Creating The Perfect Non-Traditional Network TV Show


Scripted TV is heading into edgy mainstream territory. Indie commercial. Conservative radical. As with every industry of the day, DISRUPTION is the current industry paradigm. With a mature TV marketplace, audiences are growing tired of rehashed stories, characters and situations. They are less inclined to accept the status quo, but not quite ready to embrace the…

What To Think About When Deciding On Your Story Universe


Ever wondered how to write a screenplay? Where do you begin? After the initial concept you need to start thinking about your story world. Where is your screenplay set? There are countless ways for screenwriters to approach their story. Let’s start with these four key elements: character theme concept plot There is no correct way…

3 Levels Of Dramatic Conflict In Your Story


An important aspect to creating DRAMATIC CONFLICT for your screenwriting is to present a character, situation or belief that prevents the main character from achieving their goal. Pretty simple stuff. Let’s say your main character wants to cross the street to get to the dry cleaning store before it closes. Just as they approach the lights, they turn…

Do You Really Need A Main Character?


Screenwriting 101: Main Characters Provide The Point Of View From Which Stories Are Told. It might seem like an obvious question. But do you really need them? The short answer is yes. But not always. Not having a main character may generate tantalising  stories, but will ultimately disorientate your audience. Consider “Resurrection”, a TV series…

Are You The Kind Of Screenplay Reader Screenwriters Love (or Hate)?


There are script notes and there are script notes in the screenwriting world. The same goes for the people that write them. Few appreciate the difficulty of deep story analysis. Screenplays contain elements of mythology, sociology and anthropology. They help define what makes us human. What kind of script reader are you? When a story is…

Inter Connecting Your Characters


Nothing exists in a vacuum in the universe. Everything is inter connected with each other. Everything is inter dependent. If not, the universe expels it. This mantra also applies to efficient storytelling. Every story element (characters, plot, dialogue and action) should bear some relationship to the main story narrative. Each element must either be a cause or…

10 Key Rules For Writing For TV


According to the crew at Raindance: 1) CHARACTER CAST SIZE Consider how many characters you will feature. Typically 4 or 5 with a stronger ‘lead’ character seems to work. Pick a handful of shows and check for yourself. 2) CHARACTERS IN CONFLICT Create characters that will constantly create their own conflict, even if just locked…

10 Super Scary Steps To Writing A Horror Screenplay


A  horror movie has certain rules. If you break too many the audience will be disappointed according to Henrik Holmberg. Here is a template that any horror screenwriter can use. 1) THE HOOK Start with a bang. Step right into a suspense scene. “Scream” opens with a terrifying sequence with Drew Barrymore on the phone…

Why Do Some Screenplays End Up On The Pass Pile?


Why Isn’t Your Screenplay In The Recommend Stack? 1) THE STORY IS TOO WORTHY Just because you’re covering sensitive, timely, important material, you still need to worry about  the dramatic elements of your script. Audiences don’t like being preached to. Let them discover the message on their own. 2) PASSIVE PROTAGONIST The main character just hangs…

Writing For Video Games


Do video games need writers as well as programmers? Traditionally, video games have been a linear experience based on skill and entertainment rather than storytelling. They are  firmly steeped in the realm of fantasy and were once a simple matter of killing gremlins or shooting things before they killed you. Video games are becoming increasingly more…

Types Of Change In Your Screenplay


In the global scheme of the universe, life is based on a transference of energy. Storytelling, which seeks to explain life, is about change. Nothing is ever stagnant, even if the rate of change is slow. A change can be of state, attitude, belief, physicality or situation. Main characters typically undergo internal and external changes;…

Writing Effective Screenplay Evaluations


Every screenwriter needs a second or third opinion on their screenplays. It’s all part of the screenwriting game. Script evaluations are a necessary part of script development. They are slightly different to script coverage which includes a scoring grid for various story parameters, a summary and some notes. Script evaluations highlight the strengths and weaknesses…