Dale Kutzera

Writing and Stuff

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 […]

The Importance of Marketing

The WGA recently achieved a new contract with the Producers. My brother and sister members will not be marching the picket lines as we did a decade ago. That’s great news. You might wonder why writers still work in traditional media, given the ease of production and the amazing audiences for online content. A paycheck and health care are good reasons, but the bigger reason is marketing. Hollywood isn’t so […]

The Most Important Part of a Story

I’m going to try to blog regularly, if for no other reason than to learn how to blog regularly. So here’s today’s thought on story-telling: The most important part of a story isn’t character or setting. It’s peril. Where is the peril in your story? What is the danger? It could be big and physical like a super-villain or an asteroid heading to Earth. Or it could be small like […]

Why Comic Sans Typeface?

Okay…a bit of confession, I’m adding some random posts to test out my new theme. All WordPress themes are a bit different and each one has their own particular rules. How are menus managed? How are new posts added? What is controlled on the WP dashboard and what is controlled on the theme’s customization menu? The only way to learn how to do something is to just do it. So […]

Hi, My Name’s Dale

This first blog post is a sort of re-introduction. I kept a blog going for a few years, but gave it up. I got busy. My website crashed. I changed hosts. Started a challenging writing project. In other words, something had to be kicked to the curb and it was the blog. Beside…what I was blogging about–the craft of story design–I was consolidating into my first guidebook, The Plot Machine. […]