Audiences are sadists

Audiences are sadists

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 have a big enough overall problem, and a high enough level of difficulty and complications as they try to solve it. When you get the...
The Problem with Flashbacks

The Problem with Flashbacks

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 into one particular story, in a specific time frame.  And this is what tends to really grab readers — a discrete challenge for a main...
Loglines don’t tease

Loglines don’t tease

Loglines describe a movie (or series) idea in a quick sentence or two that provide enough of an idea of what it’s about to (hopefully) seem like a grabby, fresh and commercially viable concept.  They present a compelling situation for characters one can imagine...
ARGO and creative license

ARGO and creative license

Script Magazine online published my article about ARGO’s use of creative license today.  Here’s how it begins: Having adapted a number of true stories for the screen, I found myself wondering, as I watched Argo, which moments might have been created for...
Inciting Incident types

Inciting Incident types

  Lately I’ve been brainstorming what to write for my next feature script.  And I’ve been looking for questions to ask myself which might lead to good ideas. The goal is to stimulate the flow of possibilities through the use of some sort of  prompt, and...
Literary Fiction/Screenwriting

Literary Fiction/Screenwriting

Ben Fountain’s new novel Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk was recently named a (top five) finalist for the National Book Award for fiction, and boy, can I see why.  I found it a great example of what “literary fiction” can do so well, that...
The first 10 pages of a script

The first 10 pages of a script

Yes, it’s true that a writer might only get the opening pages of their script read — and that it will likely be put down right away if those pages don’t immediately engage the busy industry professional who has given it a chance by opening it. Most screenwriters...
Page 2 of 212