Hey, Look At Me! Intrusive, Chatty, and Explanatory Writing

by John Robert Marlow

Authors have a single, overriding function: to connect reader and story. At our best, we immerse the reader so thoroughly in the world of our story that the “real” world disappears and, for a time, there is nothing but the story. That’s the kind of experience readers hope for and deserve. It’s a also a zen-like state that is not easily achieved.

It becomes impossible when a brightly-dressed, cymbal-banging acrobat starts jumping around in front of the reader, yelling “Hey, look at me!” Yet many authors unknowingly engage in the literary equivalent of this practice by inserting themselves between reader and story—usually in one (or more) of the following ways. Read more…

Protected: Self-Editing versus Pro Editing: What You Can (and Can’t) Do Yourself

by John Robert Marlow

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

Adaptations Sweep 2019 Oscars: 97% Noms / 100% Wins

by John Robert Marlow

And the winner is…the adaptation (again). The box office, of course, has long been ruled by adaptations; 80% of the top 10 highest-grossing films of all time are based on other things. (Top 100 Adaptations list here.) Oscar contenders (and winners) from 2001-2019 are also mostly adaptations—but this year, things have gone through the roof, with 97% (96.969%, to be precise) of Big Five nominees—and 100% of Big Five wins—going to adaptations or work on adaptations.

The “Big Five” categories are Best Picture, Best Directing, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Actress in a Leading Role, and Best Writing. Read more…

Top 100 Highest-Grossing Adaptations of All Time

by John Robert Marlow

Page Update: The top-100 adaptations as of February 23, 2019: Film titles, box office rankings, source materials, it’s all here.

In the next post: Adaptations Sweep 2019 Oscars with adaptations accounting for 97% of “Big Five” nominations (Best Picture, Best Writing (Adapted and Original Screenplays), Best Directing, Best Actor in a Leading Role, and Best Actress in a Leading Role. A 100% winners sweep seems likely.

We’re Back

by John Robert Marlow

We’re back. Things have been slow around here lately, but that’s about to change. Here are some of the things coming your way, starting in February 2019…

  • Top 100 Highest-Grossing Movie Adaptations (update)
  • 2019 Oscar adaptation coverage
  • Make Your Story A Movie book starts publishing right here—free
  • Craft-focused articles on fiction and nonfiction
  • Interviews with authors, screenwriters, directors, producers and more
  • New adaptation and industry-related links section
  • MYSAM blog goes weekly
  • An email list with advance and exclusive subscriber-only content. (sign up for the MYSAM newsletter here).

MYSAM Blog Reloaded

by John Robert Marlow
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For reasons which shall remain enigmatic, the Make Your Story A Movie blog has been on hiatus. What better time than the Oscars to return to our regularly-scheduled blog, already in progress… .

The 100 Highest-Grossing Adaptations of All Time (2017 Page Update)

by John Robert Marlow
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Box Office page updated to February 2017. Now listing the 100 biggest film adaptations—of novels, nonfiction books, historic events, faery tales, comic books, short stories, toys, children’s books, theme park rides, songs and more. Click here to see the newly updated Box Office page

Ebook “Sales Decline?” Please…

by John Robert Marlow
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We’ve all seen the Chicken-Little headlines—some of them in quite prominent publications—lamenting the impending doom of ebooks. But is the sky really falling?

Somewhere after the clickbait headline, these articles invariably state (somewhere) something like this: “…the latest sales numbers from leading publishers show a decline in e-books…” Well, sure—because their ebooks (depicted in purple in the authorearnings graphic at left) are drastically overpriced, and the indie/self-pubbed ebooks (depicted in blue) continue to gain ground with readers, pushing Big Pub’s figures ever lower. The basic proposition—that ebook sales are declining—is false. Read more…

Read the Book (Free Chapters and Contributor Bios)

by John Robert Marlow
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Free book chapters—plus credits list for contributors (authors, screenwriters, producers, directors, publishers, entertainment attorneys and more) whose films have collectively earned over $50 billion worldwide. Click here to visit the Book Page.

Blog Reloaded: May, 2012

by John Robert Marlow

The Make Your Story a Movie blog will pick up again next month (May, 2012). I’ve been busy on both coasts: there’s a new book coming (based on this blog), along with a ton of of new material (including scads of interviews)—and news of an adaptation deal where I wrote the action spec and will executive produce the movie. More soon