How to Write a Screenplay

A moviegoer has certain expectations of a film’s journey, whether conscious or subconscious. The execution of the concept has to deliver. Besides simply “good writing,” producers are looking for scripts with proper format and stories that follow a three-act structure. Discover the essential techniques that grab an executive’s attention and make the execution of your story as good as the hook, all while taking the audience on an emotional ride. Learn outlining, writing dialogue, crafting memorable scenes, proper screenplay format and more.


Breaking In: Confessions of a Screenwriter

Screenwriters, It’s confession time. Here’s mine: I collect baseball cards, I cry when watching corny old movies, and when I was a little girl I had a major crush on Jack Wild, who played “The Artful Dodger” in the movie, “Oliver!”. Okay, your turn. How many screenplays that were the basis of artistically and financially...


Creating Compelling Emotional Conflict

I have been teaching screenwriting for a good while now and the greatest lesson I can share with others is how to create a conflict for your protagonist that will move an audience emotionally. This is essentially the difference between a great screenplay and a mediocre one. And it pertains to every genre of...


Get Real: Movie Ideas – Why Didn’t I Think of That? Part 2

In my last column, I encouraged you to attend Sexaholics meetings to find inspiration for your writing.  But don’t use this “worldly exploration” as a reason to avoid the actual writing.  I know a dude who’s been “researching” his spy thriller screenplay for seven years, making sure he gets every detail just right, down...


Column D: More Sausage – The Screenwriting Process, Part 2

In my previous post, I wrote about the three stages of screenwriting. In this one, I want to focus on the third of those stages – namely, re-writing. I think that for most screenwriters, this is probably an individual thing. I’m not certain that it’s something that can even be taught. The best I...

The Shadow Archetype, Mal

Specs & The City: The Shadow Archetype and ‘Inception’

The second most important character in any story (and sometimes even THE most important) is the antagonist, or in terms of archetypes, the Shadow.  And while this character is often referred to as the villain, it’s important to remember that they aren’t necessarily a bad person. They’re simply the person, or force, whose goals...


Script Angel: The Value of Discussing Your Script Notes

We know that script notes are a valuable part of the script development process and it can come in very different forms depending on who those notes are coming from. So should those notes on your script be written, verbal or both? 1) Verbal script notes: If you’ve been commissioned to write a script or have had...