First Man writer Josh Singer on writing a nontraditional character arc
As storytellers, many of us frame our screenplays around The Hero’s Journey architecture, where the hero goes on a dangerous quest and returns forever changed. In many ways, the new film First Man, about astronaut Neil Armstrong, is the ultimate hero’s journey – he spends years sacrificing as he prepares to go to the moon, then, despite setbacks that are both scientific and personal, he makes the perilous journey to the moon – a huge victory for himself and for humanity – and returns home triumphant.
5 Ways To Hook Your Audience
Producers, directors and actors read hundreds of screenplays every year. Chances are, unless you're a world-famous writer, they are reading quickly to find out if the story hooks them or not. Movie audiences make the same kinds of decisions when they choose something to watch. Are they going to stay nailed to their seats? Are they going to change the channel or switch off the television?
What Does ‘Write What You Know’ Mean, Anyway?
One of the most common pieces of writing advice is "write what you know," but how many of us truly know what it's like, say, to be chased by heavily-armed intergalactic space whales? Most of us regular-types shy away from extreme violence in our everyday lives, which makes writing action-packed movies tricky, if we are strictly sticking with what we "know."
WRITING TRUE: A Look at Biographical Screenplays
Writing a biographical film may sound really easy. After all, everything is there for you. However, real life is chaotic and messy, not to mention contradictory and confusing. A biographical screenplay should be none of these things. So, how do turn a life into a story?
Create an irresistible logline
What is a logline? If I said it’s a one-sentence summary of your film, I would be correct but not entirely accurate because it’s much more than that.
What is Craft?
When I was a very young writer people told me I was talented. I thought that meant I was basically done and all I had to do was write. Eventually, I figured out that is not how things work and began to educate myself...
The Meg writers on meeting and dodging expectations of a summer blockbuster
But as more summer blockbusters get made, and as audiences get more savvy, writing a screenplay that will feel satisfying on screen becomes more difficult. Luckily, I was able to sit down with all three of The Meg’s writers to talk about the challenges of both meeting and subverting the audience’s expectations.