About Marilyn Ida Horowitz:
Marilyn Ida Horowitz is an award-winning New York University professor, author, producer, and Manhattan-based writing coach, who works with successful novelists, produced screenwriters, and award-winning filmmakers. She has a passion for helping novices get started. Since 1998 she has taught thousands of aspiring screenwriters to complete a feature length screenplay using her method. She served a full tenure as a judge for the Fulbright Scholarship Program for film and media students. In 2004 she received the coveted New York University Award for Teaching Excellence.
Professor Horowitz has a created a revolutionary system that yields a new, more effective way of writing. She is the author of six books that help the writer learn her trademarked writing system, including editions for college, high school, and middle school. The college version is a required text at New York University and the University of California, Long Beach. Two of her books have been used in the Lights, Camera, Literacy! program taught to over 1,000 children in Maryland’s Montgomery County Public School System (recipient of the “Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award” for outstanding scholastic performance). Professor Horowitz writes articles for Script magazine, and she pens a monthly column for MovieOutline.com, an online magazine with 30,000 subscribers. She is featured in Now Write! Screenwriting anthology published by Tarcher/Penguin edited by Sherry Ellis and the 2014 edition of The Expert Success Solution published by Morgan James Publishing. Marilyn’s upcoming novel, The Book of Zev, will be out in December 2014.
Professor Horowitz has taught more than 100 classes, seminars, and workshops across the country for groups including the Writers Guild of America East, NYWIFT, Philadelphia Writer’s Conference, Script DC, Screenwriters World East, and the Great American PitchFest.
Professor Horowitz has written several feature-length screenplays. Her production credits include the feature films And Then Came Love (2007), starring Vanessa Williams and distributed by Warner Bros.; Caleb’s Door (2009), distributed by Around the Scenes; Found in Time (2011); Nocturnal Agony (2011); and The One (2011).
What inspires you to write?
I am inspired by the interesting people I have met and the unusual stories I have heard about someone’s life. I imagine what the circumstances were that created their situation, and what the possible outcome could be.
Tell us about your writing process.
I have a trademarked writing process that I have used to teach screenwriters and novelists for fifteen years. It involves using a series of exercises to excite the mind to create a well-structured story from the moment the writer first conceives of it. Because it is character based, I always do the first of the series of exercises that can be found in my NYU textbook, How To Write A Screenplay In 10 Weeks. I write by hand in extra large Moleskine ruled notebooks, though I often type pages of notes. The Book of Zev was 880 handwritten pages. I make a very rough outline of the basic movements of the plot, but then I ride bareback, and let the story flow.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
They talk to me, definitely. But I can speak with them and often do. Many times, a piece of music defines the cadence more than the actual voice, and the rhythm leads to the vocabulary. For example in The Book of Zev, there’s a wonderful Nuevo Tango, Zeb’s Tango and I would sometimes listen to it when writing in his point of view.
What advice would you give other writers?
Writers write. Write incessantly about anything. All the time.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I was fortunate to be offered a deal by a small boutique house and decided to accept the offer. I have always self-published my textbooks, and that has worked out very well for me.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
The future looks bright for all writers. There are so many ways to get into print, so many available services to promote your work, and so many people LOVE to read! The key is to write so well no one can put your book down, no matter what format they are reading it in.Sadly, the hardest work we writers have to do is not the writing, but how to get our books read.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?: I write books, screenplays and articles on writing. I have written in almost every genre excluding horror.
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print