National Screenwriters Day

Over $2000 worth of prizes will be awarded randomly to writers who tweet using #NationalScreenwritersDay between 11:00am - 12:00pm Pacific Time on Jan. 5th, 2017.  

  • $90 gift certificate for a 10 Day class at...

People often write "nice" characters, but many times, a nice character comes across as bland or superficial or even dull.

For a nice character to be interesting, it has to have something going on beneath the surface. You want this character to be liked, but you need the character to be interesting, maybe even intriguing.

How can a nice character have subtext without becoming evil?

I often get that question when I speak at...

People love action and they love to laugh. Merge the two and you have a great scene -- maybe even a great screenplay.

Just so you know, I'm not talking about "slapstick" comedy. That's one way action and comedy can be merged. But there's another way that fits more "intelligent comedy."

If you are writing a comedy, romantic comedy, or an action script and...

If you stand outside a theater as a movie lets out, you’ll see that one out of four people are on their phone.  They are either talking with a friend or texting or posting to Facebook/Twitter/Instagram.  

What are they talking about?  The movie!  
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It is the easiest mistake to make in screenplay dialogue -- having your characters tell exactly what is going on in their emotions and thoughts.   The character says they hate a person because they do hate them.  The character tells you the reasons they are doing something...and they are the real reasons. 

It is called "on-the-nose" dialogue.

Too much OTN dialogue in a screenplay usually creates one emotional reaction from an audience -- boredom.  They...

“What they went through was just incredible. I’d watch for hours as Leo was just laying submerged in an icy river,” says screenwriter Mark L. Smith of his time on the set of The Revenant, the film about the true story of 19th century fur trapper Hugh Glass.

“It was miserable at times for people, but I do think it served the film well,” Smith says. He’s referring to the harsh conditions lead actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who plays Glass, the other actors, crew and...


If you ask most people about what the ending is supposed to do, you'll likely hear the words "wrap it up."  Without a doubt, that is a very basic requirement of an ending.  But let me add two more important goals of the ending:
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When a producer called up screenwriter Drew Goddard (World War Z, Cloverfield, The Cabin in the Woods) and told him he should adapt an e-book called The Martian, Goddard told him that sounded like a terrible idea. But it wasn't long before Goddard along with many other fans realized this e-book about an American astronaut stranded on Mars alone was something special. “I read it and fell in love… Andy Weir is so talented and the book is so good… I just read...

“She’s incredibly brave and open. She had no ego and no vanity at all,” says writer/director Diane Bell of working with actress Jessica Biel on her thriller Bleeding Heart

The film...

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