Sorkin versus reality.”  Scathing is hardly the word for it.  Pareene essentially eviscerated Sorkin for being “ … a smug, condescending know-it-all who isn’t as smart as he thinks he is.” Clearly this guy does not like Aaron...