Unmet Needs

Aug 1, 2015 by

I think the best television characters want something they can never have — and spend every episode pursuing it.  What makes them...

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Flaws and Character Arc

Jul 4, 2015 by

The best movies tend to have a growth arc for the main character.  In the end, they have often somehow become better versions of...

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Internal Stakes

Jun 27, 2015 by

The main character in a movie generally has a big problem that it takes the whole movie to solve. And this is what a professional...

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Audiences are sadists

Jun 6, 2015 by

If I could sum up the number one most common overall weakness in screenplays I read, it would be that the main character does not...

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The Problem with Flashbacks

May 24, 2015 by

Jumping around in time with flashbacks can be confusing in a script, and can make it hard for a reader to get oriented and settle...

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UCLA class taking students

May 5, 2015 by

My UCLA Extension class on “Finding the Story in True Stories” is now taking students for Summer Quarter starting July 1....

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Gordy Hoffman interview

Oct 3, 2014 by

Gordy Hoffman, award-winning Writer-Director (and founder/judge of the BlueCat Screenwriting Competition — which I believe is...

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Screenwriting competitions

Oct 3, 2014 by

Screenwriting competitions — are they a good idea? Agents and managers I’ve talked to have emphasized that there are handful of top...

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Screenwriting’s #1 rule

Aug 16, 2014 by

Show, don’t tell.   These are probably some of the first words any of us ever heard in a screenwriting class. At first, it...

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Unlikable Main Characters

Jun 23, 2014 by

With the rise of somewhat unlikable main characters in cable dramas like The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, and True Detective, anti-heroes...

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In defense of formula

May 31, 2014 by

Script Magazine has just published my new article where I discuss the issue of “formulaic” writing, and the use of story...

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Left brain, right brain

May 10, 2014 by

So much of writing seems to be about “figuring stuff out.”  Figuring out what should happen in a story, or in a scene.  Figuring out...

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