Set aside a time and place to write preferably every day

Making a commitment to write is different from planning to write. Even an hour a day can be very productive. Set aside a regular time, so that you don't need to make this same difficult commitment every day. 2. Put your story idea down on paper. While some of you might think this is obvious, many novice writers (and some screenwriting consultants) start straight in on the screenplay. I'm here to tell you it is very difficult to go from the idea in your head directly to the screenplay format and...

Release Form

Dear Story & Script Development, 1. I,_, am submitting to you herewith the following material (hereinafter FORM OF MATERIAL (e.g. screenplay, treatment, novel, play, movie, etc) _ NUMBER OF PAGES or LENGTH OF MOVIE _ 2. I represent and warrant that I am the sole owner and author of said material, that I have the exclusive right and authority to submit and or convey the same to you upon the terms and conditions stated herein. I agree to indemnify you and your employees from any and all...

Choosing Your Story

The act of choosing your story, identifying your hero and establishing his or her character arc and the story's premise, is highly personal. There is no one way to get an idea - they seem to spring, unbidden, from the great collective unconscious, or from your own dark and troubled past, or from the blitz of information we encounter every day. You might have an idea, or an image you just can't get out of your head, or a dream, or something you see while walking down the street. You might read...

Military Headquarters

A messenger brings news of the Centralia massacre, intended for Capt. Smith. It is intercepted by MAJOR A V E. JOHNSTON, 20's, an inexperienced new officer at the head of new recruits. He's been assigned the task of tracking Anderson's movements, and is excited at the prospect of doing battle with the guerrillas - especially when he learns that there are only thirty of them. Although he's reminded that he has orders not to engage them in battle, leaving that to Capt. Smith, he is determined to...

The action or narrative paragraph that follows the slugline Example

Sun glints off the chrome on a '57 Chevy parked outside an abandoned building in a low-rent district, as DETECTIVE JOHN MACY, 30s, turns his intense gaze from the building's many broken windows to his partner, DET. YVONNE BURKE, African-American, late 20s. Even this much description would be a bit flowery for some people, but it does help to set the scene by establishing the feel of the neighborhood abandoned building, low-rent district , something about our main character the intensity of his...

Date

I have just completed a treatment for a screenplay entitled Title , that I would like to submit to you for your consideration. Title focuses on the moral ambiguity of war, and is a powerful story about enemies who become allies, and of love that is doomed by the vagaries of a bitter war. It examines the conflict between loyalty and self-interest, honor and deceit, set against the backdrop of a pivotal but little-known event in the Civil War. This is a true story. Looking forward to discussing...

Keeping The Faith

A final word for those of you who are new writers and are feeling a little overwhelmed just about now - take heart, all good things are learned in the doing. Think about this new world of screenwriting as learning a new language. Learning a language takes practice, and full immersion in a foreign tongue. But with enough practice, at some point the new language will feel like second nature to you. If screenwriting is already second nature to you, but you're frustrated by the difficulty of...

Identify agencies willing to look at material from new writers The best way to get

An agent is to have a development executive or producer call agents for you, but obviously this is only if you have industry contacts to begin with. You can also look for an agent by calling the agencies registered with the Writers Guild. These are listed online at www.wga.org . A more detailed listing of agents and managers can be found in the Agents amp Managers Directory, available on my website at http www. storyand scriptdevelopment .com A3B A3B2.htm A far better technique for finding an...

One Month Later

Anderson leads a small band of his men, guerrilla flag flying, down a narrow backwoods road. He rounds a bend in the road - and before him stands a line of Union soldiers, guns drawn. As the commanding officer yells Fire soldiers charge from the woods, closing the guerrillas in on both sides. Guerrillas fall dead and wounded, but Anderson rides through. Ride for your life, Jesse he yells, as he charges the Union line head on, yelling the rebel yell. Jesse escapes in the melee, unscathed, as the...

Farmhouse

That night Anderson diverts the guerrillas away from Harker's, stopping at the farmhouse of a Confederate sympathizer to make arrangements with the owner for skiffs to cross the river at Rocheport, the next day. To Goodman's surprise Anderson insists they leave him outside, alone and unguarded, to watch the horses. Inside the house Anderson, disturbed, observes Goodman currying the horses. When the men come out they're surprised to see that Goodman is still there. But that doesn't stop their...

The Elements Of A Query Letter

Business format only - plain paper, with the date on the top left, and the agent's or executive's name, company name, and address, directly underneath, followed by a Dear Mr. or Dear Ms. name, comma or colon . 2. Either an opening sentence should be an attention-grabber, or a friendly I've just completed an original screenplay entitled TITLE that I would like to submit to you for your consideration Do not tell them it's your first screenplay. If there are large themes to this piece, then...

Plot Points

You may hear this word a lot, but don't let it scare you. A plot point is basically a major challenge, success or reversal, an incident that moves the story in a new direction. Ideally there should be a major plot point midway through the first act the inciting incident, i.e., that moment that starts the ball rolling, when the main character takes a lifealtering turn , at the end of each act, midway through the film, and at the climax of your story. These will correspond roughly to pages 10-15...

Sample Premise

A ROYAL PAIN is a Clueless In A Castle - type comedy about an American teenager, chafing under her mother's rules, who learns she was switched at birth - and that she's really the princess of Arcania, a tiny European country. What this premise tells us is who the story is about, what it's about independence - what all coming of age and teen movies are about , the possibilities for transformation, action and comedy American teenager must learn to become a princess the ruled over must become the...

Sample Query Letter

I have just adapted a best-selling children's book, entitled A ROYAL PAIN, which I would like to submit for your consideration. A ROYAL PAIN is a Clueless In A Castle - type comedy about an American teenager who learns she was switched at birth - and that she's really the princess of Arcania, a tiny European country. Once the mix-up is discovered she's off to begin life as a princess -every girl's dream, until she finds out that the country is broke, its teenagers in revolt, and she's about to...