60 Second Screenwriting Tip: The Narrative Spine

How it holds the key to a successful second act

May 7th, 2021

in News

What is a successful second act?  One that keeps the reader engaged, moves the story forward, and successfully delivers it into the falling action; that being the third act climax and the denouement.  A bad screenplay has a second act that simply doesn't keep the narrative trajectory in place and thus the spine of the story sags; meaning rising tension and conflict is not taking place.

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You Lost it in the Second Act Class - Now Open - Limited!

April 30th, 2021

in Articles

You Got Close To Page 60 But... you're stuck!   Well don't worry, this special screenwriting class/seminar can help you!

In general, there are many reasons why you "Lost it in the Second Act." This class focuses on the major issues that stunt screenplay development. Do not give up on that script that you think is hopeless! You started with good intentions, but just got stuck along the way. It happens to everyone, even professional writers. This class has been proven to help.

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The Best Screenwriting School in the World

March 29th, 2021

in Articles

A young reader interested in TV [who, it later turns out, wrote the exact same letter to every other blogger in the biz] writes in to ask which screenwriting program is better, USC or NYU. He's on the East Coast but plans to move to the West Coast later.

And I tell myself that a solid spec and good people skills are what really matter. But then I read those oh-so-persuasive articles about the SoCal-educated Josh Schwartz wunderkinds of TV. The ones who sell scripts right out of college, and are helming their own shows before they can get rental cars. And it seems they always throw in a "thanks to those Trojans!" shout out.
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Screenwriting: Hooking, Inciting & Plotting

February 23rd, 2021

in Articles

One of the most asked questions by new screewriters is how to hook the reader? The first ten pages are critical, as is the first act itself.   However, there's also some confusion over the differences between a Hook, Inciting Incident, and First Act  Plot Point. 

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Interview with REAR WINDOW Scribe John Michael Hayes

Interview Archive Series, 2004

August 1st, 2020

in Interviews

This is an interview I was really happy to get back in 2004, it was a pleasure to interview such a screenwriting legend as John Michael Hayes.  We have also added a neat short interview with him where he discusses characters and Hitchcock.

Rear Window is considered to be Hitchcock's most "cinematic" picture. At times it had to communicate a lot to the audience without a word ever being spoken. This isn't surprising as Hitchcock started directing in 1922, during the silent era, making several silent films. By 1954, the year Rear Window was released he had clearly mastered the art of directing. However, before he could unleash his visual brilliance there had to be a great script from which to allow such a great movie to be made.

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How WARM BEER turned into an EL CAMINO CHRISTMAS and got Christopher Wehner his first Movie Deal

A twenty-two year in the making success story

May 8th, 2017

in Interviews

Twenty-two years ago Christopher Wehner wrote his first screenplay.   Like most writers he dreamed of seeing his work make it to the big screen.  After many struggles, rejections, and disappointments he is on the verge of his dream.   When you go to his IMDB page it shows EL CAMINO CHRISTMAS as his sole writing credit.   From that perspective you might considered him an overnight success; only its been a twenty-two year in the making one.   And like almost all of these kinds of success stories it took chance encounters, some luck, and a lot of perseverance. 

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Interview with Screenwriter Mark Bomback

Screenwriter's Monthly April 2004

January 4th, 2015

in Interviews

Godsend stars Greg Kinnear and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos as grieving parents who get the chance to have their son back thanks to a doctor doing secret fertility research (Robert De Niro). He clones their dead son into a new fetus that she can carry to term. Eight years later, the boy grows up to be the same as he was before, only now he’s having murderous visions, speaking in weird voices and generally disrespecting grown-ups. It is Mark Bomback’s first produced script since 1998’s The Night Caller, though he hasn’t had any shortage of work. He worked on Constantine and is writing a draft of Die Hard 4, as well as plenty of paying, though less visible, rewrite and development work.

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Confessions of a "Sometimes" Procrastinating Screenwriter

November 20th, 2014

in Op/Ed

First let me stop writing the script I am currently working on so I can pound out this short editorial. Though I should say allow me to stop bleeding at the keyboard as I struggle with the current scene I am writing. I have to admit that I am my own worst enemy as a writer.  I procrastinate, often, and it can sometimes be so debilitating that I never finish some screenplays. Why?

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Seven Lessons from Bob Nelson's NEBRASKA Screenplay

March 16th, 2014

in Script Reviews

The Oscar nominated movie NEBRASKA, with an award winning screenplay by Bob Nelson, is in my opinion one of the better scripts recently produced for screenwriters to learn a little something about the craft. Why? It’s the epitome of efficient and dramatic storytelling. The script is pithy, direct, yet it has depth and emotion (theme) that is so subtle in its presentation. 

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