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by Hedgebrook Staff

We are so excited to introduce you to each of incoming screenwriters for Hedgebrook’s inaugural Screenwriters Lab! We encourage you to check out their previous work by following the links at the bottom of the interview. This is the first in a series of five interviews. Check back soon to meet our second screenwriter!


Without giving too much away, what do you find new and challenging about your current project?

The most challenging aspect in approaching this new writing project is re-wiring my brain in terms of my approach to story. I have been writing a few television pilots over the past few months and that kind of writing exercises a different kind of creative muscle. In features there’s a bit more latitude to spend time with an idea, a character, a theme or circumstance. Features tend to fit better with my natural writing tendencies, however it’s all a challenge. I usually start with who the people are and then ask myself if I can write them in a way that is worth the investment of time and space. Then I think about the conflict confronting the character. This part of the puzzle is never easy and is compounded by figuring out how the character navigates or becomes thwarted by what they face.


Have networks of other women writers contributed to your growth and success as a writer?

Recently, I have had the experience of working with three women, very advanced in their writing careers, who have helped me immensely and given me confidence in my own ability as a writer. Having mentors is invaluable. Early out of film school, oddly enough, I worked with mostly men, one a magazine editor, turned producer and the other an actor/producer. I think they have influenced my writing, in terms of the subject matter I usually tackle. I suppose the biggest influence came from my grandmother, who was a journalist and planted the seeds of storytelling early on within me.


How do you approach making creative compromises for financial reasons?

It can be a bit frustrating for sure, but because film is a collaborative medium, I think it’s prudent to learn how to discern the kind of compromises one can live with in their storytelling. In the first feature I wrote, the film sales company thought the opening scene was too salacious. I remember being really annoyed by that and then I thought about how to create the scenario in a way that was more accessible. It was a good challenge. I love the notes process, but the notes should make sense. Ultimately, writing is a malleable art form, meant to be pulled and stretched and so I’m never too precious about it.


Would you share one of your creative rituals?

I think writers can be as superstitious as athletes. I have a hat that I sometimes wear when I write. I call it my thinking cap. I can’t believe I just shared that! If I find that I’m struggling with some aspect of the story, I usually think about the problem before I go to sleep and often I will have dreams about a resolution. I scribble down key words or phrases in a little book that I keep by my bed and the next morning, it’s usually the first thing I look at when I wake up. Lastly, I write to music. For me this is essential. It helps me with dialogue and is always geared toward the subject I’m tackling.


Why are you excited about Hedgebrook?

I am excited to meet other female writers and learn about their approach to story. Writing is so often a solitary endeavor, so the idea of communing with fellow storytellers is really exciting. I’m looking forward to listening and learning.


About Lauren Goodman:

Lauren GoodmanGrowing up in a family of writers, the love for the written word is etched into Lauren Goodman’s DNA. Her great uncle founded the Los Angeles Sentinel in 1932, the largest African-American owned newspaper and her father is George W. Goodman, one of the first African-American journalists hired by the New York Times. Goodman’s articles on Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix and Sonny Rollins established him as one of the premiere music critics in journalism. So, it comes as no surprise that Lauren’s breakout script was the industry-lauded Marvin Gaye biopic, SEXUAL HEALING, which was bought by James Gandolfini’s company, Attaboy Films, through his first look deal at HBO.

Learn more at Lauren’s website: https://about.me/redgoodman928

Follow her on Twitter: @lascribbler




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Hedgebrook supports visionary women writers whose stories and ideas shape our culture now and for generations to come. The opinions expressed here are not necessarily representative of the opinions of Hedgebrook, its staff or board members.

Hedgebrook Staff
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