Ray Morton

linear-narrative

Meet the Reader: Linear Equations – Non-Linear vs Linear Narrative

Over the course of the last decade or so, screenwriters both professional and aspiring have become increasingly fond of telling their stories in non-linear fashion: Using an excessive amount of flashbacks and asides. Employing mosaic construction (telling a story in fragments that jump around from one point in time to another rather than in...

screenplay length

Meet the Reader: Length Does Matter

by Ray Morton I’ve touched on this issue a number of times in the past, but because I have recently been receiving a large number of scripts to read and analyze that are seriously overlong, I thought it was worth revisiting. The issue is the long-standing industry “rule” that a spec script should never...

chp_scrptongrass

Meet the Reader: On Sluglines and Other Matters

When you read scripts for a living as I do, you notice an interesting phenomenon: certain common elements tend to recur in a majority of the scripts that you read in a specific period of time. These common elements can be premises and story concepts (e.g. after never having read a single script about...

photo courtesy of movies.yahoo.com

Meet the Reader: Ten Points to Ponder When You Write

Alfred Hitchcock once said that 90% of the effectiveness of his films was determined in preproduction, based on the decisions he made in the scripting, storyboarding, design, and casting phases. I’m of a similar mind when it comes to screenwriting – I think that the success or failure of most scripts is determined in...

scripts01

Meet the Reader: 12 Signs of a Promising Spec Script

The Writers Store’s advice on writing a script is a great starting point for getting your next script off the ground. Read on for Script Reader Ray Morton’s advice. Professional script readers will often claim that they can tell if a screenplay is going to be good or not after reading just a few...

writer

Meet the Reader: What Makes a Good Screenwriter?

I was talking with a writer friend lately about what qualities a person needed to have in order to be a good screenwriter and this is what we came up with: 1. You have to love movies: You’d think that would be a given, but it never fails to amaze me how many people...

Photo source: psmag.com

Meet the Reader: Bright Ideas

A note before we start this month. Lately, a number of readers have been reposting my columns on a number of other websites and in a number of other blogs. While I am certainly flattered that people think enough of my work to want to share it, I need to advise you that this...