Do You Know The Difference Between Screenplay OPTION and SHOPPING Agreements?


If you’re one of those screenwriters who’ve had their film scripts purchased outright, on the spot, in pitch meetings, you’ve conquered the virtually impossible. Congratulations, it is the pinnacle of your screenwriting career. For most writers, they are typically offered one of two types of screenplay agreements, an option agreement or a shopping agreement. Option…

6 Moral Dilemmas That Layer & Deeply Enrich Your Characters


Every great screenplay character starts with a tough dilemma – a difficult choice between two or more equally undesirable options. Morals are dictated by communal standards, behaviors and belief systems. Although many cultures support individualism, major deviation from societal mores are frowned upon. Morals are not mathematical equations with a definite correct or incorrect answer….

Who Ya Gonna Call? Ghost Writers!


Not all screenwriters are credited with writing a feature screenplay or TV teleplay. Why does this travesty exist? The main reason is that the screenwriters have contributed too little to a screenplay (less than two-thirds) to warrant a screen credit. Enter the GHOST WRITER. What do they actually do? They write in the shadows and…

What Should Screenwriters Expect From A Literary Agent Or Manager?


Many screenwriters have (or should have) heard the adage that since agents and managers collect 10-20% commission on a screenplay sale, they should only be doing an equivalent amount of work in advancing your screenwriting career. Is this a reasonable expectation? Perhaps. Never sit back after securing the services of an agent and manager and…

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…

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…

We Don’t Need Another Hero (Or Do We?)


The main character in screenwriting is often referred to as the hero. They differ from the main characters or protagonist in a film, because they must display great strength and courage to battle intense danger. They are more than fighters who battle the bad guys. They are selfless warriors who play the long game. Traditional Heroes…

13 Types Of Screenplay Endings


The first and last pages of your screenplay should arguably be the most memorable. They represent the first taste of your film which draws the reader and in, and the final impression. Here are some different types of endings you may consider: BOOK END ENDING This is an unusual type of ending where the final scene…

How To Plan A Live Read Of Your Screenplay In A Few Simple Steps


You’ve finished your screenplay and you’re ready to organize a table read. Good for you. You’re taking your screenwriting to the next level. What do you need to do to organize a live table read? FIND A SPACE Don’t do this in a public space like a cafe or a train station. Find a quiet…

6 Reasons For A Live Script Table Read


You’ve written a draft of your screenplay. It’s time for some constructive feedback. The simplest route is to show it to a few other screenwriters and get verbal or written comments. Table reads are another effective way to evaluate the strength of your screenwriting from actors and an audience.

8 Types Of Scripts Every Self Respecting Screenwriter Needs To Know


Screenwriters are told to have two key types of screenplays in their arsenal. Spec scripts and original screenplays. Hands up if you know the difference between the two. For those of you who didn’t raise their hands, here are the answers: 1) ORIGINAL SCRIPT I’m sure you can guess what this means. Any screenplay that…