I am boarding the midnight flight to Beijing tomorrow evening and will be spending my Thanksgiving holiday in China. I am very excited to be speaking to the filmmakers of Beijing Film Academy and introducing the techniques of Save the Cat! to a whole new group of writers, directors, and producers.

But my main mission is to learn!

We are screenwriters with a global audience, one I want to get to know a lot better. And I hope my trip is just the beginning of even more learning experiences I get to have with writers around the world.

As part of my daily activities, I monitor the Google Analytics for this site. This is the country by country, state by state breakdown that shows exactly where readers who view this site are located, and shows when and how often they check in. It’s fascinating — and a little addicting! We have recently had a huge uptick in interest, I note, from Germany, England, Ireland, and France, for instance! Welcome to you all! Thanks to this site, I also correspond regularly with readers in India, Australia, and New Zealand. It is a constant reminder of the global marketplace available to us as writers and the ongoing extension in the reach for our stories.

I hope to keep learning about storytelling in all parts of the world, to see primarily where our common ground is both as writers and as audiences. How do cultural differences translate and either invite or prevent us from enjoying the stories unfolding in our imaginations? How are American storytelling models just that, and maybe only that. And while many American films translate well and dominate the world marketplace, is their success attributable to storytelling prowess — or just marketing power?

I am fascinated. You should be, too. And I look forward to reporting on what I’m finding and engaging in this learning process together. Happy Thanksgiving to you all! I will be posting next Monday from China.

p.s I’d also like to give a shout-out to the lone reader of this site in North Dakota. For many months since getting introduced to the Analytics system, and eagerly checking out the daily tracking report from all over the world, there was one state in the U.S. — and one state alone —  that had zero, zip, nada viewers: North Dakota! What was up with that? Was it something I said? Finally, I am pleased to report, a lone reader in Bottineau has checked in — and I am so glad. Whoever you are, sir or madam, welcome!