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.