Screenwriting

From structure to content to representation to industry trends, this is the place to discuss, share content and offer tips and advice on the craft and business of screenwriting

Phillip "The Man Who Can'" Hardy
Do you have a business plan for selling your scripts?

As someone who has degrees business management, as well as experience writing business plans for real companies, I'm almost ashamed to admit that I currently do my screenwriting thing without having any set plan or long range goals set forth in a written plan. That doesn't mean I'm not trying to hus...

Expand post

Brad Johnson

I just wonder sometimes if the corporate powers that be realize how badly they are eroding their brand, their customer base, and the ingrained habit and tradition of going to movies for entertainment....

Expand comment
Chad Stroman

Brad Johnson There's a lot of truth there. An analogy that popped in my head (not necessarily a good one) Some people get their food from convenience stores. They go in and grab one of those hotdogs o...

Expand comment
Shawn Speake

Yes. I pitch my loglines to directors and producers on sets. Find out what they're looking for and write for them. I will write on-assignment for my contacts until I sell. My philosophy is based on th...

Expand comment
Doug Nelson

Brad, What you say is true indeed - from your perspective. But realize that the massive cinema industry is in the business of making money; it's not in the business of making real films anymore. It c...

Expand comment
Victor Titimas

There are two, often opposing, wievs on this matter: 1)Love and passion for writing alone should drive you to write screenplays. There is no end result but the process itself. The finished screenplay a ...

Expand comment
Roxanne Paukner
Note to fellow writers and my future self:

I just sent in a re-write for coverage. It feels so good to have something completed, that I like and am excited about!!! I'm sharing this to encourage anyone facing the WALL to keep climbing. Remember this feeling!

Chad Stroman

Good job. I'm at the step right before the step you are at and Damn! that wall is taller than I thought (rewrite).

Derek Reid

Congrats on the productivity Roxanne!

Brittanie Maddox

This is great because I've finally, FINALLY finished a short screenplay for review that I've been sitting on for weeks. For whatever reason I just couldn't or didn't want to finish it, and now it's do...

Expand comment
David Niall Wilson
Comedy Contest

So, I don't see much discussion about this here, unless I'm missing it. I just got notification today that my screenplay "Redneck Dragon" made it to the semi-finals of the Comedy Contest, which I find pretty cool. I love the story, and I'm hoping this is the start of at least getting it some notice....

Expand post

Gabe Fontenot

Congrats!

Chad Stroman

Congrats!

Richard "RB" Botto

Congrats, David. Rock on.

David Niall Wilson

Thanks. I was wondering who else around here might be a semi-finalist?

Phillip "The Man Who Can'" Hardy

Good news!

John Iannucci
Swedish accent

Finished first draft of western. As I go to rewrite the antagonist is a Swedish immigrant (been here for a while and highly educated.) I have indicated a Swedish accent in the initial character description. However I would like to add that flavor to the dialogue (i.e yah not yes, lack of articles in...

Expand post

Tony S.


Google "Swedish Accent." youtube videos, a lot of websites will return.

We go past the fjord to get to Ikea and eat the meatballs. Yah?

Dan MaxXx

Read “Fargo” and copy/paste the words to your script. Unless the accent serves as a plot device, nobody reading will know.
(Folks hire expert dialect coaches if your script makes it to development).



Tony S.


Yah. What Dan says.

Just remembered The Ericsons owned the hotel/restaurant in "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance." I can hear the husband's Swedish lilt. But remember, when Liberty Valance rode to town the womenfolk would hide, they'd hide!

Zlatan Mustafica

Swedish accent is not really an accent as such, just Swedish people refusing to actually speak English properly and pronouncing the Words in English as if they were speaking their own language. And yeah, litterally speaking.

Phillip "The Man Who Can'" Hardy
Do you trust your instincts as a screenwriter?

As a screenwriter I've made plenty of mistake with my writing and opportunities that came my way. However, creatively, I've trusted my instincts most of the time. However, in working with producers, I've changed and added to my work based on feedback and suggestions. In some cases, it's made the wor...

Expand post

Eric Christopherson

I trust my instincts as a procrastinator.

Chad Stroman

I trust my instincts on plot and story structure and vision. I know I have weaknesses on overwriting/being too verbose and that I struggle initially with dialogue (in my first drafts). But I also trus...

Expand comment
Dan Guardino

I have to trust my instincts and hope for the best.

Shawn Speake
  1. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. When in doubt I talk it out with my peeps.
    2. The best idea always wins. No matter whose.
    3. I'm funny as mofo. Talk story craft with the best of 'em.
Chad Stroman

Shawn Speake I agree with the mofo part. ;)

Jeff Lyons
Netflix changing the world

THE BIZ: Incredibly informative article on how Netflix has changed everything ... yes, everything ... if you are interested in working as a creative in the TV/Movie industries you need to understand Netflix and how it is evolving EVERYTHING!

http://bit.ly/2JV8EM8

Mark W. Travis

Thanks, Jeff. Fascinating article. Thanks for finding it and posting it. Now I have to stop reading and go watch one of my favorite shows on Netflix.

Brian Walsh

Very good read...thanks Jeff!

Chad Stroman

Good read. Also the recent announcement that Apple will be jumping in as well and just signed a deal with the WGA shows how Netflix has entered the market like Pacino in Scarface and announced: "Say hello to my little friend!"

Anu Deshpande
Coming of age narrative standards

Hi. I am writing a drama series intended for TV. The story has a plot of 18 years (coming of age sort). My doubt here is how to narrate that plot in 1 single season. Is it viable and acceptable ? I don't intend to further it or write another season. It will be just one series of say 15 episodes. How...

Expand post

Richard Kuntzevich

Start with 15. As you write and develop the series will be discover if you need to go to 18.

Anu Deshpande

Hi. I have considered that option Charlie Frazier ... Thanks

Jasmyne Averie

How long are the episodes going to run for?

Anu Deshpande

I am thinking of 25 minutes.

Jasmyne Averie

That should be plenty of time! Roughly a year per episode should be good - as long as you know what you’re going to to with those years. I’d say get a nice clear focus of your plot beats and which epi...

Expand comment
MiMi Rose Hall
How to find a Writer's Assistant job?

I am on a bunch of sites for Film/TV jobs in LA but entry level writing path jobs are few and far between. Any advice on how to find and secure an entry level job on the writer/showrunner path? I just finished working on a Disney show as a Producer's Assistant. I am looking for Writing PA or Writer's ...

Expand post

Television Producer| Writer | Los Angeles| MiMi Rose Producer
Television Producer| Writer | Los Angeles| MiMi Rose Producer
MiMi Rose is a producer, writer & comedienne based out of Los Angeles. Her international experience ranges from Chicago, New York, London, Tokyo & Los Angeles
Anu Deshpande

Hi Mimi.. I also wanted some advice on this. While I am writing, I am also looking for assistant jobs.

Cheryl Allen
Weirdest

Where is the weirdest "place" you've ever gotten inspiration for a new idea? What has been the strangest origin for an idea you ended up fleshing out?

Aray Brown


doctor's office

Nadia Carmon

Oh "Where"...I thought you meant what are the strangest locations that have inspired you (to write about them). Not so weird then...Maybe the subway.

Doug Nelson
  1. In a cemetery and 2, - in an elevator during an earthquake & blackout in San Francisco.
Anne Devina Reeve

Staring at a cover of a pair of hands holding prison bars.... this led to my book WITH DEVILS DWELL 1850 Victorian Historical fiction Rhoda wrongly convicted and transported to Van Diemen's Land....jeop ...

Expand comment
Anne Devina Reeve

I am 83 years of age have written many book

Matthew Corry
Black List and Warner Bros. in Australia

Hi all, A bit of a rant here. So the Black List, y'know the one, has teamed up with Warner Bros in Australia to sign up a writer to a blind deal. Of course the catch is that you have to have your script uploaded to the BL and also, while it's not a must (suuuuuuuuuuure), it's recommended that you hav ...

Expand post

Dan MaxXx

Why can’t you fund your own movies? Go make shorts, music videos, commercials, YouTube shows. There are many ways to break into American Entertainment Industry. Not just the Black List site. Or winning...

Expand comment
Dan Guardino

It is the same in the US. The problem right now is you don’t have a track record or any connections that can help you launch your career. You would have a much better chance if you attach a director w...

Expand comment
Doug Nelson

Dan M - Oh what blasphemy you speak! We all know that the shortcut to untold wealth and intergalactic fame for screenwriters is to post their magnificent script on the Black List so that an instantane...

Expand comment
Dan MaxXx

Doug Nelson the two top dogs in Hollywood Horror are Aussies, James Wan & Leigh Whannel. They found a way to make their first feature movie ( I actually met James on the set of “Saw”, they shot the mo...

Expand comment
Doug Nelson

Oh Dan M, that MUST be fake news. We all know that time, commitment and dedication are nothing more than career traps fostered by evil old timers. Instant gratification, wealth, fame & glory are the new norm. (It was different in the old days.)

Paul Zeidman
A screenwriter's 5 stages of grief (contest edition)

Ah, the screenwriting contest. There are so many out there, and may be the key to breaking in and starting a career. Once you decide to take the plunge and submit, your brain fills up with visions of your script claiming first prize and all the goodies that come with it - cash and prizes, prestige, c ...

Expand post

Patricia Poulos

Thank you Martina. What a lovely response.

Patricia Poulos

Hi Laura, I agree. However, one must examine their purpose in entering. I guess it's putting one's name out there so that when you do become really good, they can say - "Oh yes. Heard of that name" hopefully forgetting how really bad you were.

Dan Guardino

I also agree with Laura but almost everything you do in this business normally turns out to be a waste of time and money. It is a tournament career and nobody knows what is going to work for anyone. T...

Expand comment
Sam Kimelman

I know a bunch of people who read for the Austin Film Festival who also have submitted scripts (you can't read for the category you submit to). I think reading dozens of amateur scripts has given them...

Expand comment
John Iannucci

Speaking of which... I believe the Nichols announcing quarter finalist today

Ryan A. Clark
Reading Great Screenplays

There's a reason reading great work is a must for us to grow as writers. I found La La Land on IMSDB last week and read it. Really terrific to see what made it to film, what was left out, and what the actors brought to the roles! I read Beetlejuice last year and, on paper, Beetlejuice read much dark...

Expand post

Wal Friman

Yes, sure is, when you put it like that :-)

register for stage 32 Register / Log In