Act II he Exposition

Act I is known as the act of Exposition. It is approximately 30 pages in length (1-30). In the opening of Act I you must set-up the problem to be solved and the dramatic question that needs to be an swered. In Act I you also introduce the main and major characters of your film. This problem will take the rest of the movie to solve. The audience must immediately know what your movie is about or they will lose interest. They should understand what's going on and care about the problem confronting...

Act IIIThe Resolution

Act III is known as the act of Resolution. It is the shortest act in the screenplay. It has approximately 30 pages or even less (90 120). All that has gone on before is heading to the highest point of dramatic conflict the climax. The climax is the end of your screenplay. In Act III the problems you set-up in the opening must be resolved your main character must experience a change and your theme must be revealed. In Act III your main character makes a discovery about himself. He sees the light...

Act IIThe Complications

Act II is known as the Act of Complications. Act II is the longest act. It consists of approximately 60 pages (30-90). In Act II you must set up all of the obstacles that stand in the path of your main character. The more stumbling blocks you put in his path to prevent him from reaching his goal, the more your main character must struggle to reach it. In Act II the conflict and tension must escalate to a higher point than in Act I. By the end of Act II it looks as if all is lost for your main...

Action Is Character

Should I develop a character first and then a story, or should I develop a story first and then create a character Is the plot more important than the Character or is the Character more important than the plot These are questions many beginning writers ask when they first start their screenplay. However, there isn't really an answer because you don't develop either one first and the other second. Story and character develop from each other. They are synergistic and each one emanates from the...

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

People often act pleasant and smile, when talking to another person, but what they are saying is really cutting and hurts the other person. Haven't you seen people feeling sad, yet they are smiling Subtext can be used with people acting differently from what they're feeling. Pretend your happy when you're blue, is a line from a song, which illustrates how most of us live. In fact, this is how your characters should behave in your script. When you write subtext in your screenplay you may either...

Afterword How to Survive the Writing Game

I myself am good fortune. For those of you who have completed your screenplay and want to pursue selling it, the following information is for you. I have written this to make your journey a realistic one. And also to give you some valuable tips to help you stay on the right career track. At the Writer's Center, I teach writers techniques for developing a writer's survival kit which includes, career strategies, communication skills, how to present yourself, how...

All the Characters Sound the Same

In addition to all the dialogue sounding the same, the next common problem with dialogue is there seems to be no differentiation between each character's style of speech. The writers don't seem to care whether or not the character is a society matron, a waitress, a gangster, a teenager, educated, illiterate, southern or northern. They make the dialogue sound alike for all of them. Your dialogue should not be interchangeable among your various characters. Before you write dialogue get inside...

All the Dialogue Sounds the Same

One of the greatest stumbling blocks to all writers having the same sounding voice for all the characters. But first let me address the issue of why this is so common to all writers. I firmly believe the writer is all of the characters, and the dialogue the characters speak is really the author's voice and what he or she wants to say through them. This is all well and good if writers are able to reveal who they are, but the problem occurs when writers use only the one voice and are afraid to...

Answering The Question

Many characters in scripts don't seem real because the writer forgets to address the most important question in writing WHY The answer to why is the character's motivation as we discussed in the previous chapter. Motivation is what gives reality to your characters' quest or goal. Without knowing why characters behave as they do, a writer isn't able to make them real. So many writers just start writing without laying down the character's motivation. And they end up with are stock or...

Blueprint For S Creenwriting

What is your main character's external or false goal 2. Does your character's behavior seem believable and consistent with his personality Explain. 3. Write a scene where you are upping the stakes for your story. 4. What is your main character's internal motivation or real goal 5. What is your main character's emotional transformation Describe. 6. Create a time lock for your screenplay Describe how it increases the tension.

Blueprint For Screenwriting

Which stories do you feel passionate about writing Why you feel this way 2. Write a couple of pages to answer the question Why I Write 3. Can you be objective about your work If you can't, write about why 4. Are you writing about something that just happened Are you too EMOTIONALLY close to the subject Does it hurt too much when you write about it 5. Do you feel excited enough about your story to work on it for six months to a year If the answer is yes, what are the reasons you feel this way 6....

Blueprint For Screenwriting Checklist For Success

Do you have only one main character 2. Does your main character have a desperate goal he wants to reach 3. Do you know your ending first and then work backwards to the beginning 4. Does your opening set off the action of the story 5. Is your main character active and not passive 6. Do you have conflict in every scene 7. Does every character in your work move the main character's story forward 8. Do you hook your audience and reader by the first 10 pages 9. Does every scene relate to your plot...

Blueprint For Screenwriting Keys To Unlock Your Blocks

SILENCE YOUR INNER CRITIC. 6. BE IN THE PROCESS AND NOT THE PRODUCT. Writer's block is really pent-up creative energy. When you break free from your block a tremendous amount of this stored up creativity and energy will come bursting forth. Overcoming blocks gives you freedom to make your writing a joyful experience, where you are having fun with words, excitement with your ideas and pleasure in the writing process

Blueprint For Screenwriting Tips To Improve Your Creativity

Instead of writing on your computer try a legal pad with pen, because you will write more naturally without worrying about a mechanical process. Get a change of scenery and don't write at your desk, just go out in nature and relax. 2. Put on relaxing music when you write and put the rhythms of the music into the rhythms of your words. 3. Trust your gut feelings and your natural instincts when you first start to write. Learn to rely more on your intuition than...

Blueprint For Writing

Write an extensive character biography for your main and major characters. Include 2. Have you properly motivated each character 3. Is your character behaving consistently throughout your story 4. Create a past or case history for your main character. 5. How does your character's past, influence his or her behavior in the present Explain in detail.

Causal Writing

As I said earlier, the biggest problem I have found with the beginning writer, and even with the most experienced professional, is that the writing is usually episodic. This means that the scenes don't relate to one another and the screenplay doesn't have the underlying story structure that sets off the story and keeps it moving until the resolution or end. From fade in to fade out your structure must not collapse in the middle or your entire script won't work. The beginning of your story...

Chapter

You can never know enough about your characters. The next step of your writing journey toward writing a completed, exciting screenplay is to focus on the main character or protagonist. To create a successful main character takes hard work and a lot of thought. A character just doesn't happen. A character is born through the labor of your imagination, investigation, and examination. All this work eventually culminates in developing a believable, complex character. When I first began teaching at...

Contents

Preface Blueprint for Screenwriting vii Chapter 1 Creativity Your Blueprint for Ideas 1 Chapter 2 Building Your Story 11 Chapter 3 Constructing Your Blueprint Laying Down 20 the Framework Chapter 4 Story Structure The Screenplay's 31 Foundation Chapter 5 The Main Character 39 Chapter 6 Characters and Conflict 49 Chapter 7 Creating the Character's Emotional Arc 58 The Heart of the Story Chapter 8 The Psychology of Characters 67 Chapter 9 Structuring Scenes and Acts 77 Chapter 10 The Outline, the...

Creativity And Imagination

So how do you get ideas for your screenplay Where do ideas for your screenplay come from Well, it has to do with your own imagination and from your creativity. What is creativity Creativity is free-flowing energy and when you are connected to your own inner world, where your creativity resides, you will find a myriad of ideas for your screenplays. Creativity has to be available to you at the beginning of your writing because without creative ideas, concepts, or thoughts you have nothing to...

Creativity Your Blueprint for Ideas

Ideas we don't know we have, have us. Story structure and character development are the architecture for building your blueprint. Without a solid structure your characters will be transparent. And without multidimensional characters your structure will collapse. You may ask as thousands of writers do Which comes first the structure or the character My response to that question is, Neither. To me character is structure and structure is character. How can you possibly separate the two This is...

Dramatic Conflict in Scenes

All scenes must have DRAMATIC CONFLICT Without dramatic conflict you have nothing but either exposition or flat conversation. Since the audience is interested in emotional relationships, your conflict should create emotional conflict between characters. Conflict doesn't have to consist of battles, fights or wars. It's the emotional conflict that can have more dramatic impact in a scene than all the explosions and special effects in the world. Dramatic conflict can involve the main character...

Emotions Beneath The Words

Because dialogue has to be emotional rather than conversational, one of the best ways of writing dialogue is by using subtext. Subtext 114 provides you with the tools to allow your audience to identify with your characters. Suppose a man and his girlfriend have been living together for five years and he's really getting bored with the relationship. Let's say he wants to get out of it, but doesn't know what to do and feels trapped. In obvious, direct text he might voice those exact sentiments...

Example Of Script Format

This example of script format doesn't contain any camera angles and very little adjectives or adverbs. This is how all scenes for your screenplay should be written. You also use this format for a television movie, except you need more act breaks. NANCY WINTERS, 42 attractive brunette is wearing a hospital gown. She walks toward a table, which has a bottle of champagne on it and takes a glass. She fills up the glass with champagne. Let's have another drink. As long as I'm breaking the rules, I...

Exposition

Exposition is the act of writing necessary information to the audience, so they can understand the purpose of your story. It is vital to give them specific information so they'll know what your story is about. This helps your audience become involved and stay interested because they know what's happening. It is often referred to as the business or the action in a screenplay. In the first ten minutes of any film you must give your audience information on what the film is about and who the main...

Five Fatal Flaws For Creating Characters

The five most fatal flaws which writers have for creating characters are 1. All the characters sound the same. 2. The most boring and bland character is usually the main char-acter who is the writer in disguise. 3. The characters are based on real people, and the writer doesn't know how to make the characters dramatic. 4. The main character doesn't have a specific goal and is going nowhere. 5. But that's the way it really happened character syndrome.

From Fade In to Fade

It's important to decide what type of screenplay you plan to write and then layout the blueprint and the framework from Fade In to Fade Out. The opening and the ending are your parameters to follow so you won't turn a comedy into a tragedy half-way through your screenplay. When you write without a blueprint your screenplay doesn't have a solid structure. You'll want to construct your basic structure and build your framework so your story won't collapse in the middle. How do you do this You do...

Journals

An excellent way for reconnecting with your inner self is to write in a journal. I tell both writing students and therapy clients to start writing in a journal. It doesn't have to be one of those fancy note books or one of those expensive handmade books. Just buy a simple notebook, preferably one you can carry around with you at all times. A journal is a wonderful tool for helping you monitor yourself what you're thinking, feeling, and dreaming about throughout the day and night. Get into the...

Keep It Short And Simple

Don't slow down your screenplay by writing dialogue that is filled with directions. Avoid adjectives and adverbs like (happily), (sadly), (angrily), (fearfully), except when there is uncertainty of your intention. Otherwise, let the director or actor decide how to say their lines. Don't play director and try to tell the actor how to say a line of dialogue. It is an insult to the professional actor and a sure sign that you're a novice. The shorter your dialogue the better. Use short speeches and...

Keeping It Personal

Writing must be personal or it is not worth writing. However, some writers have problems writing the personal story. Many times it is too frightening for them to express their inner emotions such as love, hate, fear, joy, sorrow, anger or despair. These feelings are very private and at first you may be afraid of exposing your emotions in your script. But to become a successful writer you must be willing to reveal your true self who you are, what you feel and what you fear. If you are unable to...

Laying Down the Framework

I don't see how anybody starts a movie without knowing how it's going By now you've chosen the character, subject or issue you want to write about. But you probably aren't certain what to do next. Well, the next thing you are to do is nothing. That's right. Live with your idea for a while. Think about it 24 hours a day. Let it germinate. Mull it over, sleep with it, visualize it before you commit any words to paper. It is important for you to look at all aspects of your idea and explore all the...

Less Is More

The third most common mistake when writing dialogue is everyone usually writes monologues or long-winded speeches. When writing dialogue remember Less is more Make each word count by avoiding all the meaningless chit-chat. And realize that people talk with interruptions, with hesitations, in monosyllables, with grunts, er's, oh's, ah's, sighs and pauses. In reality people are usually so busy thinking about what they want to say, they rarely wait long enough to let the other person finish...

Logline or Story Structure

While trying to breed the violence out of Killer Bees, an experimental misbreeding with a livestock Botfly leads to disaster for the Scientist and the small farming town. Josh Fielding, his young lab assistant and his four teen-aged friends are desperate to stop these cunning killers as they destroy everything in their path. No one is safe as Josh and his friends soon discover with tragic results. In a screenplay, if a scene doesn't relate to your story structure, you don't need it in your...

Overcoming Writers Block

You get a writer's bbck by being aware that you're putting it out there. In one of my writing workshops a young man asked me, Do you have to be psychotic to be a writer At first, I thought he was kidding and waited for his laughter, but after a few moments of silence, I realized he was quite serious. I began to wonder how many other people believed the stereotype of the emotionally disturbed writer, holed up in his cold-water flat with a half empty bottle of vodka by his side, typing away in...

Script Format

When you submit a script to an agent, movie company or network, it must be written in script format. The first sign of an amateur is when he or she submits a script with the improper format. In a script there are basic rudiments, specific number of pages, certain line spacing for your script format. Your script format is a blueprint developed by you that demonstrates to other people what's being seen and heard. It includes the dialogue, the description of characters and location of the shots...

Starting With a Topic or an Issue

On the other hand, let's suppose you always have been interested in subjects such as World War II or fire fighters. These subjects always intrigued you and you've decided you want to write a script featuring one of these topics. You'd then need to create characters who would relate to the subject you chose and who'd motivate the proper action for your script. Whether or not you choose a character for your subject or a subject for your character, you then must create a story that is exciting and...

Stingers Synopsis

JOSH FIELDING, in his late teens is a lab assistant to MAX GARRING, an Entomologist at the local university. He is going home for the summer to Bellefonte in order to help his father, a bee keeper, with the hives. Max is a hero to the local farmers, because he has developed a milder killer bee to replace the aggressive ones which had been over-powering the honeybees who pollinate the crops. Now the farmers will have abundant crops once more all because of Max. Josh goes home to his beautiful...

Story Structure

After you've determined your ending and your opening you still have to fill over a hundred or more pages in between. Perhaps your story is not clear and your characters are still vague. Maybe you don't have any idea what you are to do next. Ask yourself, What is my story about Next, try to tell your story in a couple of sentences. The two or three sentences you use to tell your story will become your plot structure or the premise of your screenplay. Every scene you write will have to relate to...

Story Structure The Screenplays Foundation

A writer's material is what he cares about. The foundation of your screenplay will be solid and secure and won't collapse if you build a strong structure. By now you have determined how your story will end and how it will begin. In your opening, the main character has been introduced with a specific problem to solve, or a dramatic question to answer. This allows you to set up the goal which your main character has to reach in the climax. For example, in the movie Schindler's List, Oskar...

Subtext

Talking about oneself can also be a means to conceal oneself. All good writing contains subtext. Subtext is the unspoken feelings that hide beneath the words. It is that which is unsaid and is the best type of writing you can write. Think of all the situations you have at work and home. How many times do you NOT say what you want to say to your boss, your friends, your parents, your children I'm sure you do it more often than you'd like to admit. Soap opera and melodramas are examples of...

Techniques To Avoid These Five Fatal Flaws

Putting parts of your inner selves into your characters to give them internal lives. 2. Capturing your emotional memories and giving these memories to your fictional characters. 3. Creating composite characters from people in your life, rather than creating a character based on just one person. 4. Setting goals that are specific and desperate for your characters so they have a destination and desperation. 5. Letting go of how it really happened and building characters who are based in reality,...

The Business Or Exposition

The description and action are also known as the business of your script. The business includes all the characters' actions and the descriptions of all the settings. Writing the business of your script is important to keep exciting and interesting. If it is too long and boring, you'll lose the reader's interest. This is not the time to try your hand at writing a novel. Don't use an excess of words. Write what is necessary and make it sound exciting by your careful choice of words. You need to...

The Character Biography

You develop knowledge of your characters through in-depth scrutiny of them by creating their past life. You accomplish this by creating a character biography for your main character and all major characters. A character biography is exactly what it says a personal history and inventory of your character's traits, make-up and personality. A character biography enables you to create a backstory for your characters and give them memories and life experiences from their past. After all, your...

The Characters Emotional Transformation

Continuing to use Tootsie as an example, Michael Dorsey who didn't care about anything else but acting in the beginning, now discovers he needs love. In fact, in the beginning of the film he treated women more as objects than as equals. He really never wanted to be get romantically involved or fall in love with anyone. Yet, by the end of the picture he realizes what's important to him and experiences an emotional transformation. He has learned how to be a better man through being a woman and...

The Climax

With this in mind, let's talk about the climax of your story. The climax is the highest point of drama in your structure. It is where all of the scenes must lead throughout your story. Finding the ending of your story is the first thing to do. The ending of your screenplay is known as the climax. After the climax your story should be finished and can't go any further. Your screenplay is complete and if you keep writing then your writing becomes anticlimactic, which means you've written too much...

THe Completed Screenplay

I usually have a sense of clinical fatigue after finishing a book. You have followed your Blueprint for Screenwriting and by now have constructed your finished product your screenplay. It's your calling card that shows you can write a properly structured, solid story and develop complex, interesting characters. Given all the harsh realities about writing and having completed your Blueprint For Screenwriting, do you still want to be a writer Have your motives for becoming a writer changed after...

The Emotional

To me, this category is the most important. Knowing the physical and social characteristics of a person enables you to know him only in a superficial way. But discovering the emotional life of your character helps you learn about the person beneath the smile or mask. And isn't that what writing is all about You want to unpeel the layers of protective covering that hides the real person inside. And you do this by putting your character under stress, tension and pressure. Become aware of your own...

The Main Characters Journey

Well, the same is also true for your main character. You can only follow one character's journey in your screenplay at one time. Of course, you may have many characters in your screenplay, but you only have one main character to follow in your screenplay. If you try to follow more than one character's point-of-view, your screenplay will become unfocused and confusing. Many beginning writers start their screenplay without knowing who the main character is and their writing isn't focused because...

The Outline

An outline is the main blueprint for your work. When you're writing a script you must develop an extensive and complete outline. Scriptwriters must create what is known as the Step Outline. It is a scene outline that describes step-by-step what happens in each scene in a couple of sentences. It shows the order of the scenes and the action that happens in each scene. The Step Outline is essential to establish the direction of your script and the sequence of your scenes. It really creates the...

The Physical

The physical aspects of your character are rather basic. They include his or her height, weight, hair color, eye color, how he or she walks, talks, eats, smiles, body language, mannerisms, gestures, pos ture. What is his over-all appearance Is he handsome, ugly, weak, strong, stocky, fat, thin Don't just arbitrarily give your characters physical characteristics without first knowing their character. Certainly, the character Rocky could never have been a frail-looking, thin, studious type. If he...

The Six Most Important Scenes

Before you begin to write your outline, I'd like to review the importance of writing causal scenes. Remember, all of your scenes must be related to one another. One scene should lead into another and originate from the previous scene. For instance, all the scenes in Act I should include those that set up the problem and give information to your audience. In Act II you include all those scenes that create complications and obstacles to prevent your main character from reaching his goal. In Act...

The Social

The social aspects of your character involve everything that deals with his social world and his place in society. This includes his education is he a drop-out or is he highly educated Besides education, the social aspects are economic status, religion, race, politics, family environment, friends, work, avocation, and vocation. It includes taste in music, food, plays, sports, liquor, literature, art, and all outside interests. What does she do with her leisure time How does she spend her...

The Specific Goal

A story would certainly be boring if the main character did nothing but remain passive and reactive. How do you make your main char acter active in your story Give him a specific goal which he desperately wants to reach throughout the screenplay and you'll make your main character ACTIVE. The goal determines the action. The desperation determines the momentum and tension. This goal will give him the proper motivation to change in the climax. For example, in Bend it Like Beckham, a young girl...

The Spine of Your Story

After you've determined what will happen to your main character in the climax and how your story will open in relationship to the climax, you really have the plot structure or spine of your story. This is the skeleton that holds your entire foundation together. The spine of your story is your structure that goes in a straight line from the opening to the climax. Imagine an old fashioned clothesline which you're hanging your clothes on so they'll dry. Now visualize every scene you write as being...

The Synopsis

These pages of prose, when perfected, will be known as your synopsis for your screenplay. A synopsis should be not less than one page and not more than five pages. It should tell your complete story in prose from beginning to end. Many times a production company, studio or network will only ask for a synopsis before they decide if they want to read your entire script. 88 You can see why your synopsis must be an exciting piece of prose. You want to give the broader story in a synopsis, rather...

The Time Lock

The more desperately your main character has to reach a specific goal the more exciting your story. Characters are revealed under stress or pressure. If your character isn't in a conflict or under pressure his real personality isn't revealed. You need to put your characters in a pressure cooker and watch how they act and react. One of the best ways of getting your main character under pressure is to use a time lock. Put a time limit on the action your character takes and you'll have more...

The Treatment

A treatment usually consists of between 20 to 40 pages, typewritten and double spaced. It is a step-by-step detailed narrative account of your story written in present tense prose. It should include every scene you have written. Many people write a treatment only after they have developed a step outline. The treatment is an expanded version of your outline and it is written in exciting prose, detailing everything that happens in your script. A good, solid treatment could be shot into a film,...

Transforming Personal Stories To Powerful Scripts

When you decide on the story you want to write, it is an absolute necessity to put yourself in the position of your audience, asking yourself, Will they understand what I'm writing Am I getting my point across Am I being objective Am I too emotionally involved If you're only writing for yourself, forget about writing to sell and write in a journal or a diary. No one is interested in your latest love affair or break up. Write about them in your journal Your first goal as a professional writer is...

Writing From The Heart Writing From The Head

In my Writing From the Heart, Writing From the Head workshops, I spend the first day showing writers how to tap into their inner world by doing these specific writing exercises. By going on this visual journey many writers come up with extraordinary images they record through the written word, describing all the details through their sense of smell, sight, sound, taste and touch. Afterwards, they take their childhood memories and stories and transform them into fictional characters and plots....

Writing From Your Heart

I have worked with all level of writers, from rank beginners to experienced professionals, who were too into the results of their writing, before they even had written their script. This attitude stopped them in their creative process before they ever got started. You need to be in the moment when you write and not into the results. When you first begin to develop your blueprint for screen-writing, you mustn't block yourself with criticisms and judgments before you get your ideas down on the...

Writing From Your Inner Cast of Characters

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts Every successful writer knows that dynamic characters and meaningful stories come from the inner self. It is my belief that all quality writing must connect to the writer's inner cast of characters and stories. Any one can learn structure, but it is never craft alone that makes a script outstanding and original. For those of you who want to be...

Your Intention Is Your Theme

The final element that occurs in the climax is your theme is revealed. Your reason for writing this particular story is made known through your main character. Perhaps you're against abortion, capital punishment, or divorce. It's not necessary in the beginning to state My personal vision of life is_. However, if you care about an issue in your script your point-of-view about it will be revealed in the climax. For example, in Shawshank Redemption, the theme is about an innocent man, Andrew...

Your Motives For Writing

As a screenwriter you're not only the creator of your screenplay, but your choice of material will either make the experience an exciting adventure or an agonizing voyage. This chapter deals with the most important element in the writing process YOU, the writer. It's important to look at your motives for wanting to write, because if they aren't strong enough you probably won't finish your screenplay. Writing is just too difficult a craft to learn ifyou aren't serious about it. So before you...

Steps For Writing From Your Inner Self

Trust your gut feelings and instinct about your characters and stories. BE PASSIONATE ABOUT YOUR CHARACTERS. Know your characters inside out. Live with them, fight for them and nurture them. HAVE A VISION. Believe in your ideas Feel strong about your values, beliefs and point-of-view. JOURNEY BENEATH YOUR MASK. Tap into your inner world. Trust your real Self. DISCOVER NEW VOICES. Write from your inner cast of characters. Allow new voices inside to be heard. WRITE FROM...

Preface Blueprint for Screenwritirig

The inner shape of a man's life is what he writes from and about. Blueprint for Screenwritirig is designed for anyone who wants to write a screenplay from beginning screenplay writers to professionals writers. It is for you writers who want to have a blueprint to refer to when you write your script, so you'll have the correct story structure and extensive knowledge of character development. If you complete the Blueprint for Screenwriting exercises given to you at the end of each chapter you...

Screenwritingact And Scenes

Anything worth doing well takes hard work and unfortunately, so many people don't appreciate or respect the craft of screenwriting and how difficult it actually is. Ideas are a dime a dozen, but it's the actual execution of the ideas put into 108-120 pages of script that takes self-discipline, hard work and commitment. Writers often think of new ideas when they're stuck in Act 2 or they have problems with the Act 3 climax. Other writers get discouraged when they're beginning at Fade In and...

Emotional Dialogue

Put emotional intensity into your exposition while you relate the pertinent information. Give information during times of crisis, for example, when a teenager is arrested, a woman is revealed as a thief, or a man loses his job. Whatever you do, don't have your exposition sound like a lecture. Make it so dramatic and interesting your audience won't even be aware they are receiving information. Examples of films with fabulous dialogue are American Beauty, Kissingjessica Stein, and Sylvia. The...

Blueprint For Screenwrtting

Write a synopsis first before you do a step outline. Remember it is written in prose and it's the broad strokes of your outline. 2. Develop a step outline and state the purpose of each scene in a couple sentences. 3. Does each scene relate to your story-line If yes, how can you be sure 4. Develop your blueprint for screen writing by creating an extensive outline for your work. 5. Turn your step outline into a treatment. Does it read well Could your treatment be translated into film

Stumbling Blocks To Writing

Psychological and creative blocks These culprits are responsible for most of the problems you experience when you sit down to write and become immobilized. They are responsible for preventing you from getting started, from finishing projects, keeping you stuck in the middle of your work. These stumbling blocks create resistance to writing itself. They diminish belief in ones' talent and ability, preventing you from getting your work into the marketplace. They also can cause low self-esteem and...

Subtext What You Dont

Every good film is loaded with subtext. It is subtle, and more than sarcasm or small talk. When you write subtext there is always much more going on in a scene than meets the eye. Subtext is the emotional feeling beneath the words. It is the truth beneath what is being said and heard. Subtext is what the scene really is about. The sample scene in the chapter on screenplay format is filled with subtext. The man and his wife never once mention the fact that she is dying. They talk around it, and...

Scene Connections and Progression

When you start a scene it must go somewhere. By the end of the scene the character is at a higher point of drama then before. All scenes must have a climax or ending, that leads the character to the next scene, otherwise your writing is episodic and without a direction or a structure. Now you know that all scenes have a beginning, a middle and an end, and they also must have a definite direction. A scene can be as short as half a page or as long as five or more pages. Whatever the length, the...

The Essed Syndrome

The more desperately your main character wants to reach his goal the more suspenseful and exciting your story. I always tell my students to make their characters have the ESSED syndrome distressed, obsessed, suppressed, dispossessed, oppressed, stressed, depressed, repressed, messed, or possessed. These are just a few adjectives that help describe the state of mind of a desperate, complex character. Your main character's desperation creates the momentum that moves your story forward at an...

Writing Causal Scenes

Between the opening scene that sets off your story and the climactic scene that ends your story, you may have as many as 50 to 80 scenes. Each of the scenes must connect to the other in a cause-and-effect manner. Although each scene must stand alone, as a complete unit of drama, it must also evolve from the scene that preceded it and lead to the scene that follows it. Screenwriting is known as causal writing, because one scene causes the next scene and so until the end. All the scenes in a...

Structuring Scenes and Acts

If I didn't know the ending of a story I wouldn't begin. I always write my last line, my last paragraphs, my last page first. Screenwriting is a craft onto itself, having a special format, specific margins, a definite number of pages, and a highly developed structure. Starting a new screenplay is often like beginning a new relationship. When you first meet the love of your life, aren't you enthusiastic and excited, putting all your energy into it After months or years of dating or getting...

Types of Conflict

Examples using this type of conflict are 28 Days, a story about an alcoholic Traffic, about drug traffic and a politician's young teen-aged addicted daughter, and Leaving Las Vegas, where an alcoholic vows to drink himself to death. In each of these films the characters are trying to overcome some flaw or addiction within. Most tragedies of William Shakespeare involve this type of conflict. Some of his most famous heroes who suffered from a tragic character flaw are...

Example of Character Motivation A Case Study

In my writing workshops, I always have the class develop a character biography for the protagonist and the antagonist. Here's an example of creating character motivation and back story for them. In this example, I gave the entire class a husband and wife who are living in a bad relationship and they were to create a story for this couple, including their backstory. At first they tried to develop a story, but they kept getting stuck. They finally realized it's impossible to create a story until...

The Psychology of Characters

Just as you can't Judge a book by its cover, you can't judge a person by the way he looks or behaves. You probably know from your own experience that the way you portray yourself to others may be entirely different from the way you are feeling inside. Perhaps you feel insecure when you first meet people, but do you tell them how frightened you're feeling inside No. You smile, try to be pleasant and make conversation. Little do they know your palms are sweaty and...

Visualization and Free Writing

To enable you to reach your inner depths, and a well-spring of new ideas, I will lead you in a writing exercise. You will begin the journey to travel beneath your mask and mine your childhood stories, memories, intention, and emotions, through using visualization and free writing. Visualization is the technique of imagining visual pictures. It closes off the left hemisphere of your brain and lets the right hemisphere express insights and inspirations without criticisms. Visualization also...

The Emotional Line

The emotional line of your story is the emotional relationship between the main character and another major character. Although your main character interacts with many other characters, there is really only one other major character with whom he experiences the primary emotional relationship or connection. In Ordinary People, the main character, Conrad, has relationships with many other characters his mother, father, friends, coach, psy chiatrist, girlfriend, friend from the hospital. However,...

The External False And Internal Real Goals

The goal you choose for your main character in the opening of your screenplay is really the action or the story structure for your screenplay. Does the character want to be a prize fighter, play soccer, climb a mountain, overcome a disease The main character's goal is what sets off your story in the opening of your screenplay as you can see from all of the above examples. The goal gives your script movement, provides your protagoist with an objective to strive for throughout the story and...

The Protagonist And The Antagonist

The hero and the villain are known as the Protagonist the hero and the Antagonist the villain . The protagonist has a goal that he desperately wants to reach and the opposing force that stands in his way is known as the antagonist. In action movies, this conflict is basically the good guys VS the bad guys. Audiences love this type of conflict because it gives them someone to root for and someone to fear. If this is the type of conflict you want to write in your script, there are some important...

Expressing Your Feelings Through Subtext

I've coached thousands of writers who didn't know what they were feeling, because they were so used to hiding their real emotions be hind their masks. Many writers aren't able to find their true voice when they want to create scripts with emotional depth. I've helped these writers discover their authentic voice by giving them permission to make their writing truthful and unique. Most of them were never allowed to express their feelings when they were small children. They hid the real little...

The Three Act Structure

To structure your scenes in the correct order you need to know the three act format and what elements must go into each act. Breaking your screenplay into acts will allow you to have a blueprint to follow. This permits writing the screenplay to be more manageable and broken down into sections. It is much more easy to construct than it would be by trying to write 120 pages straight through. Breaking your screenplay into a three act structure gives you a guide to follow on your writing journey.

Your Inner Cast Of Characters

CRITICAL PARENT UNSUPPORTIVE, UNLOVING, JUDGMENTAL, RESTRICTIVE PARENT DISTANT, COLD. LITTLE PROFESSOR CHILD WHO MAKES PARENTS PROUD BY BEING MATURE AND BRIGHT. THE PERFECT CHILD DOES EVERYTHING RIGHT GOOD LITTLE GIRL, GOOD LITTLE BOY, OBEDIENT, DUTIFUL. THE FEMME FATALE SEXPOT SIREN, FLIRT. THE LADIES MAN HUNK, MACHO, STUD, DON JUAN, BEAU BRUMMEL. AMAZON WO MAN CAPABLE, INDEPENDENT, AGGRESSIVE, SELF-SUFFICIENT, INVINCIBLE. WITCH BITCH AGGRESSIVE, COLD, BITCHY, MANIPULATIVE. WALLFLOWER SHY,...

Emotional Arc The Heart of the Story

When I used to teach creative writing, I would tell the students to make their characters want something right away. The most important building block for your blueprint to develop your characters with an emotional arc to prevent them from being flat and stereotypical. Your characters' internal world needs to have desires, regrets, hopes, dreams, fears, failures, love, resentments and many other emotions which reveal who they are under pressure and make your characters more emotionally complex....

Upping the Stakes

You can always make your main character's goal more desperate by upping the stakes. Still using the above example if the character who needs a job is a lawyer or a doctor she probably won't have a difficult time finding one. But what if she is an unskilled worker Chances are she would have to struggle to find work, since she has no marketable skills. This situation would certainly be more dramatic than if she were a highly qualified worker. Her lack of skills would cause her to have less chance...

When to Use Subtext

Viewers watching this scene are able to bring their own life experiences into it and identify with the characters. Haven't we all felt the pain of being rejected Haven't we all felt the uneasiness of trying to end a relationship and not knowing how Of course we have In fact, in most of our daily contacts we use subtext, especially when emotions and feelings are involved. If you think about your daily life, you'll realize what an important part subtext plays in it. Do you tell your boss to go to...

Beginning Relates to the Ending

Now that you've determined where and when you'll open your story you have to know that in a well-structured screenplay the beginning should always relate to the end. What do I mean by that statement Let's suppose you want to write a murder mystery. Before you start your story you must know how it is going to end. You need to decide in advance if you'll have the murderer caught or if you'll have him escape in the end. Will he be arrested, convicted, sent to prison, flee to another country or be...