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Tell Me A Little. Show Me A Lot.

A screenplay, or movie script, is more of a format than an art.Good dialogue is individual to each character, but when it’s used as a crutch to explain the plot, the lines become blurred. That’s where an old saying in screenwriting...
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Do you need to outline?

Most books say you do. So do many of the screenwriting seminars. One of the better known gurus says there are two types of writers – those who figure out the story before they begin writing and those who fail. Pretty strong words.But knowing...
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The Psychology Of Creativity For Screenwriters

Screenwriters, and all creatives for that matter, frequently grapple with the constant and tiring task of – creating. We have all suffered from writers’ block, a lack of inspiration and motivation, or a paucity of good ideas at some...
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What Are The Biggest Misconceptions About Copyright Protection

One of the biggest misconceptions screenwriters have is regarding the establishment of a copyright in general. Many screenwriters believe that a copyright is solidly created at the moment of inception. However, while it is true that a copyright...
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Getting Your Screenplay Moments Right

“Moments. Give the audience half a dozen moments they can remember, and they’ll leave the theatre happy.” – Actress Rosalind Russell“I heard you laugh in the right places. I heard you moved in the right places, and...
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Leigh Whannell Discusses The Invisible Man

Horror film screenwriter/director Leigh Whannell is best known for creating the enormously successful Saw and Insidious movie franchises. Whannell spoke with Creative Screenwriting Magazine about his contemporary vision of the 1897 H.G. Wells...
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“Fix Problems in a Surgical Way” Jessica Sharzer

Film and TV Jessica Sharzer wrote the first episode of the Steven Spielberg, Edward Kitsis, and Adam Horowitz executive produced series Amazing Stories for Apple TV. Creative Screenwriting Magazine caught up with her to discuss her work and her...
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Nonlinear Storytelling Techniques

Over the course of human history, art has always been reflective of the time in which it was created. Neoclassicism was born from the Age of Enlightenment. Abstract Expressionism exploded onto the scene during the Cold War as a release of social...
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Lauren Neustadter On Changing The Narrative For Females

Lauren Neustadter is a seasoned film and television creative executive who held development roles at many prestigious companies including Offspring Entertainment and Fox Studios. She is currently the Head Of Film & TV at Reese...
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The Screenwriters’ Guide to Writers’ Groups!

I am a huge fan of writers’ groups. After all, I’ve been working with writers for many years, and in those years I’ve been able to observe what a huge difference a strong and steady writers’ group can make in a writer’s...
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Armando Iannucci Talks Comedy, Political Satire, Truth & Offending People

Armando Iannucci is a film and TV writer and broadcaster, who has written, directed, and produced numerous critically acclaimed television and radio comedy shows during his screenwriting career. His screenplay for the film In The Loop was...
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Why Story Structure Formulas Don’t Work

The following is a true story.I did a script coaching session for someone I’ll call Lisa. Lisa had spent the past four years pursuing her dream of becoming a professional screenwriter. She had written six scripts with nothing to show for it....
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Notes and Negotiation, a Screenwriter’s Guide

Award-winning scriptwriter Greg Bernstein applies negotiation theory to the emotionally-charged business of responding to notes on your script.Last movie I wrote was about Okies in the Dust Bowl. You’d never know because when it reached the...
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Surviving the Pitch: My Five Essential Survival Tips

A guest blog post by Greta Heinemann  Greta is a Supervising Producer on NBC’s “Good Girls”, has a show in development with HBOMax and a movie in development with Amblin Partners and 87North. More on her bio at the bottom of this post.In...
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Telling Your Story In A One Minute Pitch

As screenwriting consultant and author Robert McKee once said, “If the story you’re telling, is the story you’re telling, you’re in deep sh*t.” What McKee means is, if your story is just a series of occurrences or a set...
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The Power of The Self-Imposed Deadline

With lots of activity around the publication of my new book “Murder Your Darlings: And Other Gentle Writing Advice from Aristotle to Zinsser,” I have been fielding lots of questions about productivity. It often comes in this form:...
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Building and Revealing Character

Simple but powerful tools for building fascinating characters and revealing their inner truth. I get Dr. Format questions flung at me every day it seems, and many of the questions have nothing to do with formatting.  For example,...
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Let’s Talk About Subtext In Screenwriting

Subtext – n.The underlying personality of a dramatic character as implied or indicated by a script or text. An inner world. A place glimpsed peripherally. Overtones.In screenwriting, subtext is implicit (intimated) versus explicit...
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But… Do I Really Have to Outline?

(Hint: It’s a Screenwriting Career Requirement!) Here’s the thing: Over the years I’ve heard every reason why writers hate writing outlines. They kill the magic. They leave no space for discovery. They are too confining. They take...
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Industry Speak: Terms and Vernacular for Screenwriters

A few weeks ago, a screenwriter who has yet to break in, reached out to me over email. It became clear in the first one or two lines of his message that he was not yet a working writer, was not of the industry, and not yet familiar with industry...
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