Justify: When you get a logic note, ask it in the screenplay and explain it away.

A big part of writing is justification: anticipating common sense logic notes, asking them yourself in the script, and creating a plausible explanation This maintains willing suspension of disbelief, and creates specifics of character that ends up paying off later. When people don’t get things, they’re not flawed or bad, they’re “calling out” a logical issueContinue reading “Justify: When you get a logic note, ask it in the screenplay and explain it away.”

Most people picture language visually. Knowing this makes writing easier.

A screenplay is a de facto movie and anything presented will eventually have to be literally photographed (or said.) Understanding why this works lends insight into human beings, your target audience. I learned this when I was taking an acting class. The teacher was stressing a point on how we should invest words with meaning.Continue reading “Most people picture language visually. Knowing this makes writing easier.”

Glossary of some terms I use

  Alt: An alternative joke or moment for a script. Example: TED: Great idea… not! (alt) That’s like the opposite of a good idea! Bottom of the scene: Refers to stuff that happens near the beginning of a scene. Call out: Moments where dialogue or action underlines unusual behavior. Could be a mention, or evenContinue reading “Glossary of some terms I use”

Screenwriting in four words: Imagine vividly, communicate clearly.

There are a lot of things to learn: character arcs, structures, set ups, payoffs, foreshadowing, all that English major crap, but it’s all for naught if you’re not doing those two things. This might seem like an oversimplification, this might seem incredibly obvious, but in my years as a reader, writer, and coach, I’ve noticedContinue reading “Screenwriting in four words: Imagine vividly, communicate clearly.”

The Four Basic Elements of Screenwriting

There are four basic elements in screenwriting. You can use them to achieve any story. [1] Scene Headings [2] Scene description/Action [3] Character attribution [4] Dialogue [5] Transitions [6] Parenthetical [7] SFX, VFX, etc. (you really don’t need to use these) [8] Author’s note (again, use sparingly. You don’t really need transitions, but they’re niceContinue reading “The Four Basic Elements of Screenwriting”

Knowing about something is not the same as knowing it.

In an ideal world, knowledge would be like a Pokemon: you could capture it once, and keep it forever, ready to serve at a moments notice. Sadly, knowledge isn’t so readily gained. You need to reinforce it ad naseum until it’s ingrained in your subconscious. If there was any confusion…   Here are some old school writing pointers thatContinue reading “Knowing about something is not the same as knowing it.”

Three act structure doesn’t exist, and yet it’s still helpful.

There are four basic elements in screenwriting. You can use them to achieve any story. Character attribution Dialogue Scene Headings Action description There are also transitions, and parentheticals, etc. They exist, but one could also go an entire career without ever actually using one. Read here for more on this idea. Those are the things that literallyContinue reading “Three act structure doesn’t exist, and yet it’s still helpful.”

The value of straight answers pt. 2

This is a common conversation for people who work in showbiz: “Hey man, I heard you lost your job.” “Yeah, between things right now. If you have any leads?” “Do you have the UTA job list? I’ll send it to you.” “Gee, thanks.” Offering up the job list is literally the least you can doContinue reading “The value of straight answers pt. 2”

It’s easier to write every day if you get organized first.

People say that the secret to screenwriting is to “just write.” It’s sound advice, but it’s also convenient advice. It’s right up there with “just be yourself,” “have fun with it,” and “go with your gut,” advice that’s got a grain of truth in it, but that’s also frequently used by lazy people who don’tContinue reading “It’s easier to write every day if you get organized first.”