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…

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;…

How To Come Up With Catchy Screenplay Ideas


You think you have writers block? Creative juices running as slow as molasses? Do you have a million concepts floating around in your head but no real story? Welcome to Brainstorming 101 for screenwriters. Your screenwriting is not doomed. Here are some steps you can take to harness your creative energy: 1) Create a table…

What Is An Origin Story?


Origin stories are the birthing stories of the main characters. Where their journeys began and why things turned out as they have? They give the audience an understanding of the characters’ psychology and helps us make sense of the choices they make in the story. The origin is the missing piece of the story puzzle…

The Difference Between Character Motivation and Goal In Your Screenplay


These two screenwriting concepts are inter-related by exploring why characters behave the way they do. MOTIVATION This draws from a character’s backstory and morality driving their current need to take a course of action. It is a deep-seeded factor in a character’s make up. A character may often not be aware of their behavioral motivation. Motivation is shaped…

12 Point Guide To Creating A TV Series


Carole Kirschner  gives a step by step guide to creating a TV series. 1) CONCEPT This is the overall idea of the series. e.g. Lost is about a group of people stranded on an unknown island following a plane crash. After this, explain how you came up with the idea. What was the inspiration behind it?…

The Importance Of Symbols In Stories


John Fraim discusses the role of symbology in storytelling. The simple definition of a symbol is something that represents something else by association, resemblance, or convention, especially a material object used to represent something invisible. For example, a lion is a symbol for courage, and a flag a symbol of patriotism. Then there’s color symbology….

How Should Your Story End?


Barri Evans discusses the importance of an appropriately crafted ending to your story. The last scene of a movie should stay in your mind. The final moment, the final exchange, should be thought of as the last note of a song. Some of the great scripts/movies actually build to a final scene that takes your…

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…

Creating Memorable Characters


Hayley McKenzie aka Script Angel discusses the importance of writing characters audiences connect with. When we remember out favorite movies it’s usually the characters we remember first.  Think Gone With The Wind and you think of Scarlett O’Hara, Star Wars and you think Darth Vader. Think Silence of the Lambs and you think Hannibal Lecter.  Pirates of the Caribbean is Jack Sparrow.  Wizard of Oz and you…