Tag Archives | how to write a screenplay

CineStory: Screenwriting Mentorship at Its Best

CineStory is a non-profit that provides mentorship opportunities for screenwriters. This means they have a collection of working industry professionals (agents, producers, writers) and they offer non-professional screenwriters the opportunity to workshop their screenplays and ask questions in a personalized environment. Pam Pierce is the heart and soul behind CineStory. She started it, I believe, […]

Continue Reading

When in a Draft: Re-Read Your Own Pages

I’ve been working on a draft these past couple of weeks, so I have the writing process on my mind. I was chatting with a couple of writer friends the other day and they both said when they’re drafting, they start the writing day by re-reading the previous day’s pages and editing them. This helps […]

Continue Reading

We Write to our Weaknesses

I’m still in the stage wherein every time I embark upon a new project, I’m teaching myself something about the technical process of writing and also about the human experience. I think the greatest gift a writer can give is in illuminating the human experience in a fresh or unique way, and in the experience […]

Continue Reading

If It Doesn’t Buy You Something, Take It Out

The more I write and the more I read, I find I return to this mantra again and again: If it doesn’t buy you something, take it out. Screenplay beats to me are a commodity. You have to buy the beats in the beginning of your story to cash them in later on in the […]

Continue Reading

Screenplay Openings: Most Beginnings Are Overwritten

This article follows up on Screenplay: The Importance of the First Five Pages. In the last batch of scripts I read for one of the screenwriting competitions, I would say about 30% of the screenplays had beginnings that were overwritten. It’s not uncommon. In several cases, the real story didn’t start to pick up until […]

Continue Reading

Q&A: Simple Present vs. Present Progressive (“-ing”) Verb Tense

Michael asks: Is it ever okay to use the “ing” present tense to describe action? “The Complete Screenwriters Manual” says no, but I don’t buy it. Monica says: Thanks, Michael. Great question. Here’s the deal with what I refer to as active verbs vs. passive verbs and screenwriting. The standard for screenwriting is to use […]

Continue Reading

Subject Matter: Don’t Write About Writers or Hollywood, Please

Today I’ve read a couple of stories about Hollywood aspirings – aspiring writers, directors, actors, etc. In this reading season I’ve probably read a number of these kinds of scripts. Please, people, no. Don’t do it. Ninety nine times out of one hundred, your life as an aspiring writer isn’t interesting enough to warrant a […]

Continue Reading