Make your character more compelling by giving them a single, overriding desire (or the ‘I want’ song)

“Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.” Kurt Vonnegut "You gotta have a dream, if you don't have a dream, How you gonna have a dream come true?" South Pacific Most scripts fall flat because... Continue Reading →


How to maintain suspension of disbelief

Truth is stranger than fiction because there are limits to the kind of stuff we'll accept in fiction. This comes down to “suspension of disbelief.” People will accept that Superman can fly, but it drives them crazy that his friends don't recognize him when he puts on glasses. If you aspire to a greater realism than... Continue Reading →

Common Mistakes in Beginner Scripts

Over the years, I've noticed some trends in beginner scripts, and I've seen some of the same problems again and again. Here are some archetypal weak scripts. 1. The Combover This is a script that lacks a true second act. If the premise is werewolf cop, the cop won't become a werewolf until midpoint. Writing... Continue Reading →

“Outcomes are usually not deterministic. They’re probabilistic.” Elon Musk, with advice that applies to life, screenwriting, and especially screenwriting advice.

From Broaden the view by tracking probabilities. Thinking in probabilities (a business has, say, a 60 percent chance of success) rather than deterministically (if I do A and B, then C will happen) doesn’t just guard against oversimplification. This type of thought process protects an entrepreneur against the brain’s inherent laziness. Musk strives to... Continue Reading →

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