Tag Archives | how to write a script

The Script Reader’s Top 10 Screenplay “Dos”

The following is a very basic list of items that get my attention as a script reader. If your script addresses each of these points, you’re probably doing a good job. I will be excited to read your script. So, here we go, a list of my top 10 screenplay “dos” when reading: DO keep […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Fighting for Your Craft

I’ve been back in LA this week. And from the minute I got here, all I’ve wanted to do was go back to Santa Fe. There’s a specific energy here in LA for me that’s a little bit like living beneath a veil. Everything is a little bit obscured. I chalk this phenomenon up to […]

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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 […]

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