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

Susan Jordan
Thank you!

Thank you for your kind comments regarding my "Honorable Mention" at the Santa Barbara International Screenplay Awards. I've subsequently worked with Sydni Griffin, a Navajo Sensitivity Editor, and made changes to the pilot which is now entered in other contests. Don't you love finding wonderful res...

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Maurice Vaughan

Yup, love finding wonderful resources on here, Susan Jordan! I find a lot of them in the lounges, the blogs, and the Writers' Room. And the Education section (the webinars). Hope your pilot wins the c...

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Katie Overstreet
When to use feedback...

So I've received quite a bit of feedback on a spec pilot I've written and at this point, I'm not sure when to implement changes, especially since I feel like I get different feedback every time. A few have mentioned similar issues but for the most part it's something new each time. I'll make a chang...

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Elizabeth Francois

As a former script reader, when I wrote coverage and gave feedback I always gave detailed explanation on how my suggestion would move the story forward, how it would affect the dynamics between all th...

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Jacqueline Sandee Valle

Yay! Katie Overstreet This was a really useful posting with lots of helpful feedback. Best of luck with your script!

Maurice Vaughan

Great advice, everyone. I liked "Vantage Point," Elizabeth.

Katie Overstreet

Matthew Parvin thanks! I do try to keep an open mind with suggestions but if a suggestion is too far away from the story, I'll give it some consideration as to if it would work, but if it doesn't then...

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Katie Overstreet

Elizabeth Francois, thank you for your insight! That's very helpful to hear from a former script reader!

Maurice Vaughan
Blog: "How to *Finally* Finish Your Writing Project"

Struggling to finish projects? Check out this excellent blog by Mary Helen. She shares some tips on how to finish your project.

https://www.stage32.com/blog/how-to-finally-finish-your-writing-project-......

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Susan Jordan
Honorable Mention

I just received notice of my "Honorable Mention status in The Santa Barbara International Screenplay Awards" for my TV pilot WOUNDS OF WAR. What a lovely way to start my day. The pilot features a female, bi-racial Navajo Veteran facing old and new battles in her hometown as she tries to recover from...

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Phillip "Uncle Phil" Hardy

Congrats! Santa Barbara is a great town.

Michael David

Congrats!

Craig D Griffiths

Susan, we write in isolation, it is so good to feel we have connected to other humans. Well done.

Maurice Vaughan

Sounds like a scene in a Comedy movie, Matthew Parvin.

Lloyd Dsouza

Congratulations!

Amelie Leclerc
Seeking editing services recommandations

Hi! I'm looking for a proofreader who will also edit the scene descriptions of my screenplay to make it as clean and captivating as possible. I know Stage 32 offers a proofreading service, but does it include tightening the scene descriptions? I've also heard good things about Script Guru in case yo...

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Phillip "Uncle Phil" Hardy

Amelie: Just a suggestion. Do you ever use Grammarly? It's an excellent program to tighten up sentence structure and punctuation. Additionally, if you use screenwriting software with a computer voice...

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Dan MaxXx

^^^ and I would suggest to read 500+ produced scripts of your fav movies and screenwriters. Train your brain to write for a camera.

But if you got $, there are plenty of unemployed screenwriters who wi...

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Craig D Griffiths

To back up Dan’s comments. Create an account and use readthrough.com. Having your screenplays read to you makes mistakes obvious.

Also read plenty of screenplays. Once you know exactly what a screenplay is at a granular level, assistance will be better value for money.

Doug Nelson

Amelie - as the writer, that's your job. You must learn to write tight captivating text that is clean and concise. There are line editors and proofreaders that will catch all sorts of little things bu...

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Rutger Oosterhoff

Amelie,

Why are writers with a French origin able to write such heartbreaking stories? Is it somehow genetical? Maybe worth an other story -- a ducumentary.? But let's refocus.

For what it's worth. I re...

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Leticia Agudo
Quick practical question

Hi all,

Hope you're all doing well and keeping motivated!

I wonder can anyone help me with this: when you apply to one of the pitch sessions, should you upload the screenplay to your project logline section if you have a script, or is the logline & synopsis enough for the quick pitches and can follow...

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Dan Guardino

Maurice. It doesn’t matter where some lives.

Maurice Vaughan

Ok, Dan Guardino. Thanks.

Leticia Agudo

Thank you both.

Maurice Vaughan

You're welcome, Leticia Agudo.

Kiril Maksimoski

Don't send script to no one unless asked for...uwe got logline/synopsis for that...of course if the script is online and open to public, that's another story...

Mark Warrilow
First Script :)

10 pages into my first script, Devils Cabin :- In September of 2022 Thomas Carter and his team of investigators disappeared near Port St Lucie Florida whilst shooting a documentary about a local legend shrouded in darkness. A few months later there footage was discovered. I am having such a great ti...

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Maurice Vaughan

Sounds like you're having a fun time, Mark Warrilow. I haven't taken a course on here, but the webinars and pitch sessions are great. They're really helped me out.

Great advice, Craig D Griffiths....

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Wendy Weising

Yes! It is so much fun. I get lost in it.

Dan Guardino

Mark. Good luck with your screenplay.

Erik Meyers

Oh wonderful! Enjoy!

Kiril Maksimoski

Mark it sounds like an exiting idea...still...reminds me too much of "Blair Witch", "The Last Broadcast" and alike...you can't be 100% original sure, but u can "flip" the theme just enough to bring so...

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Manuele Bonafede
Writer of novels or screenwriter?

I heard from a great screenwriter I'm not talking about here; he said that anyone can write a screenplay but few can make a good book!

As a novelist I wonder .. so who has written books has more possibilities as a screenwriter?

What do you think? You are for the most part professionals in the secto...

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Dan Guardino

I never wrote a novel but I have adapted about a dozen of them. The biggest difference between an author and a screenwriter is the author’s audience will read what they write on their pages. So they h...

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Joey O'Connor

My creative focus right now is writing the novel first, then the pilot episode to create a strong IP. Both my novels (Among Kings & The Mineral Curse) involved heavy historical research and modern tec...

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Maurice Vaughan

Smart strategy, Joey.

Michael Bergin

Its for sure a winning strategy. That elusive pre-existing IP gives one precious leverage to claim a warm/ extensible audience base, thereby mitigating studio exe. risk aversion.

It's playing the pati...

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Erik Meyers

Writing is difficult, no matter what the material. A screenplay is as complex to write as a novel and vice versa.

Suzy Miller
Adapting shorts to features

Hi - I’m searching for a good article or paper on adapting a short film to a feature, but not finding much. Any suggestions?

Kiril Maksimoski

As always, best way is to learn from others...not so many filmed short scripts available online, but here are few references of short films gaining success, expanding into features or inspiring them.....

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Norman Welthagen

Read Stephen Kings Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption and the read Frank Darabont's screenplay Shawshank Redemption. There's a case study on how to turn a short story into a masterful screenplay.

Dan MaxXx

Like everything there are few hits of shorts to features and many failures. I dont believe studying will do anything. You just gotta align yourself with filmmakers and just make a movie.

"SAW" is proba...

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Lisa Lee

Hi Suzy. I'm kind of in the same situation as you. I'm currently adapting a short film I wrote into a webtoon series (online comic books). It's been an interesting experience, trying to expand on some...

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Craig D Griffiths

There is no formula or method. I think there is a single question. Does the story have enough meat to feed an entire feature.

Are there enough question to be posed?

Are there enough challenges that can...

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Bob Johnson
Opinions on scene subheadings?

I was taught to use scene headings with " - CONTINUOUS" for sub-locations within a scene, like this:

-----

INT. A HOUSE, LIVING ROOM - DAY

A KNOCK. John comes in.

INT. KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS

John enters, looks around.

INT. HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS

Blah, blah...

-----

Recently, I've started seeing scene subheadings...

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Maurice Vaughan

Bob Johnson, I write my scene headings and subheadings like Dan Guardino.

Phillip "Uncle Phil" Hardy

As a personal preference, I don't use all caps for sound effects. Many sources advise using them, but I couldn't care less. I occasionally use continuous for long action sequences but don't format it...

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Matthew Parvin

Hey, Bob! I used to do that too. I'm sure most of us did. It wasn't until I started talking with professionals that I was clued in and corrected it. Now, I don't use CONTINUOUS anymore.

Doug Nelson

We all have our own take on this. I don't mind using CONTINUOUS (or CONT) within a long scene and it generally means (to me) a moving/tracking shot. When you say a KNOCK - tell me where - at the front...

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Craig D Griffiths

I write a lot of single location stuff, so SUB and transitions are king to me.

I-netha Dickerson-Knox
Fun Practice

When I watch a full season of a show I rewrite it in my own words, I even try to write what season 2 is going to be. Waste of time no but fun practice.

Niki Hayes

Great exercise I-netha. I agree with Karen, you should definitely take what you're doing and make it work for you. Write those spec scripts!

Phillip "Uncle Phil" Hardy

I-netha: Having fun is a great reason to be creative. In recent years, I wrote a homage to Fargo pilot scripted called Sioux Falls, which turned out so well, that I use it as a sample and occasionally...

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Matthew Parvin

I've been doing that with things I read and watch since I was 11. Right there with you.

Lucija Steficic
How to find an agent?

Hi everyone,

In my previous post I asked how to approach a writer about adopting their books into TV show. Sadly the answer I got from their agent was no.

I want to know why is it no and is there any way to talk about it. To do that I need an agent.

How do I find one? Is there someone you can recommend?

Thanks :)

Lucija Steficic

Thanks to Manuele, WIlliam, Doug and Kiril,

Right now I'm working on something that will be let out in the world. Hope it works out. :)

Lucija Steficic

Dear Shelly, yes. I should have gone with that first. I didn't have direct contact tho :(

Maurice Vaughan

You're welcome, Lucija Steficic.

Phillip "Uncle Phil" Hardy

Lucjia: I was going to provide an opinion. However, I don't think I could add anything to what Dan Guardino provided. Very nice job D.G.

Kiril: Thanks for mentioning my post on being your own agent.

William Schumpert

Some of my experiences are embarrassing. I was so reluctant to succeed that I let others take advantage of me.

Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me.

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