How I quadrupled my screenwriting output by hiring a stranger from Craigslist to slap me in the face.

“How could I leverage Craigslist to improve my efficiency? To me, the answer was obvious: I hired a girl on Craigslist to slap me in the face everytime I used Facebook.” This story that made the rounds online a few years ago. A guy hired a girl to watch him work in a coffee shop.... Continue Reading →


Without the jokes, sitcoms are 3-minute-long classes in Screenwriting 101

A sitcom without jokes is like a porn without sex scenes—pointless. But sitcom story lines, at the very least, are useful technical exercises for all the aspiring TV writers out there. (The same can’t be said of porn, except for maybe as object lessons in how not to write realistic female characters.) The Big Bang... Continue Reading →

The Average Sentence Length

Worth considering.

Readability Monitor

By Nirmaldasan


Plain English recommends short sentences. Robert Gunning faults marathon sentences in his book How To Take The Fog Out Of Writing. Though he admits to the possibility of long sentences being balanced and readable, he notes that only highly skilled writers such as Charles Dickens and Thomas Wolfe can write a marathon sentence with clarity. He adds: “But even these accomplished writers produced marathon sentences only occasionally. On the average, they wrote fewer than 20 words per sentence.”


Jyoti Sanyal’s Indlish has an interesting and informative chapter titled ‘Shrink or sink’ on the length of the sentence. He writes: “Based on several studies, press associations in the USA have laid down a readability table. Their survey shows readers find sentences of 8 words or less very easy to read; 11 words, easy; 14 words fairly easy; 17 words standard; 21 words fairly difficult; 25 words…

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Improv for screenwriters: Color/Advance

Purpose The exercise underscores the fact that plot in and of itself isn't entertaining. Plot is simply the structure that allows a writer to deliver detail. A lot of screenwriters get so excited in the telling of the story that they forget to make that story entertaining to the audience. This improv exercise shows how... Continue Reading →

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