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Michael Arndt is the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Little Miss Sunshine. He wrote the first draft of this, his debut script, in just three days (but went on to do around 100 revisions before the film was finally made). His second script was Toy Story 3, for which he also received an Academy Award nomination.

In the following short film Arndt shares how a close examination of Toy Story 1, Finding Nemo and The Incredibles, and a better understanding of how the early stages of these scripts set up their characters, helped his own writing process.

Fellow screenwriter John August (Go, Big Fish, Charlie’s Angels) contacted Arndt about the insights he shares. Arndt explained:

I’m aware the model I set up here applies imperfectly to Toy Story 3 itself. (It applies much more cleanly [for example] to Tootsie, which I consider one of the best comedy first acts of all time.) The broader point is that the emotional fuel for your first act break is largely set up in your inciting incident — and that is something that does apply to Toy Story 3.

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“Literature deserves its prestige for one reason above all others: because it’s a tool to help us live and die with a little more wisdom, goodness and sanity.”

As writers and book lovers, we know everyone should be reading literature. But there are people who view it as frivolous and who question the value of reading novels and poems when there are so many real problems and issues happening in world. In this video The School of Life, founded by philosopher Alain de Botton and curator Sophie Howarth, explains why we should all be reading literature – and even why we should prescribe it as a cure for life’s many ailments.

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Many people will simply recognise John Hodgman as the face of PC in the ‘Get a Mac’ commercials that aired on television between 2006 and 2009. But Hodgman is also a former literary agent and a very talented comedy writer. His work has appeared in The Paris Review, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern and Wired, and he is the author of three books including The Areas of My Expertise, described as “a lavish compendium of handy reference tables, fascinating trivia, and sage wisdom – all of it completely unresearched, completely undocumented and (presumably) completely untrue, fabricated by the illuminating, prodigious imagination of John Hodgman, certifiable genius.”

In this video recorded for Radical Media’s THNKR, Hodgman shares his tips on how to make it as a writer.

For more about John Hodgman visit website or follow him on Twitter.

 I wish I had a formula, I wish I had a way of proceeding that would be kind of, you know, this is what Chapter One is always like, and this is what Chapter Two is always like.  But it isn’t.  I just have to plunge into it.  And it’s usually the one . . .  that the voice of sanity and reason is telling me not to write.  It’s usually that one that I end up writing.”

In this interview recorded for bigthink.com, 74-year-old Booker Prize-winning author Margaret Atwood explains her creative process.

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The film adaptation of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars opened in cinemas on 6 June and took less than three weeks to make over $100,000,000 in North America alone. Green’s novel also currently holds the number one spot on many bestseller lists around the world, and yet writing YA tear jerkers is just one of the 36-year-old’s many talents. John Green is also an extremely popular video blogger. Vlogbrothers, the Youtube channel he created with his brother Hank, has over two million subscribers and covers topics ranging from How to Make Cinnamon Toast to Understanding Ukraine: The Problems Today and Some Historical Context.

Green is also the host of the Mental Floss Youtube channel. In this episode he guides viewers through some of the most common spelling and grammar errors including ‘Who vs. Whom’, ‘Lose vs. Loose’ and ‘Elicit vs. Illicit’.

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Jhumpa Lahiri Creative Process

“All writing, all art is just a wild leap off a cliff because there’s nothing to support you. You’re creating something out of nothing, really.  No one’s telling you to do it.  It comes from within, and it’s a very mysterious process, at least for me.  I still don’t understand how I write a story or a book.  I don’t understand how it happens.  I mean, I know it takes time, I know it takes effort, I know it takes lots and lots of drafts and hours, but I still really don’t understand the internal mechanism of how it really happens.”

Jhumpa Lahiri is a Pulitzer Prize-winning short story writer and novelist. Her work first appeared in The New Yorker in 1998. In the following short film produced by the iconic literary magazine, Lahiri discusses her creative process and the gratification she felt when readers around the world first responded so positively to her work.

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George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series has sold over 25 million copies in North America alone. With each volume weighing in at close to a thousand pages or more, writing each instalment is quite a time consuming process. On Conan O’Brien’s late-night talk show last month, Martin shared why, despite his phenomenal success (or perhaps because of it), he still uses a computer from the 1980s.

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