Last week, in our our examination of the valuable ideas in TADW, this week, we looked at what Lajos Egri had to say about the premise of your script and why it is so important. This week, let’s look at what he has to say about creating characters. Character Egri likens characters and their actions … More Art of Dramatic Writing, Part 2: Character
People ask me how I developed my ideas and theories about writing for theater and the screen. They often ask where they can go to get more information and develop their own deeper understanding of the craft of screenwriting. Three Basic Rules I start by telling them my three essential rules: Put your butt in … More Art of Dramatic Writing, Part 1
Plotlines vs Loglines As we discussed last week, plotlines and loglines are different. Loglines are selling tools designed to excite an audience. Plotlines are designed to help you, the writer, clearly understand the beginning, middle and end of your script. A good plotline will distill the essential dramatic elements of your script down to their … More Plotline Essentials: “The 8 C’s”
From the Nitty Gritty to the 30,000-ft View Let’s take a break from dissecting the inner working of a scene. Let’s step back and examine the process from back to front. When you’re script is done and even before, when you’re in the middle of writing, if you tell someone that you’re working on a script, … More Loglines vs. Plotlines
Beginning, Middles and Ends In a screenplay, just like your plot, a well-structured scene will have a beginning, middle and end. Beginnings You must establish who the protagonist of the scene is and what they want. Except for the first time we meet a character, this is done BEFORE the scene starts. This is what … More The Well Written Scene, Part 2
One Good Scene Deserves Another While we’re on the topic of scene work, let’s examine what makes a scene pop in a screenplay. What are the essential tasks of a scene in a screenplay? They must do two essential things. Move the story forward and keep the audience engaged. One Job at a Time A … More The Well Written Scene, Part 1
The end of punctuation: full stop. This will complete our examination of how to use punctuation to create vivid imagery in your narrative description and how to imply camera angles and pacing edits without revealing that’s what you are doing. If there’s anything I’ve missed, send me a note. I’ll be happy to answer your … More Directing Through Punctuation, Part 4.
Backwards and forwards. As we continue our exploration of how to use punctuation in the narrative description of a screenplay, don’t forget the example we’re looking using. It’s from the first page of Shane Black’s 2005 directorial debut, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang: The girl starts to SCREAM. SHRIEKING. Writhing in agony. Tears streaming. Harold stares … More Directing Through Punctuation, Part 3.
The power of punctuation. Each punctuation mark has its own meaning. It defines how we read a sentence, where we pause and what inflection we impose on the words. They also have informal corresponding implications when writing visual description in a screenplay. As we get into the dots, dashes, slants and curves, there’s a lot … More Directing Through Punctuation, Part 2.
One of the secrets that all great screenwriters understand is how to direct through punctuation. Direct without directing. Instead of camera angles and the royal “We,” force your reader to see the movie you want them to see by using the tools at your disposal: punctuation and grammar. Write your movie the way it should … More Directing through Punctuation, Part 1.