How to Make Formula Your Friend
One of the worst things that can be said of a film (or your script) is that it’s too formula. This is a common criticism among reviewers, audiences and probably even members of your writing group. This criticism is taken so seriously that I’ve seen young writers doing everything in their power, and wasting a lot of time, trying to avoid formula and instead be original. So let’s get one thing out of the way right off the bat…
5 Tips to Make Exposition Invisible
A hundred years ago it was popular to start a story with two maids working in a foyer talking about the crisis the family of the house was facing. They would then leave and the play would begin. That kind of thing is far from acceptable these days. In fact, you have to do the opposite. You have to make your exposition invisible. Here are five tips to doing just that.
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 ...