Meet the Reader

screenwriting process

Meet the Reader: Processing the Screenwriting Process

A while back I consulted for an eager new writer who sent me the first draft of his first screenplay and said he was eager to get my input so that he could make his script the best it could be. Happy to oblige, I read his work, which was really quite decent —...

unlikeable characters

Meet the Reader: ‘Unlikeable’ Characters

I recently read a screenplay about a really terrible man – a self indulgent drug addict and dealer who lies and cheats and steals; verbally abuses his girlfriend; runs over a child with his car; and then flees the scene. At the end of the script, this awful person has a life-changing experience that...

script consultant

Meet the Reader: Should You Use a Script Consultant?

I’ve noticed that there’s been a spate of articles on the webnets lately asking the question “Should you use a script consultant?” Since I am a script consultant, I thought I would throw my two cents into the discussion. First of all, I don’t think you “should” do anything – an analysis by a...

writing biopics lincoln

Meet the Reader: ‘Bio Tricks’ for Writing Biopics

I’m reading for a screenwriting competition right now, which means I’m reading a lot of biopics – screenplays that tell the life stories of famous or significant people. Up-and-coming screenwriters love to pen biopics. It’s not hard to understand why – at first glance, the experiences of important or glamorous folks would seem to...

stage directions in your screenplay

Meet the Reader: Descriptive Prescriptives

The description; the action; the action line; the stage directions – these are all terms used to describe the narrative portion of a screenplay, the material that, along with the dialogue, makes up the physical writing in screenwriting. For clarity and consistency, I’m going to refer to the narrative portion of a screenplay as...

screenwriting career

Meet the Reader: 10 Screenwriting Career Tips You Need to Know

I was chatting with a fellow reader the other day and we were discussing the essential things we felt it was important for screenwriters (especially aspirants) to know – the knowledge screen scribes need to succeed at their craft and at their profession. Here’s the result of our brainstorming: 1. The Basics of Dramatic...

screenplay premises

Meet the Reader: Screenplay Premises – ‘It’s Complicated’

Screenplays are very good at being complex. Consider the scripts for such classic films as Citizen Kane, Casablanca, The Godfather, Chinatown, and Dog Day Afternoon, as well as more recent works like Django Unchained and Her – all of these screenplays have many, many layers to them: they all contain engaging narratives; compelling themes;...

worst-script_pass

Meet the Reader: “Warning, Warning”

I’ve been reading scripts for a long time and at this point I am usually able to tell after reading just a few pages whether a script is going to be any good or not. “How is that possible?” I can hear all of you shocked and offended screenwriters out there saying, in horrified...

domino-effect

Meet the Reader: The Domino Effect

A few weeks back, I assessed a script for one of my consulting clients. The story was okay, but the protagonist was too cold and remote. I said that we needed to see a warmer side to the character and suggested that perhaps we could see him help an old lady across a street...