Pilar Alessandra“In Juno, the main character had a tendency to joke and elaborate in fairly graphic terms. Yet her boyfriend, Bleeker, was a one-sentence answerer. Vanessa, the woman she planned to give her baby to, was a bit of a teacher and explainer, while Vanessa’s husband, Mark, shared Juno’s language of music. Each of them had verbal rules for how they talked and what they referenced. Finding your characters’ own verbal rules will instantly help your script.”

Pilar Alessandra, The Coffee Break Screenwriter

Guru Quotes

I’ve decided to add a new weekly feature — Guru Quotes! I feel it’s due time we celebrate those mentors/consultants/teachers/lecturers/authors who provide us with such valuable insights into the art and science of screenwriting.

One such consultant is Pilar Alessandra (whose birthday happens to be  today — Happy Birthday Pilar!). I had the opportunity to read her wonderful new book, The Coffee Break Screenwriter, a few weeks ago and was blown away by the wealth of information it contained.

It’s all in there — from concept, to beats, to rewriting, to polishing your final draft — spread out in bite-sized chunks that allow you to work your way through your masterpiece 10 minutes at a time.

Whatever your level, you’re guaranteed to find some new tool to help you in your writing. This one’s absolutely going on my list of Essential Books.

Hot Tip

For a limited time, if you order the book from Pilar’s web site, you’ll receive “a copy signed by the author and an additional CD of the key templates and worksheets within the book (includes outlining, scene-writing and pitching).”