Author Archives: Dave Trottier

Dave Trottier

About Dave Trottier

Dave Trottier (AKA Dr. Format) has sold or optioned ten screenplays (three produced) and helped hundreds of writers break into the writing business. He is an award-winning teacher and acclaimed script consultant, author of The Screenwriter's Bible , and friendly host of keepwriting.com.

Ask the Expert: 3 Keys to Succeeding as a Writer

Last month, Dave’s article about how to fail as a writer got such a reaction he wanted to share more thoughts on success and failure… If you want to succeed as a writer, decide right now that you are going to move towards that goal. The following 3 keys will unlock...

Ask the Expert: 3 Keys to Failing as a Writer

Question: What are the biggest mistakes you think writers make? If you’re going to fail as a writer, then you might as well get it over with now.  Then you can focus on your day job and watch television all night.  The following 3 keys are guaranteed to unlock the door...

Ask the Expert: INTERCUT – Conversations and Actions

QUESTION #1 – PHONE CONVERSATIONS What is the best way to cross cut a telephone conversation that cuts back and forth between two characters. ANSWER Simply establish the two locations and write out the telephone conversation as follows: INT. MARY’S KITCHEN – NIGHT Mary paces nervously, then punches numbers on her...

Ask the Expert: All About Flashbacks

QUESTION: Are there any special format rules for writing a flashback? ANSWER: Since the FLASHBACK is often abused by developing writers, make sure that your use of it pays off dramatically.  In terms of formatting, there are numerous correct methods.  The overriding principle is to be clear. Method 1 In the...

How The Writers Store Changed My Life

Dave Trottier never set out to become Dr. Format. Oh, no. In the mid to late 80s, he was a marketing executive and doing good work. One day, his Muse Betty whispered to me, “Teach. Write.” I whispered back, “Let me think about it.”

How to Get the Most Out of a Script Evaluation

Virtually all screenwriters seek feedback on their work before they begin marketing it.  Whether that feedback comes from a writer’s group, a fellow writer, a story analyst, or a paid script consultant, it’s important to maximize the benefits of that feedback. Evaluating the evaluation First of all, the feedback you receive...

Ask the Expert – Movie Flubs

Question: “What are the most common movie flubs and how can I avoid/correct them in my writing?” Answer: I’ve read a gazillion screenplays over the past several years, and the following are my ten favorite clichés and glaring goofs. Avoid these flubs in your screenplay, or handle them in a creative...

My Favorite Flubs

Dr. Format has read a gazillion screenplays over the past several years, and the following are his ten favorite clichés and glaring goofs. Avoid these flubs in your screenplay or handle them in a creative way.