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

Screenplay Success!

I never truly spend time wondering how I can sell my story/script! What I need to wonder about is ... "How do I write an emotionally moving, script?" First things first .... We must learn to write a powerfully engaging story!

Dan MaxXx

Here is my advice (worth a nickle). STOP THINKING ABOUT SELLING$$$$$$. Use your spec script (film or TV ) to open doors of opportunities with people who do Entertainment for a living. Maybe you'll get...

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Robert Franklin

Many great voices here! I love it! Thx!

Bill Costantini

I think about the marketplace first - the audience type, and the producer type. I try to write stories that are relevant to today's marketplace types, and that hopefully fill the needs of a specific producer type. Then I write.

Michael Rogers

I have just found that I write a story which has naturally occurring elements and then add more compelling conflict through dialogue and reoccurring themes to push my point. I have to agree that you c...

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Dan Guardino

When most people think of “screenplay success” they automatically think of a screenplay that sold. Like Dan M said a spec screenplay is a screenwriter’s calling card. You use it to meet people in the...

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Bill Costantini

Dan: They are running out of ways to keep re-hashing the hash. Hmmmm....we're due for another road trip....how about the next person who writes a screenplay 101 book....we get 'em and make 'em eat all...

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Aray Brown

Bill: I'm in

Owen Mowatt

I cancelled my subscription with scriptmag after a few weeks. There is only so many times I can read the same thing; It was giving me a headache. To be honest, there are very few sites with an interest...

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Pierre Langenegger

This is the sort of crap article I would expect from a gossip mag.

Dan Guardino

Pierre. She found the secret recipe for success so it it's not crap until you're ready to flush it.

Intention & Obstacle

It has been stated in an interview by a major A -list screenwriter that the basis of all great scripts are having characters that have an intention and then an obstacle that is put in front of them to prevent that intention. He says if you don't have that you just have a lot of witty dialogue with n...

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Erik A. Jacobson

This is a radical new concept? Sounds no different than the usual formula of 1) Get a cat up a tree. 2) Throw stones at it. 3) Rescue it.

Anthony Cawood

I don't think there's anything controversial there, it's often labelled conflict but essentially the same thing.


But, I don't necessarily mind witty dialogue, depends how witty it is ;-)

Beth Fox Heisinger

I believe it was Aaron Sorkin who talked about intention and obstacle in an interview... And, yes, it sounds similar to goal, conflict, other concepts, etc, etc, etc. However I do like intention/obsta...

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Robert Franklin

Write your story your way. If someone loves it, they will buy it!

Dan Guardino

Your central character must have a goal and some obstacle preventing them from achieving their goal or you'd have pretty dull story.

Editorers in Cambridge MA.

Hi Guys. I hope this helps!
https://cambridgeeditors.com/

Pencil or Keyboard?

Hey Guys. I always write with a pencil for the first 10 or more drafts. Then I use a pen for the next few drafts. Then when I absolutely am ready to have it scanned by a professional ... I type!
I feel a far better connection with my creative energies when I use a pencil and pen. I love it!

Writing Schedules!?

Hi Guys, I write all the time, any time. I do not follow a schedule. I write every chance I can!

Making your own magic

Many writers here talk about making your own movies, producing your own work etc. in order to help get your name out there.  I was thinking about this advice a few weeks ago, about how tired I am of waiting for some exec somewhere to like my work enough to get behind it, to have someone "discover" me ...

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Andrew Pallett

This is really brave and exciting! So many people are afraid to put themselves and their work out there which is what ultimately holds them back. I agree with Dan MaxXx, even if it does suck ass you'v...

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Richard Gustason

Some pretty darn good stuff here Jody!

Dan MaxXx

Yeah, that's something you don't learn in film school or writing classes: deadlines, stress, criticism from paying customers. This is Show Business.


Doug Nelson

Jody - You didn't say what part of the world you're in but I assume from our profile that you're up in Alaska (or at least somewhere in the NW). If there's anything can do to help - from script help a...

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Cherelynn Baker

Good luck to you Jody!

Acronyms

Not everyone knows the acronyms by heart! Do you think we should use 'em only if we wrote all the words previously in the screenplay, or, don't use them at all?

Screenwriting Programs

Hi everyone. I was wondering what screenwriting computer programs are out there that are fairly inexpensive, industry approved, and easy to understand for someone that is computer illiterate. Thanks in advance and have a wonderful rest of the week. Take care!

A. S. Templeton

Never used MM or FD. No file corruption or loss issues with FadeIn Pro, ever. Can't recommend its current iteration on iOS, but the PC port of FadeIn Pro works fine on Win10. Good tech support, app gets better with every free incremental upgrade.

Maria Torrez- Ellsperman

I like Movie Magic Screenwriter as well. Very easy to use.

Doug Nelson

Some time back, FD 9 had a glitch with the then new Win 10. It has since been corrected and the two get along just fine. You should have received the correction with an automatic update.

Claude Gagne

Thanks Doug, I'll get an update on it. What would we do without your great input? Thanks for being there.

Andrew Pallett

I've been using celtx and had no problems with it - support are great when I needed them. Granted I've never used Final Draft so I can't really speak on the positive/negative sides of both in comparison!

Dreaming about a script.

Sometimes, when I've spent hours writing at night, when I go to bed, I dream about the script I'm writing. And, sometimes even become part of the story and attempt to remove obstacles. Does that ever happen to you?

Lisa Clemens

Not to me, but the director I write for, Johnny Martin had a dream, wrote it down and told me the basic plot which I worked into a screenplay for him.

Robert Franklin

Keep pen and paper near bed...to record more ideas

Ryan Rodriguez

I believe what you are describing is called, Pagemaster (1994).

Uncle Phil

Paul: That's awesome.

Bill Costantini

A bit off the subject, but there is a really cool documentary that was made about ten years ago - Dreams on Spec - that is about three aspiring screenwriters, and has a lot of intercuts with famous writers and directors. If you haven't seen it, it's available on Youtube.

FINALLY! The job I've been waiting for...

In 2015 I took a massive leap of faith, resigned from my job as a Human Resources Manager and embarked on this awesome journey as a full time screenwriter. In the past two years I've developed, scripted, story lined, script edited and consulted on a number of local short films, features and televisi...

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Jeff Langham

Hey, congrats! Tears. That's what I'm missing, tears. Got it. Okay, now maybe my dreams will come true! Just kidding! I really like to hear when people see a goal and achieve it. I've done the same in...

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Jeffrey Walesa

Congratulations! Very inspiring and great to see your goals come to fruition!!

Maria Torrez- Ellsperman

Congrats! Good luck to you!

Babz Bitela, President/Silver Bitela Agency/WGA

the journey is so often underrated and underestimated and yet it is, at it's core, the entire point so please ENJOY THE BLOOD SWEAT AND TEARS. I applaud you all for your efforts. As they say in the south, "t'ain't ezay."

Chad Stroman

Congrats!

Original and Unique are never found in something already existing!

I do not practice watching movies in order to come up with ideas, then writing the story. Yes, there will always be some elements of current stories in our work ... but these elements should be very little and most of our work in writing should always stem from our imagination and our ability to think up totally new material!

Robert Franklin

All valid points...Being 53, I have had my share. I dabble here and there. I love watching videos about writing a zillion times, as well as reading too.

Ryan Rodriguez

Totally new material. Been done before.

Jody Ellis

To quote Mr. Stephen King: If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There's no way around these two things that I'm aware of, no shortcut. Adding ...

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Michael Rogers

Jody I stop watching movies for this very reason. One mis-read piece of dialogue or one really crappy cliché and I'm out!

Bill Costantini

Jody: watching a movie is the same thing as reading, if done properly. So is painting the exterior of your house, and especially if you can reach the top of the second story with only a six-foot ladde...

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