Personal tips

FINDING STORY HANDOUT FOR VIDEO #3 – THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT

by on Jan.01, 2021, under events, Featured, Personal tips

THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT

Someone is knocking on a hotel room door. We see a disheveled woman run out of the bathroom. She says, “I’m coming.” She looks in the mirror. She is a mess. She says, “Fu—.” She starts to clean up. We see that it’s Paris 1967. She takes some pills. We see that there is someone in the bed. She takes a swig of alcohol.

She takes the elevator down to the lobby. She rushes. We see that she enters a chess tournament. Lights start flashing from all of the photographers’ cameras. She is late for her match. She apologizes to the Russian player for being late. They both sit down to play chess.

(CONSEQUENCE – FUTURE MOMENT. FLAW – ADDICTIVE BEHAVIOR.)

We go back in time to when this chess player was a little girl. We see a car accident and hear some officers talking about what happened. We see a body that is covered next to the accident. We see the little girl standing in front of it all.

A woman drives the little girl somewhere. She apologizes that her mother passed on in the accident. We hear V.O. that the little girl, Elizabeth (Beth) Harmon, was orphaned after the accident. She surveys a troubled future.

(EARLIER WOUND.)

The woman reading the information about Beth is at the orphanage. She talks about Beth’s mother, Alice, being pronounced dead at the scene. There’s no info on the father.

Beth arrives at the orphanage. Mrs. Deardorff welcomes her. She gives her the tour. She meets some people, including Mr. Fergusson. We hear one of the orphans cussing in the background. It is Jolene.

Mrs. Deardorff brings her to where she will sleep. She tells her that there are twenty-one girls there. Beth has a stuffed animal. Mrs. Deardorff tells her that she knows that all she’s feeling is a loss. She says that after grief brings you low, prayer and faith will lift you.

(SERIES TRIGGER AND DILEMMA.)

They cut Beth’s hair. They pick out some clothes for her. We see that her name, Beth, is in her old dress. But they call her Elizabeth. Jolene gives Beth info on the pills the kids are given. Jolene tells her about the green ones. Jolene asks if her mother and father are dead. Beth nods her head. Jolene asks what the last thing was they said to her before they died. Beth has a vision of her mother right before the accident. She says, “Close your eyes.” Beth tells Jolene that she doesn’t remember.

Jolene takes the pills. Beth takes both medications despite Jolene telling her that she should hold the green one for bedtime. Beth has trouble walking. She sees the Janitor cleaning the floors. She sees his keys.

(WORLD SHIFT AFTER SERIES TRIGGER AND DILEMMA. LOSS OF CONTROL.)

At the meal, Jolene can tell that Beth took the green pill. Beth asks about the dinner. Another girl tells Beth to eat everything. Otherwise, they’ll tell Mrs. Deardorff, and she won’t get adopted.

(GREEN PILLS – THIS LINKS TO BETH’S FLAW OF HER ADDICTIVE BEHAVIOR. THIS FLAW LINKS TO THE WOUND.)

We see all of the girls in bed. Beth watches the shadows on the ceiling. She has a dream. She sees a man talking to her mother. He tells her that she’s not taking care of herself. Her mother drops a bottle of pills. Her mother burns some things. We see that the man asks to see Lizzie. Alice says that she belongs to her. The man says, “You honestly believe that our daughter belongs in a trailer in the middle of nowhere?” Alice says, “Who says she’s our daughter. And she doesn’t like being called Lizzie.” Beth sees what her mother is burning. It’s titled Monomial Representations and Symmetric Presentations—Department of Mathematics at Cornell University. The man tells Alice that he can’t keep chasing her. Alice says, “I’m sorry, Paul.” He tells her that once he drives away, he’s not coming back. Beth hears him drive off.

(EARLIER WOUND – EMOTIONAL AND PHYSICAL ABANDONMENT OF THE FATHER.)

In class, we see that Beth finished her assignment early. The teacher is impressed since it is before everyone else. The teacher suggests that Beth goes to the basement to clean the erasers. Beth sees the Janitor playing chess. He looks up at her. She goes back to class.

Jolene shows Beth how she saves the green pill on her tongue. Beth thinks about the chess game. She sees the shadows on the ceiling. She plays the chessboard on the ceiling.

Beth makes her bed. Jolene and Beth watch as a little girl packs her suitcase. She gets adopted. Jolene tells Beth that no one is going to come for them now; they’re too old.

Beth goes back to the basement. The Janitor is playing chess. She asks him what game he is playing. He tells her that it’s chess. She asks him to teach her. He tells her that he doesn’t like strangers.

(PILOT TRIGGER, DILEMMA, AND PURSUIT SETUP. FROM THE RESOLUTION, IT APPEARS THAT THE GOAL IS TO GET ACCESS TO THE GREEN PILLS SO THAT SHE CAN CONTINUE TO PLAY AT THE LEVEL THAT SHE DOES.)

Beth takes the green pill. She sees the chessboard on the ceiling again. She considers the chess pieces.

Beth tells Jolene she was right; the vitamins work better at night. She tells Jolene that sometimes she skips a day or two. Then, she takes three at once. She says that she likes the way that it makes her feel. Jolene tells her not to get too used to the feeling.

(ADDICTION STARTING.)

Beth cleans the erasers. She tells the Janitor that she’s not a stranger. She lives there. He tells her that girls do not play chess. She tells him that she already knows some of it after watching him. She shows him what she knows. He engages her. He says, “Let’s play a game. I play white.” She sits down to play. He teaches her. He shows her a play. It’s called “The Scholar’s Mate.”

(ACTION TAKEN.)

Beth takes her green pills. She sees the chessboard on the ceiling. She goes through the plays. She sees them all. She teaches herself about The Scholar’s Mate from what she remembers.

She plays with the Janitor the next day. He teaches her how to “resign” when she loses the Queen. He tells her that she lost. She says, “You cocksucker.” He tells her to leave.

(ACTION TAKEN. OBSTACLE HIT.)

Beth goes back the next day, but the basement door is locked. She imagines the chess game on the ceiling again. She goes through the plays.

(ACTION TAKEN. OBSTACLE HIT.)

She cleans the erasers outside. There’s a boy at the gate. He waves to her.

Beth asks Jolene what a cocksucker is. Jolene tells her about it.

In class, Beth is bored.

Beth reads about the male and the female body.

Beth goes back to the basement. The Janitor hears her. They play a game of chess. She beats him. He tells her that she’s gloating. He shows her a new play. She asks about it.

We see a montage of them playing in a sequence with taking the pills and playing chess. It shows that Beth is learning a lot about the chess game. They play several games. The Janitor teaches her about king’s bishop three. He teaches her several more plays.

(ACTIONS AND OBSTACLES SEQUENCE. THE PILLS AND THE GROWING ADDICTION ARE THE OBSTACLES THAT RAISE THE STAKES.)

The teacher notices that Beth is not in class.

Beth watches a film with the rest of the girls. In it, a young woman tells her mom that she started her first period.

The sequence continues with the pills and playing chess.

Beth watches a couple on the outside of the school property making out.

(BETH WATCHING THE COUPLE AFTER SEEING THE FILM SHOWS HER COMING OF AGE.)

Her chess lessons continue. She learns about one of the openings, The Queen’s Gambit.

(ACTION TAKEN.)

Beth is surprised when the janitor, Mr. Shaibel, tells her that she’ll play white. He tells her that from now on, they’ll take turns. This is the way games are normally played.

(ACTION AND OBSTACLE.)

Beth continues to see the chessboard on the ceiling at night. She sees Mr. Shaibel drinking whiskey. He gives Beth a book, Modern Chess Openings. She asks if she is old enough to read it. He finds out that she’s nine. He tells her that she is astounding.

Jolene looks at Beth in class. She is reading the book under her desk while class is going.

The Janitor introduces Beth to Mr. Ganz from the Chess Club. He tells her that he is also a coach for the high school team. She plays. She impresses him. He asks if she plays with the other girls. She tells him that she just plays with Mr. Shaibel. He asks what she does in between games. She says, “I play in my head.” She mentions that she does this on the ceiling. Beth plays both men. She steps away from the board while playing. They say their moves out loud. She tells them her moves in response. Mr. Ganz can’t believe it. He gives her a gift. It’s a doll. Beth pretends to be grateful. He asks to take a picture of Beth with Mr. Shaibel. This picture is for the chess club.

(ACTION AND OBSTACLE.)

Mrs. Deardorff calls Beth in her office. She tells her that Mr. Ganz says Beth has a gift. She is a phenomenal chess player. He asks if she can go to high school. He wants her to perform for the chess club. He wants Beth to play all of the players at the same time. He mentions that he will bring a young woman as a chaperone. They make plans.

Mrs. Deardorff asks Beth if she’s been playing chess with Mr. Shaibel in the basement. She says that she has. Mrs. Deardorff tells her that she can’t have her playing in the basement, so she will arrange to have chess sets put in the game room.

(ACTION AND OBSTACLE.)

Beth notices that she doesn’t get a green pill anymore. She is upset. The man distributing the medications tells her that the state won’t let them give tranquilizers to kids anymore. She knows that the pills help her play. She finds that she has one pill still saved. She takes it.

(ACTION AND OBSTACLE.)

Beth looks at where the locked up green pills are.

In the bathroom, Beth asks Jolene if she has any extra green pills. She tells her that she doesn’t. She tells Jolene that the pills are still there in a jar. Jolene asks if Beth is having withdrawal symptoms.

(ACTION AND OBSTACLE.)

Fergusson goes to get Beth. She is in the dark. They are there to pick her up to go to high school.

The woman that accompanies them talks with Beth. Jolene catches them before they leave. She gives Beth a green pill.

(ACTION TAKEN.)

Beth surveys the chess room. A bunch of high school students enters. They are all male.

Mr. Ganz tells everyone how it is going to work. Beth is in the middle of the room. She starts with board #1. Then she goes to the next one. Beth proceeds to play. Mr. Ganz tells her that they can’t respond until she opens every board. Beth proceeds to win every game. She tells Mr. Shaibel how she had the best players’ pieces tied up in fifteen moves. She mated him in six more with a knight-rook combination. She tells him that Mr. Ganz said that she beat them all in an hour and twenty minutes. She tells him that it felt good. She’s never won anything before. This outcome starts her addictive behavior with winning.

(ACTION AND OBSTACLE.)

Beth asks Jolene for more vitamins. Jolene tells her not to be rude. Jolene introduces her to Samantha.

Beth goes to get a drink of Mr. Shaibel’s whiskey.

(ACTION AND ALL IS LOST MOMENT. BETH CAN’T GET ACCESS TO THE PILLS. SHE THINKS THAT THE PILLS ARE WHAT MADE HER WIN.)

She watches a film with the rest of the girls. She tells them that she has to go to the bathroom. She takes a tool out of her pocket to pick the lock where the green pills are. After struggling, she gets in. She is trying to do it before someone catches her. She opens the jar. She puts a bunch in her mouth and a bunch in her pockets.

The movie dismisses.

Beth hears her mother’s voice. She drops the bottle of green pills as she falls from the chair and passes out in front of her class.

(SHE ACHIEVES THE GOAL. SHE GOT ACCESS TO THE PILLS. SHE HEARS HER MOTHER. THE ADDICTION/FLAW IS THE SETUP OF THE SERIES ARC.)

 

 

*Copyright® 2020 Jen Grisanti Consultancy, Inc.

 

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WGA Handouts

by on Sep.10, 2019, under Featured, Motivation, Personal tips

LINK TO LOGLINE FOR YOUR LIFE HANDOUT

LINK FOR TV PILOT PITCH FORMULA

LINK FOR FEATURE FORMULA

If you’re interested in going to Friday Night Social, check my Events section. Our next one is Friday 10/4/19. I don’t have the info up. It should be up in the next week. Friday Night Social is at the District of Hannah An from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm. I hope to see you there!

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PODCAST INTERVIEW – HOW TO TELL YOUR INTERNAL STORY

by on Dec.15, 2018, under events, Featured, Motivation, Personal tips

BPS 021: How to Tell Your Internal Story with Jen Grisanti

Jen Grisanti

How to Tell Your Internal Story with Jen Grisanti

Today on the show we have Hollywood Story/Career Consultant and former Studio Executive Jen Grisanti. Grisanti is also a Writing Instructor for Writers on the Verge at NBC, a former studio executive, a blogger for The Huffington Post and author of Story Line: Finding Gold In Your Life Story, TV Writing Tool Kit: How To Write a Script That Sells, and her recent book, Change Your Story, Change Your Life.

Over twenty years ago, Jen Grisanti started her career as an assistant to Aaron Spelling, who served as her mentor for 12 years. She quickly climbed the ranks and eventually ran Current Programs at Spelling Television Inc., covering all of Spelling’s shows including Beverly Hills, 90210, Melrose Place and Charmed. In 2004, Grisanti was promoted to Vice President of Current Programs at CBS/Paramount where she covered numerous shows including Medium, Numbers, NCIS, 4400 and Girlfriends.

In January 2008, Grisanti launched Jen Grisanti Consultancy, Inc., a highly successful consulting firm dedicated to helping talented writers break into the industry. Drawing on her years of experience as a studio executive where she gave daily notes to executive producers/showrunners, Grisanti personally guides writers to shape their material, hone their pitches and focus their careers.

Since launching her consulting firm, Jen Grisanti worked with over 1000 writers specializing in television, features, and novels. Due to her guidance, over ninety of her clients have staffed as writers on television shows, fifty-three have sold pilots, and six of those pilots have gone to series.

Enjoy my conversation with Jen Grisanti.

Right-click here to download the MP3 (Transcription below)
Download on iTunes Direct
Watch on IFH YouTube Channel


LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

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FINAL DRAFT PODCAST INTERVIEW – REFOCUSING YOUR ENERGY FOR NEXT SEASON’S SCREENWRITING CONTESTS AND FELLOWSHIPS

by on Dec.15, 2018, under events, Featured, Motivation, Personal tips

 

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2019 Storywise 10-Week TV Teleseminar – SPECIAL OFFERS

by on Nov.18, 2018, under events, Featured, Personal tips

STORYWISE 10-week TV WRITING TELESEMINAR AND TRAINING SERIES

Classes begin on Tuesday March 5th at 7:00 pm ONLINE and go through May 14, 2019

Want to learn all of the things that I teach in Writers on the Verge at NBC? Check out my Storywise 10-Week Teleseminar that includes an eight-module story instruction training series called, “How To Write A TV Pilot That Sells: Moving Forward.”

This is a 10-week program designed to help you write a high-quality TV pilot AND spec script. In 10-weeks, I will teach you how to learn to write at a level that will help lead your script to a sale, get staffed on a show, place in a writing competition or get into one of the various writing programs. This course is everything that I teach in Writers on the Verge and more.

Last year we had over 100 writer participants from all over the world. You will not only learn all of the story tools that you need to succeed, but you will also gain the opportunity to be in a private community of writers. This community is a very valuable resource. You all will have a chance to learn from one another via networking, to exchange scripts and possibly starting your own writer groups.

I’ve seen the success from this course first-hand. Many of the writers who have taken this 10-week course have gone on to sell pilots, get staffed on TV shows and get into several of the prestigious writing programs. Fifty-Two of my writers have sold pilots… and 6 of them have gone to series.

The story instruction is pre-recorded. You will receive this before the course begins in March.

In March, each call is approximately 2 – 2 ½ hours in length. On each call, we will go over the notes for the 4 writers participating at Level #3. You will have an opportunity to read their scripts and make your own notes each week. You will also get to share your notes with those writers directly. This is what we do in Writers on the Verge. It is a way to prepare you for being in the Writers’ Room. Then, I will give five people the opportunity to sign up each week will get an opportunity to pitch to a guest speaker. We all learn from hearing others pitch. This part of the program was designed to help you learn from the pitching style of others as well as give you the opportunity to pitch yourself. It’s an invaluable tool. Every level will have an opportunity to sign up for this.

 

 

I currently have a SPECIAL OFFER going for the month of January for levels 1, 2, and 4.

Here is the LINK for the 4 FREE Training Videos.

LEVEL 1

At Level 1, you get to participate in all 10 classes. You will receive a recording of the classes. You will have an opportunity to sign up to pitch to my weekly guest speakers. You get to be part of a private Facebook community. You will also get to turn in a 1-2 page pitch document on your TV spec or TV pilot script. You will receive written feedback. You have up to a year after the course is finished to turn this in.

Regular rate – $397.00

SPECIAL OFFER – $297.00 (LIMITED TIME OFFER)

 

Rate for writers who have taken this before – $227.00

 

 

LEVEL 2

At Level 2, you get to participate in all 10 classes. You will receive a recording of the classes. You will have an opportunity to sign up to pitch to my weekly guest speakers. You get to be part of a private Facebook community. This level also includes a one-on-one consult for your TV spec and/or TV Pilot script.

Level 2 w/ TV Pilot Consult

Regular Rate – $1,050.00

Special Rate – $947.00

For Alumni of my Storywise Teleseminar – $927.00

 

LEVEL 3

At Level 3, you will receive feedback every week on your TV spec or TV pilot script. This includes written and verbal feedback. You will receive a recording of the classes. You will have an opportunity to sign up to pitch to my weekly guest speakers. You get to be part of a private Facebook community.

For the first time, I am going to offer you the option of not writing a TV spec. You can either write one TV pilot during the 10 weeks or, you can write two TV pilots during the ten weeks. There will also be an option to do it for five weeks instead of ten weeks. This will be offered to the finalists.

There are only FOUR SLOTS for this level: two for drama and two for comedy. This could change depending on the strength of the submissions. If you are interested in applying, you will need to submit ten pages of a script. The submission deadline is 1/31/19. I will select four submissions out of all of the submissions and announce these slots in February. The rate for Level 3 is $3,000.00.

ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS FOR LEVEL 3 STARTING JANUARY 1 – 31, 2019. I will announce in mid-February. Please email your 10 page submissions to me at jen@jengrisanti.com

 

LEVEL 4

At Level 4, you will receive written/verbal notes back every week on your scripts. This includes 5 Coaching Consults either alongside the teleseminar or as you prefer. You will receive a recording of the classes. You will have an opportunity to sign up to pitch two times to my weekly guest speakers. You get to be part of a private Facebook community.

There are only 4 slots available at this level.

Regular Rate – $3,647.00

Special Rate – $3,347.00

 

ASSIGNMENTS

Level #3 writing assignments will be due the Saturday before each class. Everyone at each level will receive a copy of the assignments turned in by the Level #3 writers so that they may follow along as well as provide notes directly to the Level#3 writer.

 

Levels #1 and #2, you will do the assignments on your own. No direct feedback is provided for Level 1. Level 2 gets feedback during the pilot consult. I do highly recommend that you use the Facebook community of writers to exchange scripts so that you can receive weekly feedback.

 

GUEST SPEAKERS

MICHAEL NARDUCCI (The Crossing, The Originals, Vampire Diaries…)
GRETA HEINEMANN (NCIS: New Orleans)
PAUL RUEHL (sold 15 pilots)
DAN O’SHANNON (Superior Donuts, Odd Couple, Modern Family…)
MONICA BREEN (Midnight Texas, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Revolution…)
TED HUMPHREY (Wisdom of the Crowd, Incorporated, The Good Wife…)
WES NICKERSON (House of Lies, Entourage)
MATT NIX (The Gifted, Burn Notice, APB…)
HENRY ALONSO MYERS (The Magicians, Covert Affairs, The Carrie Diaries…)
MARK GOFFMAN (Bull, Limitless, Sleepy Hollow…)
WENDY WEST (Proven Innocence, Marvel’s Inhuman, Taken)
NIKKI TOSCANO (24:LEGACY, State of Affairs, Shades of Blue)

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HOLIDAY CHRISTMAS COOKIE RECIPES

by on Dec.22, 2017, under Featured, Personal tips

White Chocolate Dipped Ginger Cookies
Author: Kara
Yield: 5 1/2 dozen
Ingredients
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 4 cups + 2 Tbsp flour
  • 4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • Sugar for rolling
  • 3 cups white chips (I use Guittard brand)
  • 3 Tbsp oil or shortening
  1. Beat oil, sugar, eggs, and molasses in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Stir into the sugar mixture till well combined. Roll dough into small balls and roll in sugar.
  2. Bake on lightly greased cookie sheets at 350° for about 6-7 minutes. Cool completely.
  3. Combine chips and oil in a small glass bowl. Microwave at 50% power, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth. Dip cookies halfway into the white chocolate and lay on parchment paper or silicone pan liners till set.
Notes
-The 2 tablespoons of ginger is not a mistake. It’s what makes them really good. The spiciness is a perfect balance for the white chocolate, trust me!
-When you get to the last of the cookies, it will be hard to dip them. You can just spread the chocolate over the top of them, kind of like frosting.
Christmas Magic Bars
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
How to make 7 Layer Magic Bars with a Christmas theme.
Created by: Beth Jackson Klosterboer
Recipe type: Dessert
Category: Christmas
Makes: 24-30 bars
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Line a 9×13 baking pan with non-stick aluminum foil.
  3. Mix crushed Original Oreo Cookies with melted butter.
  4. Press into and even layer in the 9×13 baking pan.
  5. Sprinkle on toffee bits, peanuts, and pretzels.
  6. Pour sweetened condensed milk over top and spread evenly.
  7. Add the pieces of red cream filled Oreos cookies, 1/2 cup of the red and green M&M’s and 1/2 of the bag of Holiday morsels.
  8. Bake for 25-27 minutes until the sweetened condensed milk has caramelized. Remove from oven and sprinkle on the remaining red and green M&M’s and Holiday Chocolate Morsels.
  9. Return to oven for 3 minutes.
  10. Remove pan from oven, and tap it on the counter a few times. This will help secure all the M&M’s.
  11. Cool completely.
  12. Peel off foil. Cut into 24-30 squares.
  13. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Step-by-step photo tutorial (see the video tutorial below):

Oreo Cookie crust

Mix crushed Original Oreo Cookies with melted butter. Press into and even layer in the 9×13 baking pan.

Heath bar dessert

Sprinkle on toffee bits, peanuts, and pretzels.

Magic Bar recipe

Pour sweetened condensed milk over top and spread evenly.

Christmas dessert ideas

Add the pieces of red cream filled Oreos cookies, 1/2 cup of the red and green M&M’s and 1/2 of the bag of Holiday morsels.

Christmas dessert recipes

Bake for 25-27 minutes until the sweetened condensed milk has caramelized. Remove from oven and sprinkle on the remaining red and green M&M’s and Holiday Chocolate Morsels. Return to oven for 3 minutes. Remove pan from oven, and tap it on the counter a few times. This will help secure all the M&M’s. Cool completely.

Raspberry Almond Thumbprints

Yield: 31 cookies

Ingredients

    • 8 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 2/3 cup sugar
    • 1/2 tsp. pure almond extract
    • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • raspberry jam for filling
Amaretto Glaze
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. + 1 and 1/2 tsp. amaretto

Instructions

    1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
    2. Add almond and vanilla extracts and continue to mix.
    3. Add flour and salt, scraping down the bowl as needed.
    4. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for a few hours.
    5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookies sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
    6. Scoop cookie dough using a cookie scoop that yields 3/4 ounce of dough and place on prepared cookies sheets.
    7. Roll cookie dough into balls and make an indentation in the middle with your thumb.
    8. Using a 1/4 teaspoon, fill the indentation with jam.
    9. Bake cookies for 12-14 minutes, rotating once halfway through.
    10. Allow to cool on cookie sheets for a few minutes and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Amaretto Glaze
  1. In a small bowl whisk together powdered sugar and Amaretto, adding a little amaretto at a time until you get the right consistency.
  2. Spoon glaze over completely cooled cookies. You can also use a piping bag to drizzle the glaze.

 

 

Cognac Chocolate Chip Cookies

45 min Prep Time | 8-10 min Cook Time| 55 min Total Time

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons Rémy Martin 1738 Cognac
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips or chunks
  • 1/2 cup walnut (or pecans)

 

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream the butter.
  3. Mix in both sugars slowly to the creamed butter.
  4. Mix till smooth.
  5. Add cognac and egg.
  6. Stir in flour, baking soda, salt.
  7. Add chocolate and nuts.
  8. Give ample space between cookies as place put on the greased cookie sheet. I only did 6 cookies at a time. When on the baking sheet, put in fridge for 15 minutes so the dough becomes firm before baking.
  9. Bake 8 to 10 minutes at 350 degrees. The cookies should be crisp with browned edges, and centers baked through.

 

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5 QUESTIONS FOR WRITING A TV PILOT THAT SELLS

by on Nov.19, 2017, under Featured, Motivation, Personal tips

Jen Grisanti5 Questions for
Writing a TV Pilot that Sells

Guest Post by Jen Grisanti,
Telling and Selling Your TV Pilot

Writing the TV pilot is one of the most challenging scripts to write,
and to write well.
I’ve helped in the development of thousands of scripts over the past 20 years. I was a
Studio Executive at two major studios for 12 years, I am currently a Writing Instructor
at NBC, and I’ve been a Story/Career Consultant for 10 years.

From the 48 pilots sold from the writers I’ve worked with since starting my business 10 years ago,
there are the five questions that I believe every writer should ask themselves when they are writing
their TV pilot:

  1. Does my series trigger push my central character into a powerful enough dilemma to set up season one?
  2. Is there a personal component that sets up the personal dilemma of my central character?
  3. Does my central character actively make a choice in the pilot trigger and dilemma that leads to a pursuit?
  4. Is my pilot goal clear?
  5. How do I setup the series?

Trigger & Dilema

With your series trigger and dilemma, you want to think about something that happens to your central character
that knocks their life out of balance. At this point in the story, your central character is often reactive versus active.
The dilemma should make us feel empathy for your character.

Personal Component

With the personal component, you are setting up the personal dilemma of your central character that leads to the
professional pursuit. This sets up the void. The pursuit is one step towards filling this void. With the personal part,
you want to think about the arc of the wound. The best pilots have a childhood wound that the series trigger and
dilemma splits open. The personal component in your story is the emotional part of your story.

Central Character

With the pilot arc, your central character goes from being reactive to active. With the setup of the series arc, they react to what happens to them. Then, they make an active choice that leads to the setup of the pilot arc. In the pilot arc, we should be clear about what your central character wants and why they want it by the end of Act One.

Pilot Goal

If the pilot goal is not clear, the story doesn’t work. In each act, the central character should take an action, hit an obstacle, and the stakes should be raised to the pilot goal. If the goal is not clear, you cannot link these points. We should feel what your character wants and what is in the way for every scene.

Series Set Up

After the resolution of the pilot arc, you need to set up the series. When I see this done well, it bookends
what happened in the series trigger and dilemma setup and helps to build the next level of the concept. The
point of this is to make your audience so enthralled that they can’t wait to see what happens next.

Mastering a story by utilizing the right tools is what will lead you to a sale.

* * *

International speaker Jen Grisanti is an acclaimed Story/Career Consultant at Jen Grisanti Consultancy Inc.,
writing Instructor for Writers on the Verge at NBC, a former 12-year studio executive, including VP of Current
Programming at CBS/Paramount, blogger for The Huffington Post, and author of the books,
Story Line: Finding Gold In Your Life Story, TV Writing Tool Kit: How To Write a Script That Sells, and
Change Your Story, Change Your Life: A Path To Your Success. Her new video series is
Telling and Selling Your TV Pilot. Learn more.

Read my Q&As with Jen on Story Line and Change Your Story, Change Your Life.

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