Visualize Your Scene Description To Hook Your Screenplay Reader


The scene descriptions in your screenwriting have a tricky, sometimes tumultuous, relationship with script readers. How so, you ask? Some script readers scan through screenplay scene description to speed up their reading process. I’ve spoken to studio level readers who read scene titles and dialogue. This approach tells them the story and gives them an…

Time Is Everything In Your Screenplay


It’s script o’clock. again Your story, characters and dialogue are the nuts and bolts of your screenplay. The timing represents the grease in your screenwriting. Let’s spend some time with this important structural screenplay element. TIME PERIOD This relates to the setting of your story.  Is it historical, contemporary or futuristic? This can bed demonstrated…

How Screenwriters Should Negotiate Their Screenplay Options


Congratulations. An agent, manager or film/ TV producer is interested in your screenplay. Woo hoo! What now! You have options. Sorry. I had to throw that in. A screenplay option agreement grants a movie or TV producer the exclusive right to market your script, secure finance and attach talent. It does not grant them intellectual property…

9 Ways To Write Toxic Characters In Your Screenplay


I’ve previously written about various extreme characters you can include in your screenplay to create some really interesting stories. These range from simple liars, to the delusional, to the dark villains. Extreme characters make for highly engaging films, especially in the horror, drama and thriller genres. You can really put your psychology to work in…

How To Write The Engine Of Your TV Series


There is a term bandied around TV writers rooms called the ENGINE. What exactly is the engine of a TV show? As its name suggests, the simplest way to describe your story engine, is to define what drives every episode in the series. The engine is the nerve center of your TV series. It defines…

Why All The Characters On The Same Team Aren’t Always On The Same Team


The characters in your screenplay are the basis of your story. They are typically categorized as either protagonists and antagonists. One group of characters either helps the main character achieve their story goal, while the other other acts to obstruct them. The main characters have mentors, buddies and helpers to lead them to their final goal….

Your Screenwriting Process Is All Wrong


Okay. Hold on to your keyboards fellow screenwriters. Don’t fire virtual missiles at me. Every screenwriter experiences fear and doubt during their writing process. We wrestle with these major two key questions: Is my screenwriting any good? Is my concept any good? The answers to these questions are irrelevant. What matters is, that the anxiety should spur your…

10 Ways To Define Your Characters By Their Speech Patterns


Screenwriters often define their characters in two key ways; via their dramatic function such as protagonist or antagonist. and by their personality traits such as kindness, selfishness or generosity. However, we can also enhance our screenwriting by paying attention to character speech patterns. This is not just their dialog (actual words spoken), but more the way…

Is Your Moral Compass Pointing True North In Your Screenwriting?


Let’s get into some deep character work here to make your screenplays really stand out. Every screenwriter understands the concept of morality. It is an internal guidance systems that shapes your characters life direction. Everyone has an internal moral compass which drives their beliefs and actions. This helps screenwriters define their characters as either GOOD or BAD….

Could The Locations In Your Screenplay Be Characters?


Good question. Screenwriters have typically thought of characters as human beings. After that, they can beasts such as King Kong and Godzilla, robots such as Chappie, I Robot and Ex Machina, or even aliens, such as err… Alien and Arrival. So far, so good. Your screenwriting survives. The characters in your screenplay are living beings of…

25 Ways To Raise The Stakes In Your Script Writing You Need To Know


The screenwriting journey for both your main characters and your audience should be filled with twists and turns; ups and downs. Screenwriters are taught to raise the stakes for their characters to create excitement, tension, intrigue and anxiety. This is more than simply putting multiple obstacles in the path of the main characters in your…