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Subtext- The Beauty Of What’s Left Unsaid (Or Unwritten) In Your Screenplay

A problem I frequently come across as a screenwriting consultant and instructor is the tendency of writers to overwrite and to include too much on-the-nose exposition. This can quickly mark as a screenplay as amateurish, whereas its...
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7 Reasons Your Characters Hurt Your Script

Your characters compel you to be honest, and this creates a challenge. The actions of the characters make your story. Writers often focus on plot, structure, theme, dialogue, description, amongst many other elements, but the success of your script...
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Screenwriting Craft: Creating a Proactive Protagonist

I sometimes joke that if someone were sitting next to me regularly during my client meetings at the Akasha Cafe in Culver City, they’d think I have one note in particular that I REALLY like to give. And that note, said in many different ways,...
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Don’t Ruin a Good Read! Screenwriting Mistakes to Avoid

While I don’t fashion myself a script or story consultant (because, let’s face it, there are already enough of those – including a few really great ones – out there), the simple reality is that at this point in my career, I...
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The Same Answer to 11 Questions

There is one answer I give to a great number of questions I receive from developing screenwriters. Here is that answer:The script (or scripts) you are referring to was developed in the studio system, or was written by an established writer, or was...
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Subtext: That Passive/Aggressive Friend You Hate, But Can't Drop

On Facebook and a myriad of other places, people put forth various requisites or must haves, do’s and do nots, they claim are needed to write, if not a great screenplay, at least a perfectly serviceable one. One of the most popular ones...
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On Writing Child Characters: “Children Don’t Think Like Little Adults”

One of the challenges of writing great characters is getting inside the heads of persons of much different background than yourself. It takes great effort and empathy to understand those of differing gender, age, ethnicity, or orientation in order...
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“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” 7 Tips for Great Dialogue

Jacob Stuart's advice on writing dialogue for screenplays.Hollywood has a short attention span. Unlike writers, who may have all day to sit and ponder, plotting out their next script, or revising and revising a screenplay until their fingers are...
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