Secrets Of Writing Better Scenes


Bill Martel discusses ways to improve your scenes. Scenes are the the building blocks of screenplays. Each one functions as a self contained dramatic unit and should contain a beginning, middle and an end. Feature films usually have between 50 and 60 scenes, which averages to just under two pages per scene. Make sure all your…

Types of Monster Movies


Emmy award winning writer Sandy Frank claims the Monster story is one of the favorite types of Myth Archetype: the main character goes through an Outer Story, and that Outer Story symbolizes an Inner Story of emotional change. Monster stories have been popular for centuries. Initially, a monster of some kind menaces the hero and…

The Ticking Time Bomb


Daniel Manus, script consultant of No Bullscript (you read that correctly) expands on this plot device to create tension, excitement, pace and interest in your story. No matter the genre, using the device of a time clock in your story – a deadline, a ticking clock, a moment that must be met, etc – is…

Tackling The Perfect Query Letter


Although there are no rules to writing query letters, here are some general suggestions by Christopher Lockhart, Story Analyst from William Morris Endeavor Agency: Do not be longwinded.  Keep your letter short and make your point quickly. The reader should fully comprehend your pitch with just a glance of the page. If the reader has…

Getting Your Script Noticed


Here is some advice by Christopher Lockhart, Story Analyst at William Morris Endeavor Agency on the screenwriting business. Upon completing a screenplay, most writers will set out to market their work. This can be a Sisyphean task in a town where tens of thousands of scripts compete for the attention of busy agents, stressed producers…

Scenes To Be Seen


Many readers complain that they read scripts with pointless scenes. Filling the page isn’t a good enough reason for a script to be written. Ensure your scene is visual and there are several things happening on the screen as characters speak. Ask yourself, what is each scene really about? This is different from what’s going…

Writing Science Fiction Movies


Science fiction movies are one of the most profitable genres in cinema history. These stories tap into the audience’s curiosity of what the future holds for them. It walks the line between the imaginary (fantasy) and plausibility. There are often technological elements in the not too distant future, so the events could veritably occur in…

Writing Studio Quality Movie Scripts


Michael Farris from Script.a.wish shares his wisdom on getting your script to the top of the reader’s  pile. Industry folk regularly receive over 100 scripts a week which are expected to be read.  They receive over 100 email queries per day, so they’re looking for reasons to reject your script and reduce their workload. Statistically,…

The Main Objective Of The Screenplay


Corey Mandell, acclaimed screenwriting instructor, has much to say about the current state of screenwriting instruction. While the old paradigms of storytelling worked exclusively in the past, times have changed. Screenwriters do not write movies. Screenwriters write scripts. And scripts are NOT movies. Movie audiences are people sitting in a theater, or at home, having…

Writing Better Stories


Richard McCullough offers advice on how writers can meet the marketplace with the stories they tell. PRODUCT What product do we “storytellers” produce? What product do we exchange with our readers? STORY Writers produce stories because that’s what our readers are buying – a story. Characters exploring a theme to pursue a goal. WHY DO…

The Protagonist/ Antagonist Relationship


I recently heard screenwriter Robin Brown discuss the roles of the protagonist and antagonist in Hollywood movies. The protagonist drives the action from within a flawed world. They are ready for a change and the antagonist is instrumental in forcing that change.  The antagonist serves a deeper dramatic function than simply blocking the protagonist’s goal….

Ten Components Of Compelling Stories


Here are some storytelling tips from Michael Hauge: SETTING – Draw the reader into the world of the story with vivid, succinct details which reflect the characters and tone of the story before writing important action or dialogue. CHARACTERS – Convey the essence of each character with two or three descriptive details. The hero’s desire…