Self-Motivation
David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Actor
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Management
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
Learn
from the world's big
thinkers
Start Learning

The Creative Process

Question: Is writing novels similar to writing screenplays?

 

Derek Haas: Yes, there are similarities in that in both writing a novel and writing a screenplay it essentially comes downs to what’s that big idea that I want to tell. What’s that story that’s going to make it interesting and have, for me at least, I mean it could be different for other novelists but, I like the whole idea of having them turn pages and keeping the pace tight and keeping the language spare, which is what you have to do in screenplays. Trying to convey a lot with a little. Definitely the lessons I learned from screenwriting have affected my writing a novel. There are many differences obviously, the things that I loved about writing a novel were not having to worry about focus groups and budgets and somebody telling me that the main character needed to have a dog because that would appeal to a certain demographic and then getting to internalize. So much of screenwriting you have everything has got to be external, unless you are doing voiceover through the whole movie, you can’t have the thoughts of the character. So it was really fun for me to get inside, in fact in just the prose because I wrote it from the first person narrative. Getting inside that character’s head and getting the see the things that go on beyond just what we are seeing physically happen.

Question: Do you find one genre more difficult?

Derek Haas: No. I wish I could say yes, but, I’m one of those guys that just loves to sit down with a blank page and write and whether that’s the script or a book. No. I really didn’t put any pressure on myself with the book; I had no idea if I was writing something commercial that would sell. In screenwriting you do have the pressure of ”I’ve been paid already to write something that somebody needs to turn into a movie,” and if you fail at that a few times, then you are not going to get hired anymore. If you get paid a lot of money to adapt a comic book say that Universal bought and then they say, ”This draft stinks, we’re not gonna make this new movie,” or ”We’re gonna fire these guys and hire somebody else,“ if you are not moving the project forward you can only do that a few times before they decide they are not going to take the risk on these people. With the book I didn’t have that problem.We don’t write jokes, we have lots of friends who are comedy writers in Hollywood and they have a gift that Michael and I don’t have, the whole, set up, set up, pay off, joke telling. Michael and I try to infuse humor into everything that we do more like the humor that comes out of situations rather than setting up punch lines. I think if you watch Wanted you’ll get a sense of that because we like humor in the absurd. Is it the most difficult?  I think all of it’s difficult because so much has come before you, that you are trying to come up with a new way, especially in screenwriting where, Hollywood speaks the language of movies. They’ll tell you, ”We want a scene like the airplane propeller scene in Indiana Jones,” so you’re trying to think what is the way I can do that better. Trying to come up with new set pieces, new dialogue, new characters, new situations and not falling into any of the old tired conventions. It’s all difficult.

 


 

 

Derek Haas on the importance of pace and language.

The “new normal” paradox: What COVID-19 has revealed about higher education

Higher education faces challenges that are unlike any other industry. What path will ASU, and universities like ASU, take in a post-COVID world?

Photo: Luis Robayo/AFP via Getty Images
Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Everywhere you turn, the idea that coronavirus has brought on a "new normal" is present and true. But for higher education, COVID-19 exposes a long list of pernicious old problems more than it presents new problems.
  • It was widely known, yet ignored, that digital instruction must be embraced. When combined with traditional, in-person teaching, it can enhance student learning outcomes at scale.
  • COVID-19 has forced institutions to understand that far too many higher education outcomes are determined by a student's family income, and in the context of COVID-19 this means that lower-income students, first-generation students and students of color will be disproportionately afflicted.
Keep reading Show less

The biology of aliens: How much do we know?

Hollywood has created an idea of aliens that doesn't match the science.

Videos
  • Ask someone what they think aliens look like and you'll probably get a description heavily informed by films and pop culture. The existence of life beyond our planet has yet to be confirmed, but there are clues as to the biology of extraterrestrials in science.
  • "Don't give them claws," says biologist E.O. Wilson. "Claws are for carnivores and you've got to be an omnivore to be an E.T. There just isn't enough energy available in the next trophic level down to maintain big populations and stable populations that can evolve civilization."
  • In this compilation, Wilson, theoretical physicist Michio Kaku, Bill Nye, and evolutionary biologist Jonathan B. Losos explain why aliens don't look like us and why Hollywood depictions are mostly inaccurate.
Keep reading Show less

Live on Tuesday | Personal finance in the COVID-19 era

Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.

Masturbation boosts your immune system, helping you fight off infection and illness

Can an orgasm a day really keep the doctor away?

Image by Yurchanka Siarhei on Shutterstock
Sex & Relationships
  • Achieving orgasm through masturbation provides a rush of feel-good hormones (such as dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin) and can re-balance our levels of cortisol (a stress-inducing hormone). This helps our immune system function at a higher level.
  • The surge in "feel-good" hormones also promotes a more relaxed and calm state of being, making it easier to achieve restful sleep, which is a critical part in maintaining a high-functioning immune system.
  • Just as bad habits can slow your immune system, positive habits (such as a healthy sleep schedule and active sex life) can help boost your immune system which can prevent you from becoming sick.
Keep reading Show less

How DNA revealed the woolly mammoth's fate – and what it teaches us today

Scientists uncovered the secrets of what drove some of the world's last remaining woolly mammoths to extinction.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Surprising Science

Every summer, children on the Alaskan island of St Paul cool down in Lake Hill, a crater lake in an extinct volcano – unaware of the mysteries that lie beneath.

Keep reading Show less
Quantcast