Writing What’s Not There: Subtext in Film
For many of us, just hearing the word subtext gives us a flashback to our high school English class. In that class, the teacher probably discussed subtext in terms of dialogue and left it at that. But, subtext really refers to all that is not spoken and encompasses much more than simply dialogue. Subtext is important in all genres but works ...
What is the Narrative Question?
The narrative question is what’s happening in the audiences’ mind or, more specifically, what you want happening in their minds. At any given point in a film, there is a question in your audience is thinking about. As the writer, you should know what that question is. And, you should have put it there.
5 Tips for Your First Ten Pages
You’ve probably had this feeling: very early in a movie (or a book) you think, "wow, this is going to be really, really good." And whenever you have that feeling you’re almost always right. So, why does that happen? It happens because the writer made it happen. The writer took care to make sure you knew exactly what was going on, and they did ...
5 Conflict Management Tips for Screenwriters
Most screenwriters prefer to keep the drama in their scripts. Occasionally, when working with agents, managers, development people, producers, directors and actors conflict will arise. How you deal with conflict is a huge issue and most of us spend a great deal of time trying to get good at it. Here are five ideas to put in your back pocket should the need arise.
What to Expect from a Writer’s Strike
What Would a Strike Mean To New Screenwriters? Hard to say. It’s easier to figure out what it doesn’t mean to new screenwriters than what it does. We're here to help you navigate this possible strike.
Blurbs and Loglines and Synopses… Oh My!
One of the most dreaded tasks of screenwriting is writing about your work. You’ve just spent months or even years crafting your screenplay. You’ve whittled it down to a lean mean one hundred and two pages and now you’re asked to cut it down to a one or two-page synopsis, or a single paragraph blurb or, worst of all, a single sentence ...
5 Tips for Writing Visually
Of course, films are visual. That’s not news. Screenplays, though, aren’t always very visual and they really should be. The more you use visual techniques in your script the easier it will be for people to see your script as a movie and for it to eventually to become one. Here are five ideas for writing more visually.
How to Write a Great Query Letter
From time to time all aspiring writers have to face the dreaded query letter—whether you’re looking for an agent or a manager you’re going to have to bite the bullet and write those letters. While this may seem like just a boring business letter, it’s actually a time to show off your talent as a writer and your understanding of the business.
The Road To Oscar: Best Original Screenplay
The hardest thing to write and get made these days is an original script. Here are the five nominees for Best Original Screenplay and a bit about how their screenwriters got the films made.
The Road to the Oscars: Best Adapted Screenplay
How do you go from dreaming of being a screenwriter to one day waking up an Oscar nominee? Here are brief biographies of this year’s nominees for Best Adapted Screenplay to help answer that question.