Dale Kutzera

Writing and Stuff

The Game of Plots

Many have been enthralled for weeks as another cycle (can we call them seasons when they are so short?) of Game of Thrones has been unleashed into the world. The HBO series is sort of old fashioned in its one-ep-per-week schedule, unlike the other popular sci-fi summer show, “The Defenders,” which Netflix drops as a bundle. By coincidence, I came across the season 5 of GoT at the library and […]

The Summer of 2017 Box Office

Interesting article over at Deadline on the summer of 2017 box office: It has been a rather banal summer, with no film rising to a word-of-mouth frenzy. The closest thing to that was the smash hit Wonder Woman, a film I couldn’t quite embrace. It had its moments, and the lead is easy on the eyes, but the plot was mediocre and the visual effects slap-dash. There were retreads like […]

The Peril Imperative

I’ve been binging on the first season of “Expanse” lately and really enjoying it…and also asking myself why I enjoy it. It’s a good instinct for a writer to have—to disconnect from the experience of watching something to study why you’re watching it.  With the Expanse, there are some key factors that hold my attention: I like science fiction, spaceships are cool, explosions are cool, and there are a couple […]

“That’s a Great Idea” and other Lies

The film biz is a strange one for many reasons. High on the list is the quirky boss-employee dynamic. Most jobs involve a person going to an office or factory and performing some function that has an established standard of quality. A boss is present to ensure that those under his/her supervision meet that standard. Employers and employees could go on in this way for years or decades. Some old-school […]

Lame Scenes

Here’s one of my top ten frustrations with writing: Breaking a story in a manner that results in no lame scenes. I’m a plotter, not a pantser, and one of the most derided aspects of plotting is that is forces the writer to adhere to a list of beats or scenes. Many seat-of-the-pants writers find the process confining. They want to dive into the jazz-improv of writing. I can’t really […]

Memoirs: A Memoir

I started reading my first memoir recently. I’ve never seen the point in memoirs. They seem to be auto-biographies of people that haven’t done anything significant in life. If they had done something significant then someone else probably would have written a book about it. Those are called biographies. Memoirs are about the little things in life that no one really notices. They drip with ennui. The dominant theme: life […]

The Ratio of Story to Prose

I’ve been struggling through a science-fiction novel that I thought would take me just a month to knock out. Three months on I’m still hacking my way through the jungle of an overgrown first draft. All this started when I picked up a book of Robert Silverberg short stories from the 1950’s. I’d never heard of Silverberg before, but have a soft spot for classic pulp sci-fi. Silverberg, as his […]

Avoid Tedium

I watched “Hacksaw Ridge” the other night on DVD (which is how I watch most movies these days). It was a well-made film, as are all Mel Gibson films. Yes there is a BUT coming, and that BUT deals with all the tedious stuff that has to happen to get to the stuff you are really interested in. In the case of “Hacksaw” we know going in that this is […]

Just Say No

  A short post on the value of a short word: no. I believe more than ever that the difference between good creative work and bad is how often someone said no during the creative process. This happens too rarely for most TV shows. The pressure of getting the next script done and off to production discourages anyone slowing the machinery down with a lot of high-minded standards. And yet good ideas deserve […]

A Writing Process

Having written a handful of novels now and a lot more scripts, I think I’ve identified my process: It all starts with a burst of inspiration and the awareness that an idea has the potential to be an interesting story. This happens a few times a day for me. This idea percolates a while until it demands to be written…or at least explored. I start what I call a BS […]