margaret atwood the handmaid's tale

Writer Tips by Margaret Atwood Author of “The Handmaid’s Tale” {Video}

Margaret Atwood is the author of the novel … The Handmaid’s Tale. She wrote it in the 1980s.

Yes, Atwood’s the original creator of Offred and Serena our beloved heroine and semi-villain… or at least the wife of the villain.

In the video below Margaret Atwood speaks about her Creative Process to Big Think.


Margaret Atwood Writing Quote:

“For the author, it’s not a question of sitting around and wondering what to write; it’s a question of deciding which of the “far-fetched and absurd” ideas she’s going to try to tackle.”


MARGARET ATWOOD: Margaret Atwood is a Canadian novelist, poet, and essayist. She’s well known for novel turned hit TV series; The Handmaid’s Tale 

Best known for her novels, Atwood has a knack for creating strong, enigmatic female characters. It’s noted that telling open-ended stories is how this author excels. 

The reader understands they’ve  been handed a challenge to use their imagination as to how the continues after it ‘ends.’ Atwood expertly dissects contemporary urban life and sexual politics, yet manages to keep her stories relevant for decades.

She’s among the most-honored authors of fiction in recent history with many awards under her belt.

Atwood won the Arthur C. Clark Award for The Handmaid’s Tale.

Her novel Cat’s Eye, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize.

Alias Grace, won the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy.

Her book The Blind Assassin, was the winner of the 2000 Booker Prize.

Lastly, Oryx and Crake was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2003.

The Prince of Asturias Prize for Literature was awarded to Atwood  in 2008.

Her most recent novel is The Year of the Flood.

Listen to all of Margaret Atwood’s books on


Liked these tips from Margaret Atwood?

Check out this article on how the advice to ‘just write’ is just wrong…

Wishing you much imagination…

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writers block help, film courage, questions for screenwriters

3 Questions A Screenwriter Should Ask – FILM COURAGE – Paul Joseph Gulino {VIDEOS}

I’ve discovered a great Youtube channel called Film Courage.

They specialize in helping writers with scripts for movies and TV.

There are LOTS of great tips on this channel.

For example, in the clips below, Paul Joseph Gulino —> Chapman University (Dodge College) professor and author offers 3 questions every screenwriter should ask themselves when developing a story.

Gulino has written a book based on his experience and insights into writing for movies and TV.  

These are excellent tips!

I’m curious as to how Paul Joseph Gulino would think about this post on how to get UNstuck when you’ve got writers block.

Here’s a FULL interview with Paul Joseph Gulino speaking to Film Courage once again.

Gulino shares his recommendations on screenwriting tools & strategies to keep the audience engaged. 

Connect with PAUL JOSEPH GULINO here:

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Wishing you much imagination…

Interested in more writing tips?

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help for writers block technique

Writers Block Help: A Great Technique To Get UNstuck – Knowing Who Your Characters Are

Whenever you want to get unstuck and get some writers block help, try asking this;

Now what happens?

That’s the first question.

Now if nothing comes to mind after asking that question try this;

  • think of your characters’ preferences and desires. What are they?
  • add some more detail that fleshes out who the characters are
  • Include how these characters feel about each other, as well as, their own self image
  • If you don’t already, write a separate back story for each character

I’ve heard JK Rowling talk about how much back story she writes on her characters.

Most of the information never makes it into the final version of her novels.

However, because she knew her characters so intimately, she was able to move the story forward in a logical fashion.

She could ask What happens now? and get a clear answer because she knew her characters so well.

Do you see how this could free you up and break the chains of writer’s block?


Whenever you get stuck, go back to your character’s preferences and desires. This helps you to understand their perspective better. 

It’s like getting to know someone. Knowing their likes and dislikes says a lot about who they are.

As well, if you write out your character’s back story as if they were your best friend it’ll give you a richer bank of detail to pull from. 

Here’s An Example:

Romeo, our dashing leading man, has just scaled the side of a waterfall doused cliff to greet the love of his life. He gets to the top and sees his beloved Juliet through the window of her cabin in the arms of another man. – Gasp!

Now what happens?


You want adventure and romance in this story.

Romeo is in love with Juliet. He wants to be with Juliet forever. He’s an athletic, adventurous man willing to do whatever he can to be with the woman he loves.

So based on Romeo’s preferences and desires what happens now? 

Does he:

  • Kick down the door and barge his way in?
  • Does he knock on the door and then knock the other man out when he answers the door?
  • Does he try to create a diversion so the other man will leave and he can take Juliet?
  • Would he take the chance to set the house on fire and rescue Juliet?
  • Would he send a goat as a present from a neighbor with a poisoned note attached to the collar for the man to read?
  • Or maybe the poison note is meant for Juliet to read?  
  • Does Romeo know the man? 
  • Does Romeo end up think Juliet is just too loose of a lady and leaves her with the other guy?

There are a million ways this could go…

Depending on what kind of man Romeo is, will determine the answers to the questions.

After all you created this Romeo. He’s your invention. Based on what you know about him… what happens now?


What you’re doing here as a writer – building a character profile – is not unlike the work of an actor.

Great actors usually make copious notes on who their characters are.

What did their character do before the scene started? Where are they going after the scene ends? What are their childhood memories?

Even though none of this is ever mentioned in the script. 

Know your characters and they will lead you forward on your story journey.

Understand your character’s preferences and desires and you will get unstuck, smash through writers block and maybe find a new friend in one of your characters.  

Want more tips on writing from some very successful authors? 

Check these out….

Scott Sigler

Paulo Cohelo

High School English Still Applies… discover more here.

Help for Writers Block

Why the Advice to “Just Write” is Just Wrong

Wishing you much imagination…

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