Genre: Fiction, Screenwriting
Steve De Jarnatt has 26 years in the WGA and has done a bit of everything over that time—sold specs, written 30 studio feature assignments, had a Sundance Competition film and IFP Screenplay nomination. He made the first two Best Unproduced Scripts in Hollywood lists (now The Blacklist) He was hired to write 15 drama pilots for the networks and got 4 produced as well as being on staff on X Files, American Gothic and other shows. He also has 20 years in the DGA, directing and producing 60+ episodes of network television, and countless low budget and no budget projects over the years.
He received an MFA from Antioch Los Angeles in Creative Writing and his fiction work has appeared in: Santa Monica Review (x3); Meridian; Zone 3; Joyland; Cincinnati Review(x2); Missouri Review (2014 Audio Contest winner-Prose);New England Review; New Stories from the Midwest 2013(Rosellen Brown – Guest Editor) and The Best American Short Stories 2009 (Alice Sebold – Guest Editor). Also among the 100 Distinquished Stories for B.A.S.S. 2013. He was a Fiction Scholar at Sewanee Writer’s Conference 2012 and Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference 2013.
Steve’s Book Coaching Statement
I coach and mentor two distinct skill sets. Media writing and fiction.
With the script form, I will be there to help you advance your craft in general and hone your current work with very specific constructive feedback towards its full potential. I do not have one set fashion in which I mentor. The material, personal chemistry, level of experience will all inform that—but it will always be about improving your story, your script, not my version of it.
While I believe everyone should have familiarity with the so-called guru tomes (McKee, Fields, etc)—ideally I will encourage you to acknowledge these ‘rules’ but surprise us by subverting and twisting them to shake up the status quo with your original narrative. Our biz needs fresh voices of all kinds, not clones adhering to formulas. It will be my pleasure to help move your writing in this direction. (At the same time— I would be happy to give you practical advice should you be trying to produce a spec television script to get into the staffing world, where busting new ground would not be advisable).
For guidance in literary fiction (particularly short stories) I will help writers find their unique voice and keep ‘the breath of life’ going throughout their work. I personally will follow a confidant author anywhere if they wield that spell successfully. The voice can be dazzling or restrained, but it should always let us into character’s consciousness and soul. I believe in the freedom of inspired chaos for your initial draft, but then will hope you can embrace the hard work of revision—sculpting your piece through many drafts— doing your own critical self-analysis in concert with my mentoring to keep you on track. Most of all I want the writer to finish a story that only they could tell.
When I began my Antioch MFA just a few years ago after toiling in show biz, I had huge gaps in proper composition. I knew almost nothing about the marketplace for literary fiction. I have worked hard to make quantum leaps both in my writing craft and in my knowledge of the current short fiction world. So if you are starting out and are a bit raw and unsure—I can help you. I was there too, not long ago. If you are more advanced and trying to gain some serious cred with important publications—that is my life right now. I know the current submission arena very well and can work with you to target where to send your story, once it’s at that final stage. (I am open to most all genre work as well – particularly crime and science fiction)