Five reasons a voice recorder is a screenwriter’s best friend

Record ideas as soon as you have them. We think we won’t forget, but the truth is we do. If you have your ideas recorded somewhere, your brain will give you more… if you never do anything with the ideas you have, eventually you stop having them. It’s important to record your ideas as soon as... Continue Reading →

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Dunkirk shows the power of a rooting interest.

Midway through DUNKIRK, I turned to my friend and said, "Wait, is that the plane from earlier? Are sea and air narratives about to intersect?" My friend scowled at me. "I have no fucking idea. Now shut up, I'm watching this." I'm not the only one who had a moment like that. Even my friend... Continue Reading →

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

From Entrepreneur.com: 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 →

An outline is a reality check.

I'm skeptical of people who are too vocal about never outlining. For every one person who doesn't need to outline, there are a hundred that do. Some people seem to see any form out outlining as a form of hackery or cheating. Breaking down a story into beats? Cheating. Identifying a premise and then identifying... Continue Reading →

The Beats of a Screenplay.

If I've learned anything in years of discussing screenwriting online, it's that people have an unending appetite for being told that they CAN write, but that they violently resent being told HOW to write. Even the merest suggestion of assumed orthodoxy can set off flame wars. Writers rarely agree on anything. People hear beats and they... Continue Reading →

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