On this episode of the Writing at the Red House Podcast, Kathi Lipp sits down with screenwriter Grace Church, whose raunchy yet heartwarming new comedy, Diamond in the Rough, recently hit theaters. Grace opens up about the decade-long journey that brought this female-driven golf film to life, taking listeners behind the scenes. 

From a simple logline idea sparked while working at a country club, Grace shares how Diamond in the Rough slowly took shape over years of dedication and perseverance. She provides insights into the technical aspects of screenwriting, like crafting compelling narrative arcs, developing authentic characters, and navigating the collaborative nature of moviemaking. 

Despite the film’s mainstream and, at times, edgy content, Grace highlights how her faith was a driving force throughout the grueling writing and production process. Her story is a powerful reminder that Christian creators can flourish while staying true to their God-given talent and voice. 

For aspiring writers or anyone pursuing their dreams amidst the busyness of life, this episode is filled with invaluable wisdom and inspiration. Grace’s vulnerability and humble spirit are sure to motivate listeners to keep chasing their creative callings, no matter the obstacles. 

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Meet Your Hosts

Kathi Lipp

Kathi Lipp

Author, Speaker, Writing at the Red House Creator and CEO

Kathi Lipp is the host of the Clutter Free Academy podcast, the Writing at the Red House podcast, and the bestselling author of The Husband Project, Clutter Free, Ready for Anything, and An Abundant Place. She and her husband, Roger, live in the mountains of northern California, where they run the Red House Writing Retreats.

Over the past 10 years, Kathi has helped hundreds of people increase their platform through teaching and coaching. She is a frequent teacher at writer’s conferences and has helped countless authors and speakers find their audiences.

Kathi’s desire to help fellow speakers and authors avoid the mistakes she made, increase their confidence, and be the person God made them to be inspired her creation of Communicator Academy. Her newest adventure is The Red House, where she offers writer’s retreats and Writers in Residence events. Learn more about the Red House at writingattheredhouse.com

Grace Church

Grace Church

Screenwriter, blogger

Grace Church is a screenwriter, blogger, and wanna-be-author living in Los Angeles. After years of spec-ing and pitching, she and her writing partner got to experience the dream of having their original script DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH purchased, produced, and theatrically released in movie theaters in 2021-2022.
Dubbed as “Mean Girls at a Country Club,” DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH is a female-driven golf comedy built on lived experiences of grief and belonging, set in the elevated and sometimes absurd world of private club life. DIAMOND now streams on Amazon, AppleTV, Peacock, Tubi, and has over one million views on YouTube’s Movie Central (keep those comments coming)!
With a professional background in entertainment, public relations, and hospitality, Grace is also part of Kathi’s CFA leadership team serving as a Community Manager of CFFL. Grace has been a regular contributor in CFA since it began in 2016 and a founding member of both CFFL since its inception in 2019 and the Red House Collective. Grace credits her decluttering work with Kathi as key to increased productivity and creativity as a writer since her first 2000-Thing Fling in 2015.
Grace is a proud member of the Writer’s Guild of America and the Writer’s Guild of Canada and thoroughly believes “it all starts on the page.” She loves to talk with other writers and creators about the tools and techniques they use to get them creating, keep them collaborating, and ensuring it all stays fun along the way! You can connect with Grace on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or her home page at “Rise and Write with Grace & James.”

Instagram – @riseandwritegrace

Diamond in the Rough – https://creatorplus.com/ditrYouTube’s Movie Central – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUwX88QFkQQ


Kathi (00:00.689) 

Well, hey friends, welcome to the Writing at the Red House podcast where we gather at the table to break bread and tell tales with some of our favorite writers and creators who share their wisdom to help us all share our story. And today, this is so much fun to talk about because our guest, Grace Church, is a good friend of mine. has laid her head down here at the Red House before. But she also has written a major motion picture, which is crazy. It’s just crazy. Now I know two friends who have done this because Susie Flory has a movie coming out later this year, and I feel very Hollywood. Grace, thank you for letting me have six degrees of separation for Hollywood. 

Grace (00:47.594) 


Kathi (00:58.961) 

Thank you, because you’re a big part of that. 

Grace (01:02.142) 

Thank you for having me, Kathy. I’m super excited and nervous and scared to talk about it. 

Kathi (01:07.009) 

No, no, there’s no reason to be nervous and scared. You’ve had to deal with Hollywood agents. We’re nothing over here. This is fine. And you guys, I just want you to know, like, so Grace is, in addition to being a blogger and a screenwriter and a wannabe author. Okay, so you are an author. You just happen to write, you’re a screenwriter. So that’s, but living in Los Angeles, I mean, she’s, she’s doing it. And she’s also an intern for us over here at 

Clutterfree and The Red House. So you contain multitudes, which I love, Grace. So I wanna talk about this movie because, you know, when I think about a movie being made, and of course, because all of my knowledge comes from watching movies about movies being made, you know, it feels like it takes six months. But let’s talk about, your movie is called Diamond in the Ruff, and it… 

I want to know like the whole process. So I want to know the inside of what it was like for you as a writer on this. So did a studio say, hey, we want something or did you write something and say, hey, studio, do you want this? Tell us how this happened. 

Grace (02:14.438) 


Grace (02:24.286) 

All right, well, you said six months. I’m going to start 10 years ago. Yes, yes. And a lot of movie stories start that way. Ten years ago, I started a new job just about this month at a country club and working in the in the food and beverage area back home in New Jersey, where my heart is and. 

Kathi (02:29.333) 

Oh my goodness! That’s wild! 

Kathi (02:34.931) 


Kathi (02:47.442) 


Grace (02:49.458) 

I started to see, I had worked in hospitality before, but I started to see these very crisp characters. And they weren’t all, you know, you go into a club as a staffer and you think, oh, us and them kind of like, you know, like that’s like from the outside, you think Caddyshack and you think us and them. 

Kathi (03:07.122) 


Grace (03:07.37) 

So I go in and all of a sudden I’m like, oh wait, no, we’re all in a community together. Like we’re part of this community too. And I had, the members were all different, like vastly different. And maybe because of their status, I don’t know, or their place in life, really strong characters. They knew who they were, what they’re doing, and where they were going and how they behaved. Like it all was very… 

in high resolution. And that’s what characters are, right? They’re people who have values that they live and act and breathe out and speak in real life, but in on paper, but in this case, it’s real life. So I’m walking into work one day, and the ladies were having a little nine, what nine hole, there’s a, this is a little thing like, there’s a big difference between like 18 hole golfers and nine hole golfers, like the nine hole or sort of like the fun ones kind of thing. 

Kathi (03:38.97) 

Oh, interesting. 


Kathi (04:04.783) 


Grace (04:06.672) 

having a little event and I’m thinking what about a woman like I love Caddyshack I love Bill Murray I love his heart and his pathos and just so much about that movie is um just and plus growing up at that time but anyway um 

Kathi (04:13.852) 


Grace (04:23.262) 

I’m walking across and I’m like, you know, we need a female catty shack. We need like, that’s where I was headed. I’m like, we need a female. It was a time when they were, they were reversing like Ghostbusters and stuff. Like they were making a lot of, I mean, it’s 10 years ago, but, um, they were just starting to have all these, what can we do with females instead? So I sent a note from that parking lot to my manager at the time, uh, my agent manager and to Jim, like, Hey, what about, this is how it starts, what about a female catty shack? Oh. 

Kathi (04:35.006) 


Kathi (04:42.161) 


Grace (04:54.016) 

that’s funny what would that you know and one person says nobody likes to watch golf and then another person says no that’s funny and then you start to like imagine what this looks like and it evolved and for a little bit we settled on a log line which is you know a group of female golfers do this in order to achieve this so that this happens and It sat there because we were working on other projects at the time. So we had this log line that’s just in this, I keep a big long list of any ideas we have. Any titles, anything that we come across. Um, I just keep this long list and it sat there. Then we moved out to California and I got another country club job, which I absolutely love. And even higher resolution people. And, um, we were in between projects going through our list and we’re like, wait a what’s this female caddyshack when we you know now this is a year or two later and we Jim just started he was just playing around with it one night and it kind of spilled out onto paper and 

Kathi (05:54.595) 


Grace (06:04.554) 

When I came home, he was visibly excited about it. And he’s like this and that. And we were laughing. I remember him standing on the stairs and we were kind of laughing at these scenarios. And I’m like, we had just moved here. So the script wasn’t based on this experience, but we had an actress in mind and we were kind of giving voice to it and playing around with it. And we’re like, no, this has legs. We can go somewhere with this. So we started our process. We made that the focus and we started the process. And that was two, I moved in 2016 

Kathi (06:24.487) 


Grace (06:34.228) 

right around that time that we started fleshing it out. I don’t think we had written much before that. We had toyed around with it but we hadn’t written much. So and that’s what now? Yeah that’s eight years ago. That’s where it started. 

Kathi (06:44.366) 


Kathi (06:47.785) 

So let me back up even further, because how did you get an agent? I don’t know anything about this world, but… 

Grace (06:55.902) 

Oh, yeah. Yeah, and you know, this is a Jim is that I have to say of the partnership, Jim is the more I do a lot of the creative and the structuring stuff. um the formulation he really has the no nerd like he has no worries about cold calling people or uh cold emailing which is still a thing or now it’s dms but you strike up you know you see somebody’s movie that you like you reach out to the agent you find the agent back in the day i mean we’re talking a long time ago it was a book you got a book like the like the i think there’s a publishing one right um 

Kathi (07:42.066) 

Yeah, there’s the Publishers Guide to Christian Writing. 

Grace (07:46.062) 

Yeah, so there was a there was a there was a movie there was a guide for Hollywood reps and you would go through and you would just cold. I think at that time we were emailing I have three minutes it’s like it’s crazy how technology has changed now you can friend somebody on social and get to know them and you know if you get up the nerve to pitch your work but I asked him about this last night I’m like do you think cold emailing is still a thing and he thinks that it’s still a thing that cold emails still work you send an intro you send your log line and you say hey if you’re interested let me know and you do not wait oh a log line is um the log line is the two where it’s you should be like one to three sentence blurb that encapsulates the movie 

Kathi (08:16.946) 


Kathi (08:24.593) 

Your log line, what’s that? 

Kathi (08:34.845) 


Grace (08:37.886) 

So it’s what you see when you log on to Amazon or anything and you see like the little blurb about what the show is about. That’s basically the logline. It tells you who, what, when, where, and why basically. So it’s a character wants something. The wanting is very important. There’s a kind of formula for it, but it’s a person who wants something 

Kathi (08:45.381) 

Yeah, right. 

Kathi (08:56.189) 


Grace (09:07.39) 

because of a reason, but some so that something will happen, but something stands in their way. And I know. 

Kathi (09:14.725) 

Okay, repeat that because I think that’s really important. That is for movies, but it’s also for books. It could be for long form articles. So say that again. 

Grace (09:21.641) 


Grace (09:26.338) 

It’s a character who wants something so that something will happen, but something stands in their way. I feel like I missed one, but yeah, it’s basically that. And the elements that are, it’s easy to think a lot of, when we did this when we were first starting, oh, it’s about this person who wants this. 

Kathi (09:39.292) 


Grace (09:49.394) 

And that’s enough. It’s not it has to be what makes we were just talking about Sounds the Lambs. What makes these movies great is the opposition. When you have a and we just use this method to correct we’re working on a project that we’re stuck on and the nemesis is not enough. It’s not clear enough. The opposition. And that’s why you mentioned Skyler when we were chatting Kate. 

Kathi (10:14.173) 

Yes. I was going to say Skyler is all opposition. This is one of the characters. Yeah. 

Grace (10:18.274) 

Caitlin Carver, yes, Caitlin Carver who plays her just with the gritting teeth, the tight, the tight body language, that steely look, Caitlin Carver drove embodied that nemesis. And all it was that Caitlin wanted wants to keep her role as the queen bee in the club. But it’s enough to oppose somebody who’s trying to break in. So 

Kathi (10:31.207) 


Kathi (10:35.112) 


Kathi (10:41.073) 

Mm-hmm. Right. 

Grace (10:47.038) 

we’re realizing that like more and more the nemesis really defines the hero’s journey and in life too isn’t it so that it’s the adversity that really defines yeah and you know it’s easy to lose sight of because you get so enamored and in love with oh the hero’s journey and what they want and why they wanted and the nobility well um

Kathi (10:55.717) 


Kathi (10:59.569) 

It’s, yeah. 

Grace (11:13.034) 

You know, this is what makes comic book movies also so easy to digest is just that they have a clear bad guy and 

Kathi (11:18.055) 


Kathi (11:22.225) 

Well, and this is what, because I know that you’ve said this is a female catty shack. What I thought is feels like a Gen Z mean girls to me. And in some ways, yeah. 

Grace (11:33.63) 

Yes, well it started the idea started to us Mean Girls, I don’t know… 

I don’t know the year Mean Girls came out. It might not have existed yet. It may have. It started in our minds as, you know, kind of 80s babies as a female catty shack, but it evolved and Mean Girls is used in the log line. They’ll say it’s like Mean Girls at a country club is how a lot of people describe it. And it evolved, it originally started with a team of like we had one team of females versus another team of females and then we toyed with it and eventually narrowed 

Kathi (11:51.302) 


Kathi (11:56.329) 



Grace (12:09.872) 

these three or four characters, I think, five characters that deliver the story. 

Kathi (12:12.742) 


And can I tell you who my favorite character is in all of this? It’s Christina, the, the bartender, new best friend, love, Jiu-Jitsu instructor, spontaneous Jiu-Jitsu instructor. She’s wonderful. She’s so funny. 

Grace (12:23.1) 

Oh, right? Yes. 

Grace (12:29.89) 

So, yeah, yes, Natasha Barham. She’s in a new, she’s in a, I’m gonna plug her. Yes, she is an Iranian American actor. She is in a new show on HBO called Girls on the Bus. She is fanta, yes, she’s all over the place now. She is a fantastic, her comedic timing, her heart. 

Kathi (12:46.377) 

I’ve seen ads for that. 

Grace (12:54.466) 

her sincerity. And you know, it’s interesting, that’s a character that was an evolved character. Christina did not start that way in our original script. She was, that character was based on a real friend of mine at the club who, named Sophia, who was kind of like the wise sage. She’s all like petite and she was like this little petite Greek girl. 

Kathi (13:04.023) 


Grace (13:19.814) 

with like this big and like was the uniter like she was always uniting people and pulling people in so it started as that and when that’s an example of development when the producers bought the script 

Kathi (13:31.878) 


Grace (13:34.974) 

they consolidated two characters. They consolidated the bartender angle that was originally the male lead and the waiter into this one character. So in a way, like Christina is representative of two characters but she became one and it really that was a great improvement and we’re that’s, you know, development can be great when you have fresh eyes on something and they saw something that we didn’t 

Kathi (13:38.249) 


Kathi (13:47.194) 


Kathi (14:03.837) 

Absolutely. So let’s. 

Grace (14:05.028) 

so happy because she makes the movie. Her little one-liners and her facial expressions and everything, yeah. Yeah. 

Kathi (14:09.549) 

Oh, she’s tremendous, tremendous. So let me ask you, if somebody has, we have a lot of authors here. By the way, I should also mention that Diamond in the Rough, such a great movie. It’s not one you sit down and watch with your kids. No, that’s okay, because we need grownup movies. But we are on a podcast that talks mostly about Christian writing and stuff like that. 

Grace (14:28.446) 

No, it is not. And yeah, yeah. 

Grace (14:38.546) 


Kathi (14:39.437) 

and grace is a Christ follower, but this is not a Christian movie. And so we have lots of people who are Christian creators, who are not necessarily writing Christian content. And sometimes I don’t write Christian content. Sometimes, you know, mine’s general market. And that’s what that’s the situation here. So I just wanted to put that on there. Sure. 

Grace (14:59.198) 

Yeah, if I can if I can elaborate on that we are mainstream. We are mainstream writers. There is a very healthy Christian market, despite what a lot of people think. Suzy Flory’s movie is directed by my friend, John Gunn. He directed, yeah, he directed Unbreak and produced Unbreakable along with others. But he directed it. Unbreakable Boy. It is so good. I’ve seen I’ve had the privilege of sitting in his backyard and watching a 

Kathi (15:05.158) 


Kathi (15:09.949) 


Kathi (15:14.936) 

Oh my goodness. 

Kathi (15:20.302) 

I can’t wait. 

Grace (15:29.552) 

version of it. He has done it’s a beautiful job. So there is a very healthy and dynamic Christian market. The chosen has proven that… wait what’s that? 

Kathi (15:41.197) 

And it’s not schlocky is the word on the street. It is not, it’s not schlocky. It’s not wrapped up in a neat little bow, Christian, he just prayed and everything got better. It’s a real life story is the word on the street. 

Grace (15:48.073) 


Grace (15:57.458) 

It is. Yeah, it is. It’s it’s and it’s and I feel like it you can deliver those messages in a 

in a real way, in a grounded way. Our voice is Jim and I write adult comedy with a heart, and we write the way we honor our characters. And to have a golf movie that didn’t include, for us, didn’t include cursing and alcohol, and like it just, it wouldn’t feel genuine yet. So that’s what we have. Yeah.

Kathi (16:08.485) 

Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Kathi (16:30.885) 

Right, right. To your experience because you worked at real clubs. Yeah. 

Grace (16:37.972) 

Yeah, we’ve gotten blasted for that. I’ve seen, I love the reviews. I love to read reviews good and bad because they’re very informative to me and a lot of people, it turns off a lot of people, the first three or four words are cuss words in the movie. So, you know, like it’s just It’s part of her journey. It’s part of her journey is refinement is part of her journey. Yeah 

Kathi (16:43.401) 


Kathi (16:46.825) 


Kathi (16:54.086) 


They were used well, you know, those, yeah, it really is. 

Kathi (17:05.032) 

So we have a lot of people who are writing fiction, they’re writing memoir, they’re writing narrative nonfiction. And a lot of people who are listening to this podcast know that their book would make a great movie or a great TV movie, or where does somebody start? Like where could you start if you feel like, know that because here’s what I know, there’s gotta be an education to it. 

Grace (17:25.515) 

Mm, it’s fascinating. 

Kathi (17:33.837) 

and then there’s got to be an application. So the education is how the industry works and then the application is working in the industry. So where do people go for education on this? How you’re in it, but if somebody was like, when people come to me, I say, go to a writer’s conference. Like they don’t want to do that. They want, they say, you know, I don’t need to do all that. And I’m like, yeah, you do. So like what would be your writer’s conference? 

Grace (17:54.722) 

Can I make a real?  

Grace (17:59.406) 

Yeah, if you don’t, Jim. I will. I’m going to I’m going to age myself dramatically. It used to be the learning annex. Do you remember the learning annex? Yes. So before. 

Kathi (18:07.612) 


Kathi (18:10.937) 

Right, okay. Yes, and in New York that was huge, right? Oh, okay. 

Grace (18:14.346) 

before, well and here, I lived in New York, I lived in Los Angeles prior. Before, before there was the internet, there was this catalog called the Learning Annex and you would flip through and you would pay, what was it, 29, 59, 100 dollars, sometimes more for a weekend class on how to do something. And this was the YouTube… 

Kathi (18:22.886) 



Kathi (18:34.406) 


Grace (18:37.846) 

This is the analog version of YouTube. And it was glorious because you could spend a week in learning anything and, unlike YouTube, meeting people.

Kathi (18:39.986) 


Kathi (18:48.822) 


Grace (18:49.202) 

And that was the thing that separated that from YouTube is at the learning at when you would go take a workshop or a class or whatever, a course, whatever they called them back then. I wish I had an old learning annex catalog. I probably do in my in my in my clutter situation downstairs. The I would save it if just I would save it. 

Kathi (18:54.418) 


Kathi (19:00.809) 


Kathi (19:06.385) 

Yeah, but you’re clutter free now. You know, you’ve been working the program, so you’ve gotten rid of some of that stuff. 

Kathi (19:16.354) 

Okay, I love it. 

Grace (19:19.342) 

Yeah, so you would go and the better the best thing about it was you would learn and you would meet And that is what we’re missing now. So i’m still in the camp of yes conferences, I know I think w I think Susie’s um, oh my gosh, but west coast christian writers 

Kathi (19:26.5) 


Kathi (19:40.009) 

Here’s comes Christian, yeah? 

Grace (19:41.742) 

is having or has had a screenwriting and entertainment program like teacher. But I think wherever someone lives, if they can plug into a screenwriting class or even a filmmaking group. And here’s the thing, like we’ve come so far when I was coming into screenwriting you had to be in New York or LA or because we didn’t have phones like we didn’t have a camera in our pocket like you had to carry like a big huge you had to rent it and buy tapes and carry around and light like you don’t have to do any of that anymore so kids everywhere schools high schools are producing content this way churches a lot of churches have um 

Kathi (20:13.672) 


Right. Yeah. 

Kathi (20:22.267) 


Kathi (20:31.581) 

Yeah, it’s amazing. 

Grace (20:36.294) 

fiction filmmaking or production type groups. Get plugged in. Start creating with other people who want to do it. The thing that’s different about making your own content versus  

Grace (20:51.834) 

I work in features mainly. I don’t know it’s the same though. It’s the collaboration. You have to learn to work with other people. Even even working in a community theater would teach you that collaborative nature. So first of all, if you I mean, if you’ve written a book, hey, congratulations. First of all, it’s your IP. So hang on to that. That’s super important. Can’t take that from you. You’re selling it, you’re marketing it, you’re already 

Kathi (20:59.261) 

Yeah, yeah. 

Kathi (21:05.859) 


Kathi (21:15.294) 


Grace (21:21.788) 

Um, as far as would it make a good movie, that is a separate conversation. Yeah, and Suzy Flory, her on her, um, memoir group, um, oh, boy, you read these, you read these names every day. Isn’t that wild? Everything memoir. 

Kathi (21:27.121) 

Right. Yeah. 

Kathi (21:36.393) 

Oh, yeah, that’s okay. Her memoir group, we can just call it that.

Grace (21:42.918) 

Suzy’s introduction, I’ve watched it a thousand times and I’ve used it to work on our scripts as memoir because what is a movie but a fictional character’s remembrance of something that happened, right? Movies are memoirs in a way but they’re a fictional character’s memoir. 

Kathi (21:43.333) 

Everything? Yes. 

Kathi (21:55.869) 

Yeah, yeah. 

Kathi (22:00.125) 

Right. Yeah. 

Grace (22:05.446) 

I’ve used that a billion times. I’ve listened to it over and over again about what part of the story do you want to tell? Because if a memoir is only a small part of your life, a movie is going to be an even narrower view, maybe of an event or of an experience or a very small part of that story. So you have to that’s why books are adapted into movies because you cannot tell that whole story and Susie could speak better to that because she you know she’s written the memoirs, co-written the memoirs. You have to pick out now the slices of that and combine characters and so it’s possible though. It’s also possible to turn it into a stage play, a one act. I have a friend who did that. You can do, you can stage it in your backyard and see how it reads like there’s… 

Kathi (22:49.927) 


Kathi (22:59.277) 

Yeah, it’s amazing what you know the journey it can go a million different directions I also wanted to say I follow a great guy on tik-tok And i’ll put his link here because i’m sure he’s on instagram as well in case tik-tok goes away um michael jamon writer um, so He’s written on a bunch of sitcoms and things like that and he’s produced plays and I just find him

Grace (23:06.155) 


Grace (23:19.755) 


Kathi (23:27.865) 

His journey is fascinating. Why I started watching him was because he would gather up all of his royalty checks and open them on screen. And yeah, some of them were 27 cents. So, you know, it’s like, okay, that’s the reality there. 

Grace (23:38.91) 


Grace (23:43.41) 

We got yes and I know you’re talking about that too which I think is great. You’re talking about making money as a writer. We just I just saw in my Facebook memories we got our green envelope when you’re in the guild your they’re not right there. Oh the name your residuals come in a green envelope and we got our first green envelope last year and it was super exciting to get. The funny thing was it wasn’t about the dollar amount because the dollar amount was small.

Kathi (23:48.333) 

Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Kathi (24:00.442) 



Kathi (24:12.296) 


Grace (24:14.684) 

It was about the green envelope represented years of effort and dedication and tunnel, not tunnel vision, but like persistence. And like we were saying before we were talking, like your credit and your residuals, like no one can take that from you. Those are permanent things.   

Kathi (24:28.166) 


Grace (24:39.154) 

as a writer, you know, you’re not going to put that in your bio, like, hey, I get residuals or hey, I have a credit on a two year old movie now, like, you know, out here, it’s like, Oh, what else are you working on? You know, like, what’s next? And it’s like, Oh, my God, I’m still like, not that I am, but like, 

Kathi (24:40.945) 


Kathi (24:52.226) 

It shows… 

Kathi (25:01.217) 

Money is not the only value of work, but it is one of the values of work.

Grace (25:06.27) 

It is, and it’s a real factor. We live in a capitalist economy where money buys us things and like Tanya likes to say, pays the grocery bill. Like you have to figure it out, but there’s also a lot of ways now to figure that out that weren’t accessible back then. And when I was coming up, you had a corporate job or you worked like…

Kathi (25:16.264) 


Kathi (25:25.678) 

It’s so true. 

Grace (25:33.586) 

like you know you just worked on like non-corporate job like that was it like you had like kind of two choices now there’s a gig economy there’s side jobs corporations like when i was in corporate you couldn’t work on the weekends Like that would have been perceived as being like not cool. Like to have a side gig would have violated like all kinds of like now it’s just a given. Like everybody’s home creating. Everybody’s home collecting their extra paychecks through whatever. So, you know, Jim and I again, if you talk to Jim, he’d have a different story. But I say find. 

Kathi (25:49.35) 


Kathi (25:53.273) 


Kathi (25:59.662) 

It, yeah. 

Grace (26:14.642) 

My work is my stability and my independence. I am very proud of my full-time job that I have, and I love, love that it allows me to write. That is the balance. 

Kathi (26:20.561) 


Kathi (26:27.289) 

Yes. I, you know, I earn money so I can write. I mean, that’s, that’s really what it is. I coach so I can write. I podcast so I can write, because those are all income streams. And writing is probably my least lucrative income stream. But I love what I put into the world. And I love what you put into the world. You know, it’s just amazing. 

Grace (26:33.354) 


Grace (26:37.503) 


Grace (26:47.37) 

Yeah. And as, and as we’ve discussed, it’s a, it’s a hard, that’s a, it’s a hard topic to talk about because there are 

Kathi (26:57.626) 


Grace (27:01.83) 

we can get into that. Screenwriting is a long haul. It’s a long haul. I’ve been asking myself this over and over again. Why do it? There’s so many easier ways for me to write and put work out in the world. Why? Why coming? I love movies. I absolutely love movies. I love what they do. I love personally that they’re contained into two hours. We’re watching now. We’re watching Man Hunt about 

Kathi (27:08.167) 


Kathi (27:18.671) 


Kathi (27:22.91) 


Kathi (27:29.17) 


Grace (27:32.124) 

John Wilkes Booth and Abe Link. 

Kathi (27:32.261) 

Uh huh. Yeah. 

Grace (27:34.926) 

I can’t like if Jim did not turn the TV off like I would be I would binge that whole series because I am so hooked and I love that movies have a time like a time stamp on them like okay it’s an hour and a half and I’m walking out satisfied. Like there’s no cliffhangers at the end of it might be there might be a tease to a sequel but you it’s an entire arc in a 90 minute or 100 or 90 100 120 minute period. 

Kathi (27:40.826) 


Kathi (27:46.661) 


Kathi (27:56.239) 


Grace (28:04.88) 

Oppenheimer or something, that’s three hour investment, but you know he can do that. I love that I can experience them, digest them, and put them away. To me that’s magic. 

Kathi (28:06.813) 


Kathi (28:18.309) 

Yeah, and you’ve entered into a new world for a couple of hours. You’ve gotten invested with these people, but you get to also have a close to that, usually a very satisfying close. I love this. Guys, it’s called Diamond in the Rough with screenwriter Grace Church. I’m so incredibly proud of you. This is so amazing. 

Grace (28:31.018) 


Kathi (28:48.466) 

What are you working on right? You said that you’re working on something right now. Can you just tell us just a little bit about it? 

Grace (28:54.314) 

Yeah, no, we’ve actually worked on several projects since then. Right now, we’re working on a holiday. So we had this idea. It’s an old idea that we kind of dug out. It’s basically a holiday movie, but it’s a heist, right? So yeah, and it’s a lot of it’s supposed to be fun. However, what I’m learning is because I don’t work in crime so much. Heists are tricky. They’re hard to write. 

Kathi (29:11.282) 

Oh, fun!


Kathi (29:20.252) 


Grace (29:24.208) 

great appreciation for anyone who’s writing, any kind of crime. I don’t have a criminal mind. So as I’m writing it, I’m like, oh, why would they do this? Like, they’re just going to get caught. And Jim’s like, that’s the point. 

Kathi (29:40.541) 

That’s the point, baby! 

Grace (29:41.27) 

But yeah, so I’m stretching and we got stuck on the nemesis. We have a nemesis that was not clearly defined and that was hanging up the whole process. And I had to sit in that for a long time and figure out what’s wrong with this part of the project. It took some dissecting and it’s very painful to wait for that to clear up. 

Kathi (30:08.185) 

Yeah, yeah. 

Grace (30:08.874) 

because you feel like time is ticking and the project’s getting stale under you, like it’s getting stale. And meanwhile, we’ve had three or four ideas past that were like, oh, the new idea is so easy. It’s so much going to be so much easier. They never are. We already know this. They write themselves. Yes. So it’s that persistence of staying. In this, while we.

Kathi (30:21.949) 

Starting is so easy, right? It’s the messy middle that gets us.

Grace (30:35.242) 

while we work this out has been really and just even in our partnership, Jim and I write together and it’s we’re not always at the same speed and it can cause like a little friction. 

Kathi (30:43.474) 


Grace (30:45.302) 

but we’re working steadily on it and hopefully, but we’ve done others since then during the pandemic. I wrote, we wrote like, we just were trying to write different things. So we probably wrote at least two scripts since then, since Diamond, maybe three, and a lot of one, you know, three page kind of outlines. We outlined first, this is what I would tell anybody before that, you talked about education before. 

Kathi (31:07.558) 


Grace (31:13.586) 

If anyone is not familiar with screenplay formats are very specific and very technical. It’s like a blueprint. You don’t just draw it out. You don’t do it on Canva. There’s rules to the formatting. Before you even get to that, Save the Cat is a book about screenwriting. It has very, very clear direction on what elements you need to have. 

Kathi (31:18.121) 


Kathi (31:22.054) 


Kathi (31:35.049) 

It’s such a great book. 

Grace (31:41.466) 

work your outline first. Get it? If you can’t tell the story, this is the idea of the log line, if you can’t tell the story in three sentences, 90 pages is not going to solve it. So the more is not better in screenplay format. Less is more. There’s a lot of white space. There’s a lot less thinking, a lot more action, which is the opposite for books. 

Kathi (31:52.751) 


Kathi (32:04.472) 


Grace (32:08.086) 

So what we do is we literally do what we call a one to 40 outline, which is 40 scenes divided in nice square portions. And we outline our opening act, the messy middle, which is really the beginning of the messy middle, and then after the messy middle, like there’s that dividing point in a movie where things are totally changed. And then the end, which a lot of people will know the beginning and the end, but it’s that middle part. 

Kathi (32:26.15) 


Grace (32:37.014) 

that journey part that is the hardest and it’s really the third of the four elements for me. It’s always okay after we have all this fun and games and like we get the fun part of what happens before the ending. And those are the hardest parts for me of the screenplay. Everybody has their own spot, but that’s for me like really tricky. So we try to not commit to draft. Jim is always very excited to go to draft what we call going to draft, which is actually character, intro, like where you’re starting to type dialogue. He has a very vivid imagination, so he works really well there. We really try to make sure he has a very clear outline 

Kathi (32:53.659) 


Kathi (33:11.983) 


Grace (33:20.208) 

we go to draft. And I would recommend that to anybody because it is heartbreaking when you get to page 75 and it’s not coming together and you’re like, oh no, like it’s really, it’s really hard. So. 

Kathi (33:22.959) 


Kathi (33:34.639) 


Well, they say if you have a third act problem, you have a first act problem. And to have to go back and redo all of that is heartbreaking, yeah. 

Grace (33:40.85) 

Yeah, it’s true. Yeah, because the third act is the answer to the central question raised in the first act, which is what happens if the character doesn’t achieve this? What is so in our age, everyone talked about the Top Gun trophy, right? 

Kathi (33:52.169) 


Kathi (34:01.933) 

Right. Yeah. 

Grace (34:02.942) 

The Top Gun trophy is the visual there is no Top Gun trophy in the Top Gun program because they don’t want them competing They’re supposed to be working together, right? But for the movie, uh the original the original movie, um How will we know that Tom? 

Kathi (34:07.273) 

All right. Okay, yeah.  


Grace (34:21.326) 

Cruz, how will we know that he’s achieved, in his case, he did not get the trophy? How will we know that he achieved his goal? He will hold the trophy, right? So in that case, he did not get a lot of people already. If you haven’t seen the movie, I’m sorry, it’s like a thousand years old, but you had your opportunity. He doesn’t get the trophy. He actually leaves the program. Yeah, but that’s his… 

Kathi (34:39.089) 

No, you know what, it’s been out what, 30 years? Like, it’s okay to spoil it. 


Grace (34:49.166) 

how we know that he’s achieved his identity, he works through his identity crisis is that he leaves the program, he doesn’t need the trophy, he needed something else. So, but that’s where we start is he wants to be in Top Gun, right? He wants to be Top Gun and he doesn’t get to be Top Gun and what does that mean for Maverick? He’s a better person. Yeah, so. 

Kathi (34:57.274) 


Kathi (35:05.) 


Kathi (35:09.905) 

Yeah, he’s a better person. And that’s what we want for our main characters, at least the ones we’re rooting for. And so we wanna see that journey for them. We wanna see that growth that isn’t present in that first act. And that happens in Diamond in the Rub. So if you’re looking for to see what the structure looks like, what it all, how to make it all pan out, this is a great guide to go for. 

Grace (35:22.731) 


Grace (35:38.399) 

It is. 

Kathi (35:38.529) 

and you’ll recognize a lot of people in this movie. You’ll be like, oh well that guy was in, what is it, news, not newscaster, what’s the one with Will Ferrell? Oh I can’t remember where, he’s a newscaster. Anyway, one of the guys from the club is there, you recognize people from Schitt’s Creek, you know, it’s really, really fun. You recognize the country club manager, like you, 

Grace (35:50.318) 

Oh no. Yeah, yeah, yeah. 

Grace (36:04.558) 

Anchor, Anchorman, it took me a minute. I’m not at the end of my coffee. Yeah, David Keckner. Yeah, we got really lucky on casting. I’m one of the direct, there’s so much, there’s so many facets to talk about. And trust me, none of this was in our mind. We had one actress in mind who’s not in the movie that we modeled the main character, our original main character on. You can’t see as a  

Kathi (36:07.913) 

it yes he’s an anchorman he’s hli yeah 

Kathi (36:25.309) 

Mm-hmm. Right.  

Grace (36:34.874) 

Um, I mean… 

Kathi (36:35.047) 


Grace (36:39.274) 

This is part of the screenwriting process, why it’s so beautiful and so maddening at the same time. You have no idea where, how long something is going to take, or who’s going to be in it. We had a casting change a week before the movie was scheduled to shoot. That threatened to, it could have shut the whole, like, we could have gotten that far to what they call principal photography. 

Kathi (36:49.353) 


Kathi (37:00.178) 


Grace (37:09.728) 

could have fallen apart. We had Samantha Boscarino who plays the lead step in Jeanette Godoy our director there’s so many YouTube videos where she talks about how fast how amazing Samantha Boscarino was swooping in. She’s in almost I think she is in every scene in the movie. She nailed it like just she became this person and 

Kathi (37:36.521) 

That’s amazing. 

Grace (37:37.686) 

movie it wouldn’t be the movie it is without her and that was a last like we couldn’t have predicted that like yeah so many 

Kathi (37:40.241) 

Right. Yeah. 

Right, no. You don’t know who’s gonna be available, who’s gonna be, yeah, all that kind of stuff. Well, it’s so delightful and so much fun and I would call it a romp. It’s just, it’s that kind of fun, fun movie. So guys, it’s on Peacock right now so you can check it out there. And Grace, thank you so much for being here today. 

Grace (37:49.274) 

Yeah, there are wild stories. 

Grace (37:57.472) 

It is. 

Grace (38:08.898) 

Thanks for having me. I could talk all day about it. Thank you so much. Yeah, it’s 

Kathi (38:11.305) 

I this is so much fun and so interesting and aside we don’t get to see very often. So thank you for sharing with us. This has been tremendous and friends. Thank you for being here with us. You’ve been listening to the writing at the Red House podcast. I’m Kathy Lyft. Now go tell your only you now go tell your only God story to a world that needs it. 

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