Five Types Of Plot Twists


Twist endings are story beats that divert the story logic trajectory and assumptions originally set up in the story. They usually occur towards the end of the story to surprise and entertain audiences by subverting and challenging their expectations of story outcome. According to Alec Worley there are five key types of such endings: 1) REVERSAL OF…

Why Lies Create Interesting Characters


Should the characters in your screenplay lie? Does lying make you a bad screenwriter? What is a lie? Quite simply it’s statement that isn’t entirely true. This can be deliberate or unintended. Malicious or frivolous. Psychologists argue that people consciously tell lie to protect themselves. It’s a social and physical defence mechanism. It may mean that…

More On Pitching


Doug Eboch and Ken Aguado, co-authors of “The Hollywood Pitching Bible”, discuss the key components of a successful pitch. Most pitches range from 15 seconds to 15 minutes long and they are often delivered in an unstructured, spontaneous environment. The key to delivering an effective pitch is to have a compelling idea with a strong…

Creating A Powerful Hero


According to The Scriptlab, the most important character in your screenplay is your protagonist: your hero. Without them, there is no story. Good stories are about character growth and change. 1) CREATE AN INTERESTING PROTAGONIST YOUR AUDIENCE WILL HOPE AND FEAR FOR When creating your hero, audience connection is key. Your hero needs to be…

Tropes Of Crime Dramas


Trope is derived from the Greek word tropos meaning the way of doing something; a leaning, a persuasion. In this context it relates to common dramatic devices used to mould crime stories. Jennifer Dornbush shares some of them: Blow something up. This is always visually exciting and creates immediate danger for the main characters, The…

Structuring Your Scenes


Tom Benedek, screenwriter tells Script Magazine how he organizes his scenes. The rewrite process begins with an evaluation of the scenes. Are the flabby? Do they have too little or too much to say? Is there conflict in most scenes? The right amount of exposition? Is there is an abrupt shift that is disconcerting? Should…

Writing Tighter Screenplays


Jeanne Veilette Bowerman from Script Magazine gives some advice on writing better screenplays. TAKE THE RISK If you ever get the opportunity to learn from someone with more experience than you, do not hesitate. Do whatever it takes to make it happen, even traveling the globe. It is better than any screenwriting course you’ll take. No…

Shifting Your Protagonist’s Power Balance


Robert Piluso, writer for Script Magazine discusses the use of shifting power between the protagonist and antagonist to create tension and conflict in your screenplay. Push and pull, strength and submission, master and slave, who has “the power” when your story begins? It shouldn’t be your protagonist! At least, not for long… Often a story…

Emotional Elements Of A Plot


Martha Alderson, author of  “The Plot Whisperer”  discusses the importance of the emotional development of your story. Dramatic action creates the pace of a story and determines the level of story excitement. The thematic significance reveals the meaning of the piece. An emotional connection is fused between the viewer and the story through the character…

Types Of Script Pitches


Pitching Your Screenplay 1) REHEARSED PITCH This is most common type. It is the most structured and business like. It often lasts for 10 to 30 minutes. The writer does most of the talking, sometimes allowing room for questions at the end. They most occur when the producer has expressed an interest in the writers…

Why Backstory Is Critical To Your Screenplay


Ernest Hemingway is famously quoted as saying “people are like icebergs: only 10% is visible; 90% lies under the water”. It is essential that you know the most important and darkest aspects of your characters before you write them. Backstory is defined as everything that shapes your characters up to the point your story begins….

Nine Elements Of Great Films


According to John Truby: 1) They tend to have strong single through line – with one overriding problem or goal for the hero – to give the story drive, momentum, and a sense of priorities, or in the extreme, a sense of the first cause. 2) They occasionally digress from that strong line to allow…