What Is Character Backstory?


I’ve previously written about the importance of backstory in your screenplays. Here is some further pertinent information from the eLearning center at dummies.com. Backstory refers to everything that occurred in your story’s past. A character’s backstory may include family background, job history, psychological condition and any memories you create for that person from childhood on….

How To Build Your Main Character


Chris Huntley, one of the co-founders of Dramatica, spoke about the key components of a MAIN CHARACTER. They are defined as the story from whose point of view the story is told. Often, this is the protagonist who drives the action in pursuit of the main character’s goal, but not always. Main characters typically engage…

See The Irony?


Story consultant Daniel Manus discusses the use of irony in screenplays. Irony is a dramatic device that expresses an idea which is the antithesis of the underlying concept to draw attention to it such as the super fit Olympic athlete dying of a heart attack after a marathon. There are 3 major types of ironies used in…

Ten Commandments Of Microbudget Screenwriting


Screenwriter, Paul Peditto has neatly summarized the makings of the perfect micro budget film. “The ideal low-budget movie is set in the present. few shots, lots of interiors, a couple of speaking actors (unknowns), no major optical effects, no horses to feed. bunch of not-in-the-guild teens running around an old house with a dude in…

Five Things To Nail Before You Write


Paul Peditto, screenwriter of Jane Doe shares some thoughts before committing your thoughts to paper (or keyboard). THEME Know why you’re writing the movie. You really should know what exactly you’re trying to say. Why is what you’re about to write important to you? They say write what you know … that’s probably because what…

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…

Why Your Screenplay Didn’t Sell


You scratch your head at yet another rejection of your brilliantly written screenplay. What went wrong? There are a host of reasons why good screenplays don’t clench a sale, many unrelated to the quality of writing. It wasn’t commercial enough or cater to a specific niche market. The content was too depressing, outlandish and lacked…

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…

The Virgin Versus The Hero


Kim Hudson has developed a story structure that is an alternative to the Hero’s journey in her book, The Virgin’s Promise: Writing Stories of Feminine Creative, Spiritual and Sexual Awakening. In the interior world of a character there are two drives: one away from fear (the Hero) and the other towards pleasure (the Virgin). These…

Create Stories by Fictionalizing Your Life Story


Understanding the internal side of your story conveys to your audience the depth that is felt emotionally and spiritually. Jennifer Grisanti offers insight into how to write the internal story into your screenplays and give them this compelling quality. In Story Line: Finding Gold in your Life Story, Jennifer describes the internal components of story…