Tricks Of The Screenwriting Trade By Nick Kazan

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screenwrting tricks by nick kazan

I have a screenplay.  I’m the dreamer with a screenplay that’s been rejected . . . more than once.  My dream is to revamp this rejected screenplay and get it produced by Hollywood.  Next week I will begin my journey back from rejection to form a plan for how I’m going to turn this screenplay of mine around.

Stay tuned.

This week I offer a video interview with Nicholas Kazan, a second-generation screenwriter who has made a reputation for strong psychological dramas.

He is the son of famed screenwriter-producer-director-actor Elia Kazan, and has a talent for scripts described as “edgy, terse, bleakly funny”.

He offers here his tips on screenwriting.

Joining 8 Women Dream is a golden opportunity to spread my literary wings – and to write about my dreams of getting my screenplay/reality show produced while traversing through the tenuous medical condition of my disabled son, Jackson. I aspire to enable people to be their own or their loved ones advocate when dealing with the medical world.

Go see a movie this week.  You’ll make a screenwriter happy.


Toni left 8 Women Dream in November of 2010 to focus on Club B.  She still has not had her screenplay published – but don’t give up hope.

  • Remy, the photographer

    and as one of 8, I’ll say, I’m in. and Im ready to be out of the valley already! Rem

  • Catherine, Site Admin

    8 Women Dream is in the Dip, the point in which things shift because we are in the valley of the long, slow and difficult climb toward mastery. What is The Dip you ask? It’s a book by Seth Godin. It’s also described by Chris Cameron of Red, Write, Start as:

    “The Dip,” as Godin defines it, is the valley between initial luck and long-term success. When learning any skill, the very beginning is fun and exciting as we quickly grasp new information and abilities. But at some point shortly after, the long, slow and difficult climb toward mastery makes us want to give up. This same analogy applies to numerous markets and situations, including sports, sales, job hunting and entrepreneurialism.”

    Part of the problem with the dip is that you can get stuck in a cul-de-sac, or dead end and change is necessary to continue moving through the dip.

    8 Women Dream is going to change some things about the website to drive out us out of the of a cul-de-sac and on to the road that takes us out of The Dip.

    To further quote Seth Godin –

    “If you fit in, we can ignore you. Being ignored means you don’t get any traction, you don’t get any job offers, you don’t get any revenue.

    On the other hand, if you go to the edges, if you do something that feels risky, that’s remarkable- that’s worth talking about. Richard Branson, Cirque du Soleil – those things were risky – that’s why we know of them. If they had been boring, if they’d been clones, they would have had to be the cheapest or be gone, and cheapest is already owned by Walmart, so you have no choice left but to be risky.

    We’ve brainwashed generation after generation to fit in instead of stand out. The lizard brain- the part of our brain that’s been around for a million years, rules our life when it shouldn’t. It causes us to make bad decisions. The fear of being laughed at is a real problem.”

    He further advises:

    -If you’re willing to be laughed at you’re way more likely to succeed.

    -When I feel the fear, I know that I’m doing something right. And if I don’t, then I’m probably doing something boring. For me, the fear is a signal that I’m on the right track. Go for the fear every time.

    -Everything is marketing. Marketing is not advertising. Everything you do, the stories you tell, the way you live your life -it’s all marketing.

    -Things that are scarce are valuable. And what is scarce is respect, keeping your word and being transparent. What is scarce is originality, creativity and making a difference. What’s not scarce is fitting in, doing what you’re told and blaming someone else. If you want to create things of value, you should do things that are scarce.

    -You probably should stop waiting for permission. If your excuse is, ‘My boss won’t let me’, well of course she won’t. Because what you’re saying to your boss is, ‘I want to do this cool thing and if it fails it’s your fault and if it succeeds I get the credit’. Who would give you that deal?” Don’t wait for permission- just do it.

    So 8 Women Dream is just doing it.