Keeping it Real

One of the most frequent and important types of notes I give on scripts is to question whether something seems REAL. Another way of saying it is this: “Does the situation and what people are doing and saying seem BELIEVABLE? Would this happen in the real world? Would the audience recognize what … Continue reading

Finding a Manager

The first concrete step in any screenwriter’s career these days tends to be signing with a manager. It used to be signing with an agent, but most agents today aren’t looking at unrepresented writers.  One generally has to get a manager first, to land an agent. What’s the difference? … Continue reading

Chasing Success

We writers realize that the chances of any one thing we write being “successful” are slim. At least that’s true if we define “successful” as “reaching an audience,” “getting produced or published,” “bringing in income,” or even “advancing a career in some way, like … Continue reading

Perfect Counterparts

What makes an audience root for two people to be together? The Save the Cat books have a name for the type of story where the primary external conflict is that two people who are “perfect counterparts” have something big in the way of “living happily ever after.” It’s called “Buddy … Continue reading

Web of Conflict

What’s the key thing to focus on when developing a TV series idea? The answer is simple: the characters. Specifically, a web of entertaining-to-watch characters who have conflicted relationships with each other. Ideally, you would also have a big, intriguing, problematic set of … Continue reading