Breaking The Screenwriting Rules Can Be The Best Game Plan Of All

Glenn M. Benest is an award-winning writing producer with seven produced screenplays, including two that were directed by Wes Craven. His independent film, HUNGRY HEARTS, was nominated for numerous awards at film festivals throughout the country and is being distributed internationally by Shoreline Entertainment. Mr. Benest is a celebrated lecturer and instructor and his professional screenwriting workshops have launched six feature films, including SCREAM and EVENT HORIZON. Follow Glenn on Twitter: @GlennBenest

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breaking rules

After watching and then analyzing Manchester By The Sea, by Kenneth Lonnergan, winner of best original screenplay at the Academy Awards, it dawned on me how effective it can be to break all the rules we normally hear from the so-called pundits of screenwriting.

If you do exactly what Blake Snyder tells you to do in Save The Cat!, you will usually come up with another cookie-cutter screenplay that can easily be ignored.

What are some of these universally accepted “laws” we hear over and over again – always have a sympathetic protagonist, stay away from flashbacks at all costs, always have your first plot point by page 30… And the list goes on and on.

But great writing often flies in the face of what is the norm, just as the Impressionists in the 1850’s defied what was acceptable in painting at the time and created a stunning new movement of art.

Screenplays that rise to the top do so because they’re different. They typically break the traditional “laws” of scriptwriting and get noticed in a way that earn them recognition, awards and on many occasions – production and commercial success.

This goes agains the common wisdom but actually succeeds where slavish devotion to conformity doesn’t.

This is not to say that to effectively break the rules one doesn’t need to know what those rules are.

Join me in my on-demand webinar and we will study those hallowed rules of screenwriting and then see how they’ve been turned on their head by such award winning scripts as Manchester By The Sea and many others, gaining success and acclaim in the process.

Want to make your script stand out? Join Glenn’s on-demand webinar
How to Break All the Screenwriting Rules and Still Win

screenwriting rules

At a Glance:

  • During this live webinar you will learn the traditional rules of screenwriting that get broken consistently by award winning writers.
  • Discover how this actually leads to greater success.
  • Study acclaimed screenplays like “Manchester By The Sea” and others to see why being unconventional is the greatest advantage you can have.