Screenwriting : Tips on writing a screenplay by Tom adams

Tom adams

Tips on writing a screenplay

Starting a writing project with a old friend in the next couple of weeks! We're going to do our take on a British Mob. Proper old school, all about the business, all about the family. would apprectiate some writing tips etc. if anyones got any!

Dee Chilton

Hi Tom, if you have not already read it, I can highly recommend 'On Film-Making - an introduction to the craft of the director' by Eminent writer-director-teacher Alexander Mackendrick. It looks at all aspects of film with a great emphasis on the craft of screenwriting and storyboarding as well as direction. Check this out too and there's also some good free stuff at the BBC Writersroom. Best of luck with your project.

Tom adams

DEE! you life saver! thankyou so much! i think the guy im working with has that book so i might have to steal that from him for a while! but thats great stuff, thankyou!

Gianna Isabella

Make sure you plan everything out, especially when writing with a partner. Do a proper outline, then decide who will write which portion & go from there!

Tom adams

guys thanks a lot! i didnt know id get a response like this! il let you know how it all goes! we're really excited about the idea and weve got our road map of the story pretty much set! its jsut writing it know haha


know your characters.

Tom adams

ah nice one chris! i think il do that on my white board (customers might have t0 wait for plans)! and maruva that's our biggest orientation at the moment! weve got notes and ideas coming from everywhere! we want to make this thing an epic and the characters and relationships are going to be absorbing!

Ray Anthony Martinez

Start here! Check out the articles!

Max Boyce

Read classic fiction. Learn and write all forms of fiction writing (even poetry). And don't forget the Japanese writers of good fiction. Life experience, solid work habits and maturity helps.

Daniel Botha

Have a plan. Don't just open up your word processor (or screenwriting software) and start writing. Whether it's jotted notes or a full treatment, have. a. plan. As for places where you can pick up some skills, there's plenty out there. Have a look at the discussion board on or subscribe to screenwriting goldmine. There are plenty of industry professionals out there willing to help you. As well as that, do a little networking. I'm sure you probably have a couple screenwriters on your network. Talk to them. That's what they're there for :) Most of all, make sure you're writing a story that excites you. There's nothing worse than getting halfway through a screenplay and thinking 'well, this is crap...' Good luck and enjoy :)

Clive McDonald

The italian job was pretty good. That had comedy elements such as noel coward running things from prison, and worrying about the national debt and the queen. What do your guys think about the pictures of kate? damn libetty eh? And where do you find a heavy plant driver to take out a cash point that actually speaks english these days?The olympics were the best thing ever, that seb coe needs knighting if he wasn't already,services to british crime.... Also i'd like to see some madona/guy ritchie/vinny jones tribute, a smasing down of a sunbed on someone-'i've always wanted to do that". Tying some one up aand putting them into the boot of a car to got to a meeting-"Was that necessary?" "No but it adds. Laughting "What you gonna do shoot me?" "No i'm old fashioned." Takes out large tyre iron and starts beating him. Want to see the best bits from get carter and lavender hill. Have meetings- business meetings- in the chip shop queue, one by one as the person in front gets wind of the dark nature of their chat(scheduled armed robbery,punishment beating of a councillor,bad debts, hashish houses found by police) they place themselves at the back of the queue.(And recieve a polite thank you) And use facebook as part of their org- sodding face book- the cops can see what the boneheads are up to. Recieves a phone call (it's parents evening and he's talking to the teacher- there's a bit of a problem with his son that the teacher can't overlook) "Sorry i've got to take this" turns cup his hand but you can still hear what he says."Well knock a couple more teeth out, drill a hole in his other hand and then ask him again.I'm busy now fuck off." Turns back to teacher. now where were we? Teacher has quailed. Tommys doing remarkably well, one of the best in the class- looking over shoulder- next

Clive McDonald

Think the teacher thing would make a good fade in, no matter what your plot.A busy parents evening, everything normal, the teacher being really pompous with his remarks as the title credits role.The polite man sat opposite having to listen to his son being denigrated- then the phone call- and the change of pace. I'd go for short snappy scenes- like this- and introduce the characters. Also think a caper comedy slant would make it easier to make, and audiences more forgiving. Think hot fuzz or even the blues brothers.Most films don't get made, so write a script that's doable with you and a few mates.If it's piss your pants funny someone might want to pick it up.

Julian Nabunya

subcribe to on line screenplay classes , they usually send new letter , that offen have good quotations ,excerpt from screen plays , advise from well experienced writer ,etc etc , besides you go for contest subribution , like for exampla "blue cat " usually sends already shot screen plays , if you read , watch the movie , its easier for you to tell whether yours is screenplay or its some thing else , you can even start reading other peoples scripts , i used that 2 years ago , but it helped alot . i wish you the best of luck . cheers Tom .

Clive McDonald

Put a synopsis up- even a broad one- they are to pull of a heist, but they also have a family wedding on the same day- or whatever.Most people will tell you if you know the ending it's easier and let us have a stab at fleshing it out with beats and suggestions.push on the screenplay bit on your profile to add and people can make comments etc.

Clive McDonald

Lyse is right of course, the books she mentions are great and easy amazon downloads. If you want to read a novel instead that tells you everything in a story form get the holden age of hollywood.There is a free download called celtx for format,if you have an ipad final draft is what all the pro's use (cheap for an ipad, more for a full laptop version)

Edwin Adrian Nieves

Not only is this a fun read, but it's quite insightful. Hope it helps out, which it should!

J. Brian

I'm with Bryan Lomax, I have a copy of Screenwriting, among others. Though I do have the book that Dee recommended, I think you need to stay away from books about directing and storyboarding if you're going to just write the screenplay. The biggest mistake beginning screenwriters make is trying to direct the movie through the writing. Just write the script as a screenplay, not a shooting script.... stay away from camera angles and "dolly" moves. Just write it in its purest form, especially if you have never written a screenplay before.

Clive McDonald

The concept is quite a good one because i keep thinking about it. I think Lee Evans would be good in something like this, he's the family failure- the let down- and he wants to pull off a really big armed robbery so that he can prove to his dad and family that he can amount to something in life.Not like last time, when someone stuck it up on youtube because the cretin had been filming it on his phone and they were all banged up for a stretch.

Dee Chilton

Hey Tom (and anyone else who might be interested) just thought i would mention, some very good UK based advice and brilliant links available on

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