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...
Proceed with Caution: How to Avoid Becoming a Victim in Hollywood
One of the first things you learn as you become a writer is that there is an entire industry out there ready to take your money. A lot of these services are reputable and worth spending money on. A lot are not. Let’s go through some of the more common scams to avoid...
5 Things an Aspiring Writer Can Do Besides Writing
Look, Major League Baseball Superstar Mike Trout didn't just wake up one day and become one of the best hitters in baseball. He had to train. He had to practice. He had to watch tape and study other hitters. He had to watch tape and study the pitchers he was going to face. He had to work with coaches. He had to work with teammates. If you're a screenwriter, so are you.
Five Strategies For When You’re Stuck
One of the things I tell beginning writers is that you have to love what you’re writing. You’re going to spend a lot of time with it, months, years, decades even. If you’re not telling a story you love that time is going to be very painful. But no matter how well you’ve chosen your story there may come a time when you get stuck. This is not exactly the same as writer’s block, that’s a complete stoppage. No, this is when you’re working on a project and, for some reason, you suddenly stop. You’re not having a problem writing. You’re having a problem writing that story. So, what do you do when that happens?
Five (More) Tips From Top Screenwriters
Screenwriting how-to quotes are incredibly helpful for both inexperienced and experienced writers alike. We find out how other writers work, and maybe we pick up a few new tips-and-tricks. Everyone can benefit from adding more tools to their writing ...
5 Ways to Make Your Screenplay More Diverse and Inclusive
As screenwriters, we can learn a valuable lesson from director Ava DuVernay, and ultimately Disney’s decision to go with a multi-ethnic cast. Though the book A Wrinkle in Time specifies that Mrs. Murray is white, that doesn’t mean Mr. Murray can’t be of a different race or that their children can’t be adopted, opening up the possibility of being a different race.
5 Hacks for Writing a Killer Opening Scene
The first scene in a movie has many jobs to do. Not only must it nail down the tone, time and place where the story is being told, it must also tease the journey ahead. It’s no wonder some writers spend months conceiving and writing the first five pages of their screenplay.