Taking the note: “Good idea, but not so good execution”
Very often screenwriters will get a funky note that goes something like this, “It was a good idea but the execution wasn’t there.” Like many notes you’ll get in your career, it could mean a lot of things. To help you sort out what it means, let’s go over a few terms.
Five Tips for Writing Fast
As a screenwriter, there are times you’ll be asked to write fast. Whether it’s a class, a contest, an opportunity to submit, or an assignment—a screenwriter’s life is full of deadlines. And, at the beginning of your career, you’ll get this question “We really liked your script, what else do you have?” In that moment, you’ll realize just how important writing fast can be. Here are a few ideas on how to get those juices flowing and keep them flowing.
The Danger of Competing Projects and How to Protect Yourself
So you have an idea for a movie. Before you commit to doing any hard work, research what’s in development and production to make sure a competing project doesn’t already exist. Depending on where you’re at in your career, it’s likely the other project will take the wind out of your sails and render your screenplay dead in the water. The good news is that there are ways to protect yourself!
In the Beginning… There Was the Joke
If you are writing comedy, or drama, and want to get a laugh, it’s tough to avoid jokes. There is both craft and talent involved in joke creation. To make this article more interesting, we sat down to write without a specific joke in mind. ...
How to write a screenplay in 10 steps
Writing a screenplay can be intimidating, even if you’ve done it before. It’s a lot of time, a lot of brainpower and a lot of staring at a blank screen. But don’t strees out! Here are 10 simple steps you can use to guide you through the process.
Recently, I talked about writing partners, but this time out, let’s get into writing solo. I prefer writing by myself these days. Here's how I do it.
When a Script Is Too Personal
Sometimes a script is too personal, at least this has been my experience. What I mean by that is you don’t always have to mine your life for the sake of your art. Why? Because sometimes, it’s just not necessary. I’m not saying this is a ...
How To Beat Pitch-Meeting Anxiety
You’ve written a great pitch. You’ve connected with a producer. You’ve set a meeting date. This is everything you’ve wanted since you started working on your gem of an idea. You’ve got a chance to grab the brass ring!
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 ...
Five Things You Should Never Do In A Pitch Meeting
You’ve polished your script, found someone interested, and gotten a meeting. A producer or buyer has invited you to come to their office and tell them a bit about your spectacular idea. This is what everyone in Hollywood is here to do. You are ...
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 ...