Jeff Lyons

Sci-Fi Circuit: The Enneagram of Sci-Fi

As a sci-fi screenwriter, I’m interested in more than just big tent pole movies. I want to write and see sci-fi stories with heart, stories that make me feel, stories that reveal character. I’ve always been a huge fan of Firefly and Serenity for that reason, and Joss Whedon continued to...

Story Talk: Should I Take a $1 Option On a Screenplay?

You get the phone call, and it goes something like this: Friend: Hey, are you sitting down? (smile in his voice) You: Yeah, what’s up? Friend: I have a producer who wants to option your script! You: (heart flutters) Oh my god … Friend: Yeah, he’s an indie producer I know—really...

Story Talk: Plot=Character=Story—The Magick Formula™

Recently, I was teaching a workshop on premise line development. In that class I defined the terms “character,” “plot,” and “story” (as I use them; a bit differently than many). The resulting chaos this caused among the writer-students was startling.  Okay, I have developed my own interpretation of these classical terms...

The Crime Writer’s Weekend: Get the 411 on 5-0!

It’s nearly impossible to flick through TV channels or look at the movie listings these days and not find show that involves law enforcement. Whether it’s CSI, Dexter, a gritty thriller feature or even Boardwalk Empire the authorities are involved at some level. And if there’s one thing that will make...

Story Talk: To Outline or Not to Outline—That Is the Question!

Click to tweet this article to your friends and followers! As you know, if you read this column with any regularity, I take a morbid pleasure in sharing with you cantankerous, mean-spirited, and humiliating conversations I have from time to time with fellow writers, publishers, film producers and other fellow travelers...

Story Talk: Writer’s Block—Really? Part II

In “Story Talk: Writer’s Block—Really? Part 1” I introduced the myth and the reality of writer’s block and talked about the popular mythology about this overinflated annoyance.  As it happens, writer’s block is 99.99 percent smoke and .1 percent fact.  The .1-percent part is the only part you can work with....