Writer’s Desk: Tips from F. Scott Fitzgerald

This_Side_of_Paradise_dust_jacketA few tips from the great F. Scott Fitzgerald, compiled from the handy collection F. Scott Fitzgerald on Writing:

1: Start by taking notes.
2: Make a detailed outline of your story.
3: Don’t describe your work-in-progress to anyone.
4: Create people, not types.
5: Use familiar words.
6: Use verbs, not adjectives, to keep your sentences moving.
7: Be ruthless.

If you can follow even three of those closely enough, you’ll be well on your way.

DVD Tuesday: ‘The Great Gatsby’

Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby, hidden somewhere in the set decoration like the rest of the cast.

greatgatsby-dvdThe first and biggest movie spectacle of the 2013 summer movie season had nothing to do with IMAX superheroes, but a genre-blending half-musical Baz Luhrmann adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Sound like a refreshing change of pace? It should have been. Unfortunately the result was more like a feature-length trailer for a movie that never quite arrived.

The Great Gatsby hits DVD and Blu-ray. My review is at Short Ends & Leader:

Luhrmann’s take on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age fable is all about trying to make it seem as “modern” as possible; a story gambit that makes sense, given the current economic climate. Of course, the one percent’s current Gilded Age just kept on trucking after the Great Recession, unlike the excesses of the 1920s fantasized about so lovingly in Gatsby, which were put on ice by the Great Depression. To that end, Luhrmann comes to the story armed not with a respectable screenplay, great location scouts, and the best actors he could find but a war chest of whizbang computer graphics, some pretty faces, and executive music producer Jay-Z. It’s gonna be a show, kids!…

Here’s the trailer: