The First Page


In the days of yore, the first ten pages are what enticed a reader to continue. Today, it boils down to the first page. The first page is like a title page that will bait the reader. It’s the next logical step from a logline which will initiate a sc ript request. It advertises your…

The Magic Questions Of Screenwriting


I was fortunate enough to listen to Marilyn Horowitz at a seminar where she expounded on the four key questions of good storytelling: WHAT IS THE MAIN CHARACTER’S DREAM? AKA their goal. What do they want (outer goal) versus what do they need (inner goal)? Be the main character in your movie. Locate the emotional…

Writing For An Audience’s Subconscious


The techniques a writer uses that grip an audience and move them emotionally in multiple directions, often simultaneously, are what David S. Freeman calls “Emotioneering”® Techniques. These techniques address the audience’s subconscious. Because of this, they are a challenge to consciously isolate. Also, because these techniques are the reason people get caught up in a character,…

Enhancing Your Story


Fellow yogi (actually she’s a yogini and I’m the yogi) L.A. based script consultant, Jen Grisanti believes that you are inextricably linked to your story. You cannot be passionate about a story in which you have no personal emotional investment. And if you don’t have any emotional investment, you can’t tell the best story. Your…

Key Elements Of Your Screenplay


Here are some nuggets of wisdom from Writers Boot Camp: FOUR KEY DEVELOPMENT COMPONENTS: Concept Structure Character Scene Crafting FIVE KEY STORY COMPONENTS: Main Character Dynamic Character (eg buddy) Opponent (antagonist) Adventure (events, plot) Genre (emotion, arena) TWO KEY REWRITE COMPONENTS: CONCEPT – This refers to the story. Try to add at least a third…

Rhythm: The Pulse Of Your Script


Feel the rhythm. Feel the beat. The “How To…. For Dummies” book series have gotten into the screenwriting game. Clichés abound depicting the body’s physical response to a grand emotion. When struck by love, hearts beat wildly against the chest, and knees grow weak. When scared, a person’s pulse begins to race, and her mouth…

The Rewriting Process – Situations


Here is the next post from Hal Croasmun’s Proseries classes on rewriting. A situation is the background action and circumstance in which the story happens. This is a key component to creating a visually stimulating and entertaining story. A visual stimulus doesn’t always inlclude explosions and plane crashes. Explosions can be metaphorical too at an…

The Rewriting Process – Overview


Here are extracts from Hal Croasmun’s Proseries classes on the purpose of a rewrite. I will break it up into eight consecutive daily posts to give you time to digest the information. For 95% of writers, rewriting is simply an editing process; correct a typo, change a word, shorten a line or remove a space….

Using Poetry To Enhance Your Dialogue


Here are some excerpts from the “Creative Screenwriting For Dummies” series. A well-crafted verbal exchange is like a catchy song. Diction provides the lyrics; music provides the tune. Dialogue relies on the sounds of words as well as their definitions, on the rhythm of a conversation as well as its meaning. If you block the…

What Makes A Good TV Series Idea?


Here is an article by award-winning writer, Erik Bork. In my work pitching series ideas and writing pilots (and on good days, selling them to networks such as NBC and Fox), I’ve learned a few things about what they’re looking for and what makes an idea sellable – as well as what a successful pilot…

Why Traditional Story Structures Don’t Always Work


While traditional the traditional three-act story structure is buried deeply in humanity’s subconscious, Corey Mandell, seeks to find alternative structural vehicles to tell our stories. Start by introducing the characters, world and tone, followed by the inciting incident—also known as the catalyst or call to action the protagonist must answer. This is the event which…

The Twelve Essential Questions Of Story


For those fellow scribes who enjoy delving into the deepest layers of storytelling, visit our friends at Dramatica. They have condensed their knowledge into a handy tome called Dramaticapedia. Ask yourself the following questions before you start writing your story: Does the main character change or remain steadfast? Story gurus typically tell us that a…