Tag Archives | screenwriting notes

Online Screenwriting Communities?

Since I was contacted within the past couple of weeks about two new Internet screenwriting communities launching, I thought I would weigh in. So, what is the deal with online screenwriting communities? The online screenwriting community is sort of like a FaceBook for aspiring screenwriters. It’s an online virtual community where screenwriters can post their […]

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

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

Look at It From the Reader’s Perspective…

I just got through another big push of scripts. There were a handful of recommends, but overall many of them were dismal. When writing, just get the words down on the page. Get through that first draft. But, then rewrite. Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. As you get closer to the time you’re going to send your […]

Continue Reading

The Scoop on Line Edits

A lot of writers really get all bent out of shape and neurotic about the level of control with the words on the page. In most cases, I look at this as a writer who’s inner critic has run amok. This is one of the many ways to self sabotage. There was one girl in […]

Continue Reading

Screenwriting Punctuation for Dummies

I’m a stickler for proper English grammar. I get really annoyed when people justify their horrible grammar with excuses, as though it’s snobby to use subject-verb agreement. It’s not. It’s our language. If you want use English to a professional end, you should have a level of mastery. I’ll admit it: my skin crawls when […]

Continue Reading

“You Suck,” and Other Things You’d Love To Scream at Someone Giving You Notes on Your Script

I’m writing again about giving and receiving notes because it’s important. In this last week, I’ve had two hard notes sessions (giving notes). Okay, we’re adults. We can admit it. Getting notes is hard. It’s usually shocking. We pour our heart and soul into something, we hear the notes, feel that the person “doesn’t get […]

Continue Reading

What, Technically, is a “Beat” in a Screenplay?

A writer friend of mine emailed asking me to better describe what is a screenwriting “beat.” Here’s the skinny. This is actually a point of confusion for many people, and I recall it was very confusing to me when I started at film school because there are actually three kinds of beats, but people just […]

Continue Reading