Screenwriting Tip #159
You can’t just tell us there’s speech coming from the radio, or the TV, or some character in the background. You have to actually write the dialogue.
It's Alive: New Script Notes Service
It’s called Hack Notes, and you can check it out right now. How did I decide on the price? I did my research, and it seems sixty bucks is comparable to the lowest price available anywhere online (well, anywhere that’s not Craigslist). Feel free to check for yourself. As I’m just starting out, I don’t have a lot of flashy quotes and testimonials yet. What I do have is this...
Screenwriting Tip #158
Starting a thriller script in media res and then flashing back to a few days before is totally overdone… unless you can figure out a really good way to subvert the cliché.
Screenwriting Tip #157
When you’re writing a horror/thriller, there’s a very fine line between maintaining a sense of mystery and the unknown and frustrating the hell out of the reader.
Screenwriting Tip #156
The easiest way to write an interesting protagonist is to make them incredibly good at what they do.
Screenwriting Tip #155
If you’re writing a thriller, the suspense has to be there from the start — even if it’s something as innocuous as the protag desperately trying to get his kids to school on time. Start tense and build higher.
Screenwriting Tip #154
Don’t get too caught up in describing the special effects, unless it’s important to the plot or atmosphere. The director, editor and CG guys will do their own thing with it anyway.
Need Help With Your Script?
It’s that time of year — Hollywood shuts down, folks go home to spend time with their families… and writers work on their screenplays. You finish that latest draft, and you start to wonder: Does the dialogue ring true? Do the character arcs work? Is it marketable? Am I on the right track or should I try a different direction? If you don’t have a manager or a network of...
Screenwriting Tip #153
Write scripts in the same genres you watch, love, quote and buy the Criterion DVDs of. If you don’t love horror movies or romantic comedies, why are you trying to write one?
Screenwriting Tip #152
Making your protagonist a writer is rarely a good idea. (That’s one reason why all those Stephen King adaptations suck.)
Screenwriting Tip #151
I don’t think you can describe the light in a room as ‘tepid’. You know you can get dictionaries on your computer now, right?
Screenwriting Tip #150
If your protag is a criminal or an antihero, you don’t have to make him likable, you just have to make him interesting.
Screenwriting Tip #149
Know how it ends before you start writing one page.
Screenwriting Tip #148
Be subtle about your pipe-laying and foreshadowing. Don’t call attention to it with huge chunks of dialogue, or the eventual payoff won’t be a surprise.
Screenwriting Tip #147
Don’t hide thinly-veiled references to your favorite James Cameron films in your action script.
Screenwriting Tip #146
When are you going to show us what your main character actually wants? Page 1? Page 10? Page 20? Never? (Hint: It better not be never.)
Guest Post Week 2: Over Too Soon
And then it was gone, as quickly as it came. With a sly smile and a tip of its hat, Guest Post Week 2 vanished over the horizon and out of our lives. Now all that’s left are the memories of the week we shared. And what memories they are! Who could forget the bold stance taken by Tip #6, the intriguing specificity of Tip #11, or the comment section controversy stirred up by the polarizing...
Guest Post Week 2: Tip #12
When two people are fighting one can’t reach for a weapon in plain view of the other. -tip by Christian H
Guest Post Week 2: Tip #11
Nobody has a prescription for Anthrax, so when the terrorists on page 31 are stealing prescription-grade Anthrax, that doesn’t make sense. Think of another word for pure. -tip by patrickoriley
Guest Post Week 2: Tip #10
You’re a screenwriter, not a poet. Save your best words for the dialogue. -tip by emilyblake