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Want To Grow As A Writer? Try These Things

Anyone reading this article is probably looking to grow as a writer. Growth is one of the hardest things to do as a creative person, but most people who have ‘made it’ in this business will tell you it is a necessary and never-ending process. There’s no one Promised Land of Perfection where everything you write will be easy and flawless. The best any writer can do is work hard and keep learning.

How I turned my screenplay into a novel (and how you can too!)

Back when I was in film school at UCLA, a friend told me about a real woman named Ada Lovelace who lived in the 1800s. She was a mathematician and worked with inventor Charles Babbage to create programs for the world’s first computer. I read several biographies about Lovelace’s life, and though I went to film school to write broad, female-centric comedies, I decided I would try my hand at a biopic.

5 Tips on Writing Opening Scenes

When we talk about screenwriting rules, Hollywood legend Frank Capra said it best: “There are no rules in filmmaking. Only sins. And the cardinal sin is dullness.”

5 Old School Ways To Write A Cult Classic

Everyone in Hollywood wants to write a cult classic. Who doesn’t want a crazed fandom going berserk over your movie and watching it obsessively while memorizing every single line and getting permanent tattoos on their arms in the shape of your main character’s face? That’s the dream, folks. Cult classics aren’t always the ones that garnered critical acclaim when they hit the theatres, but they’ve all found an extraordinary afterlife in the imagination of their viewers. If you’re one of those writers who dreams of writing a cult classic, let’s take a look at some of our favorites and see what makes them tick.

Write What You Know: Good Advice or Bad?

One of the oldest bits of writing advice is: Write what you know. I remember being told this as a young writer and thinking 'But I’m too young to know anything.' Indeed, taken at its most literal there would be many fewer plays by Shakespeare ...

7 Ways to Get an Agent or Manager

Writers give it all on the page, but how can you get that work into the marketplace? You need representation. Here are seven ways to get an agent.

2019 is the Perfect Time to Try Writing in a New Film Genre

Entering into a new year is a great time to rededicate yourself to your screenwriting practice. If you just read that sentence and felt excited, great! But if you just read that sentence and felt an overwhelming sense of dread, maybe it’s time to try something new.  How about a new genre?

What Kind of Writer are You?

As you’re learning to write, it’s important to observe yourself and consider what kind of writer you are. Different writers have different strengths and gravitate toward different types of stories. When I was in film school, it was pretty easy to pick up what kinds of writers the other students were. Roughly, we broke down into two camps. Some of us were much more focused on commercial story-telling, while others were attracted to films that were more artistic.

Crafting Your Protagonist: 4 Ways To Up Your Game

We all know that crafting a protagonist is one of the most important elements of storytelling. Whether you're writing film or television, you need to create a character compelling enough to reel audiences in and keep them watching.  But what, exactly, can we do to up our game, in terms of creating a protagonist? What are some specific exercises we can do to improve our current and future protagonists?

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?
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