Author Archive: Eric San Juan

Can Pixar Do Wrong?

After watching Pixar’s Up last evening, I’m beginning to wonder if Pixar is capable of making a bad film. Theirs is a track record nearly perfect beyond expectation; even their “worst” pictures are quality entertainment by any measure. You all know Pixar. They’re the folks who brought us Toy Story, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, and other delights. From the very start their films were charming and entertaining. Only a soulless creature does not enjoy Toy Story. The thrills of The Incredibles are matched only by the warmth of the Parr family dynamic. Monsters, Inc. showed those other animation studios that crazy fun need not be stupid fun. But even beyond the whimsical adventure, we’re starting to see that Pixar are masters of cinema in a…
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A truly shameless blog post

A Year of Hitchcock

I’ll never claim to not be shameless when I need to be. So I will now be shameless. Behold! My book, co-authored with Jim McDevitt, was released in April. If you have yet to get a copy, do take a look. If you have yet to tell a friend about it, please do so. If you have a film lover in your family or circle of friends, please consider it as a Christmas present. You can get it through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other fine retailers. Your support is appreciated. While you’re at it, please look at our podcast of the same name. If you have not subscribed (it’s free), please do so. If you have not told your friends about it, please do…
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When your own stories surprise you

I’ve already mentioned that I’m working on a dystopian science fiction novel. It will be, I hope, Philip K. Dick meets George Orwell thrust into a Stephen Spielberg film. That’s the aim, at least. I’ve had some rough nights where the words just don’t want to come (and those that do are crap), and other nights when things click and I’m at the edge of my seat, wondering what’s going to happen to our protagonists. Wait, shouldn’t I know what’s going to happen to my characters? Well, yes and no. I’m writing with an outline, but it’s pretty loose. It’s a series of milestones the characters and/or plot must reach (though even those milestones can change in the course of the writing). A general roadmap…
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Churning out that first draft

Shortly after posting yesterday about National Novel Writing Month, I came across an excellent blog post by literary agent Rachelle Gardner. This is great advice that I wanted to share with those taking part in NaNoWriMo — or anyone working on a big writing project, really. Now is NOT the time to self-edit or worry about all those writing tips you’ve been taught. Just write. Let the words flow. If you’ve been studying the craft, you’ll naturally be inclined to show more than tell, write snappy dialogue, and be aware of how much backstory you’re allowing in. That’s great. But don’t let yourself get caught up in those details. Keep the forward momentum going. Your best writing will happen in the revision process. I couldn’t…
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National Novel Writing Month

Did you know it’s National Novel Writing Month? National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, is a creative writing challenge now celebrating its 10th year. The premise is simple. The idea is to bang out an entire novel in the month of November. Why? Just because. Just to see if you’re up to the challenge. The goal, according to the rules of the exercise, is to hit 50,000 words in a month (which is a but slim for today’s marketplace, frankly, but the challenge isn’t meant for you to churn out the next Great American Novel). You go to the website, you register, and if you meet the goal, you “win”. It’s that easy. Last year, a little over 21,000 people met the challenge and wrote…
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