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Allen James Roughton is the Stage 32 Script Services Coordinator, a screenwriter, reader and development researcher who has consulted on over 100 projects, scripts, books, comics and films and conducted research on life stories, exposés, professions and locations for development at major production companies. Nick Assunto is part of the Stage 32 script services team and a repped screenwriter himself. He was previously a reader for the Austin Film Festival, a writer for the 2017 CBS Diversity Sketch Comedy Showcase, co-host of the Sunday show B.Y.O.T. at UCB, and dabbled in acting, having been featured on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, an eHarmony commercial directed by Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst (for real), and is infamously known as Tony, the annoying party member from the 'Four Friends' Elder Scrolls spots. Full Bio »
When your characters each have their own voice, you should be able to tell them apart by their dialogue alone. We challenged you to write a scene removing all character names and descriptions so that each character is distinguishable by their dialogue alone.
This month, we're adapted a challenge from Eric Heisserer's (ARRIVAL, THE THING) 150 Screenwriting Challenges - this is a great book to challenge yourself with and grow your craft. For our challenge, writers either:
(a) Wrote a scene with four characters arguing over what to do about a dead body they found.
(b) Edited a scene you've already written that include three-four characters arguing about something.
They had to remove all names and character descriptions. Just using a simple setup like Character #1, etc. and distinguishing each character by their dialogue alone.
This challenge was meant to focus your writing on creating unique characters with individual voices and distinct dialogue. There is a section in nearly every professional coverage where someone will discuss your characters and dialogue to their producer, so take this chance to learn and make sure what they have to say next time is positive!
The Write Now Challenge
Can you tell your whole story in just six sentences? This month, we're challenging you to use Pixar's dead-simple approach to outlining to breakdown your story or help you come up with something completely new!
Whether it’s epic battles between giant robots, a street fight, or someone chasing after the love of their life at the airport, the vast majority of movies and television use at least a bit of action writing. So we are challenged you to write an original or polish a scene with action, and really focus on making those moments of movement pop!
Most Execs will toss a script if they aren't hooked in the first 5 pages. We challenged you to create or polish a teaser or opening sequence that builds a world, characters, and plot that leave us begging to read more!
Using the investigation scene from The Wire or the AI & Wu scene from Deadwood as inspiration, craft a scene where characters communicate using as few words as possible. As a second option, use the initial meeting between Sean and Will in Good Will Hunting or Annie's wedding shower meltdown from The Bridesmaids, and write a scene where your character snaps!
One of the common complaints with scripts is on-the-nose writing. This month, we're challenging you to convey a series of emotions without using the actual words (or synonyms - no cheating!).
A great story starts with great characters and every great character starts with a great introduction. We challenged you to create or rewrite a scene where a major character is introduced.