I'm considering setting up a blog on my website. The posts will be written from the perspective of a Script Consultant / Script Reader. What topics would you like to see covered? Feel free to leave your suggestions and requests below!
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I feel a nightmare coming on. We just had a similar post on the topic that stirred up much controversy.
That doesn't sound good! May I ask what the controversy was referring to?
Honestly, I do not want to comment or feel like I had something to do with the forthcoming comments. I'm sure you will get a lot of feedback. Some, like the controversy. I want to focus on learning how to write screenplays and helping each other. Separately, I'd like to read the screenplay that you posted. It's wonderful to have you here. I look forward to your insights on writing screenplays.
I missed the controversy (story of my life) but I always love blogs by script readers. It's like peering over the other side of the fence.
Hi Rose - I'd love to see some more info on formatting. I feel like everyone has a different take on formatting, and the "rules" change every few years. As a reader, how important is formatting to you? Related, how much narrative is too much? Too little? How should those sentences/paragraphs be formatted? Thanks! Matt
YAY, in this case, I enjoy being proved wrong! Thank you, Matthew and Sarah. LOL. Maybe the controversial people are still sleeping. I too, like reading blogs about screenwriting! Several here have posted wonderful blogs! Blog your heart out!
You could have a list of the biggest no goes right this minute. If you keep that up to date people will visit you just to check that out.
Sarah Thomas That's great to know! I know what it's like on both sides of the fence and want to share the knowledge that I have. I was considering including an 'agony aunt' style section in the blog and answering questions from writers. Would you be interested in that?
Sarah, that sounds like a cool approach! I sent you an invite.
Pamela. The controversy you are referring to were caused by a couple of Script Consultants here who thought the poster was not qualified to be a Script Consultant.
Matthew J. Kaplan Thank you for the topic suggestion! That's something that I will definitely cover if I set up a blog. In brief: I think that formatting isn't the most important thing about a screenplay. Formatting is often relatively easy to correct and polish up. There are more important things such as story, characters, structure, dialogue and pacing. That being said, large chunks of description can be off-putting. I always advise writers to cut out anything that isn't deemed important. It should be as pithy as possible and get to the point. Too much information can overwhelm. What images do you want the reader to focus on? Once you decide that you will know what to keep and what to cut. I always recommend that writers stick to approximately 4 lines per paragraph. Short and sweet is the way to go.
Pamela Bolinder Are there any areas within screenwriting that you are particularly interested in learning about?
Hi Wal Friman, thanks for contributing to this post. Could you please elaborate on what you mean by biggest no goes? Do you mean a list of things to avoid doing when you're writing a screenplay? I could certainly look into doing something along those lines.
Rose Drabble Thanks for the great response! Yes, I agree that there are more important things than formatting, but because of that, it's rarely covered, leaving many of us scratching our heads and googling "format," with endless results. I look forward to reading the blog!
Some ideas... the biggest mistakes you see in scripts (this could be a whole series with one mistake per post). How to tell a better story visually.
Oh, and one more topic I've been thinking about - everyone seems to be obsessed with endings. I am not in any way suggesting that we shouldn't strive for satisfying endings, but sometimes it seems as though people are sitting through an hour and 50 minutes just so they can watch an ending. Whatever happened to enjoying the ride and appreciating the film in its entirety? M. Night Shyamalan has done some great things but I also think he changed how people enjoy films (for the worse). Thanks! Matt
I like all of the suggestions here including the Agony Aunt. Also, what about some idea about the process a screenplay goes through when it hits a production company or manager or agent? Is it read all the way through, is it the first 10 pages etc. What is the first bit of magic that the script reader will be drawn to when reading it. Perhaps some focus areas for us screenwriters to focus on.
Top 10 reasons why a script is optioned or sold.
Hi Rose! As you work in the UK, I’d like to know the differences between UK and US markets, if there are any, and how to find contacts in the UK to sell your script...thanks! :)
Agreed Matthew J. Kaplan! I use software such as Final Draft and Scrivener as they have templates and it makes formatting screenplays simple. If you don't have access to that kind of software I advise that you download as many screenplays as possible and look at the similarities between them. Aim for your screenplays to look as similar as some of the successful ones out there. Shooting scripts are slightly different but perhaps I can cover that in the blog as well? Hmm...
Matthew J. Kaplan Another great topic! I personally enjoy the journey and each of the twists and turning points along the way, but I suppose there are people out there that are obsessed with endings. This will be an interesting topic to cover.
Thank you for all the suggestions! Where is the best place to post a link to blog posts on Stage 32? I know that self promotion isn't allowed so wondered if I have to do this on my wall or whether it's OK to post them to the screenwriting lounge?
Rose, I'm looking forward to reading your blog - I'm not sure where to post it here, but I just followed you on social media and will look for blog updates there. All the best!