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grammar

You Can *Know* It… Doesn’t Mean You’re Doing It

So last week, as part of my English tutoring for teens at Key Stage 3 and 4 level, I did some revision on apostrophe use. I’d noticed many of them were using apostrophes incorrectly and correct punctuation is a great way of picking up extra points at GCSE; it can even make the difference between grades. It’s a lesson I’ve taught a million times before. First, I looked at *how* apostrophes were used in various ways, then we looked at some incorrect use of apostrophes and corrected them. Afterwards, we did some grammar quizzes where the students were asked to… Read More »You Can *Know* It… Doesn’t Mean You’re Doing It

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Screenplay Format – The B2W One Stop Shop

Good Format Is … … Not getting BUSTED! Screenplay format is top of the pile when work experience kids read our work (and they are!). Unfortunately, screenplay format is what they understand and latch onto. Whilst any writer can obviously do what they want, there are obvious and basic things a writer can avoid/cut/change to make sure their script is less likely to get thrown aside when it’s plucked out of the spec pile. Top 5 Format Mistakes Wondering what are the FIVE most made mistakes when it comes to screenplay format?? CLICK HERE. Free Format 1 Page Guide Download On… Read More »Screenplay Format – The B2W One Stop Shop

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Top 5 Reasons Why Parentheticals Are Useless

Updated So, parentheticals aka ‘wrylies’ have a tendency to turn up in screenplays … and they’re NOT NEEDED. They interrupt the flow of the read and what’s more, seriously ANNOY actors and filmmakers as well as script readers. TRUTH! Don’t believe me? Fine … check these out for size: 5. You are the writer, NOT the director! Unless you are the writer/director, the Director and Actors need room to make THEIR interpretation of your screenplay! This is the most-oft quoted case AGAINST parentheticals: if loads of lines of your dialogue tells the actors HOW to say lines “(condescendingly)”, “(pleadingly)”, “(wryly)” or whatever,… Read More »Top 5 Reasons Why Parentheticals Are Useless

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Scripts I’ve Seen # 5: TRAIL OF EVIL by JK Amalou

You may have seen JK Amalou’s name on the SP Screenwriters’ list – like me, he offers a script reading service for you lot out in www.land, but unlike me, he’s written, produced and directed his own films, not to mention worked in the US as a writer and consultant for all sorts of Hollywood Tinsel types, including Martin Scorsese and Richard Gladstein. JK is a trusted reader and contact of mine and I’m pleased to say over time he’s trusted me with all his scripts too. I’ve been quite privileged to see such a body of work (oo er)… Read More »Scripts I’ve Seen # 5: TRAIL OF EVIL by JK Amalou

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Adverbially Yours

From the old blog: on the request of the lovely J Stein and for Eleanor who’s worried about the adverb “well” in the previous post! the “51 Tips” are still available, I may even sign up again myself – take a look, Script For Sale is a great site. ——————————————————————–I signed up for the “51 Tips For Winning Screenplay Contests” at Script For Sale and can’t recommend them enough. Every day you receive two free tips via email (a much better idea than scrawling through acres of text in one go), complete with quotes from contest readers and winners to… Read More »Adverbially Yours

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Parts of Speech

People are always emailing me asking grammar questions – friends, relatives, Bang2writers, colleagues. They must think I do nothing but sit around reading about the damn stuff… Alright, I admit it: sad it is, I’m a grammar junkie. I find it really interesting – especially when people go off on one about a particular point. Virtually nothing in grammar is written in stone, not really: that’s why language can change and we’re not all talking now like Shakespeare. And thank God for that! Just imagine how long this blog would be if it was written in Shaky’s language – much… Read More »Parts of Speech

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Apostrophes Explained

Since “grammar” and “correct uses of apostrophes” are two of the most searched for terms on this site, I thought I would draw your attention to this rather fabulous resource courtesy of The University of Melbourne. Consistent apostrophe misuse is one of the most common errors I see in spec scripts and it’s a real shame, since it’s easy to put right if you know how. The reason this resource is so cool is because it’s concise and to the point – plus it’s a pdf so you can download it and go back to it later. It also has… Read More »Apostrophes Explained

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Grammar Revisited

Since there has been the second outing of the tri-annual scrap about grammar on Shooting People this week and since the lovely Lianne requested it, now seems an opportune time to revisit an article on grammar from the old blog. Enjoy.—————————————————————————— The two things I correct most in people’s drafts are grammar and spelling. That’s the nature of script reading as far as I’m concerned and I’m happy to do it (maybe I’m an anal retentive). However, in the past on various writing initiatives in particular (my private clients usually do not do this, thank goodness) I have had to… Read More »Grammar Revisited

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Grammar – Again

Another debate on grammar is raging on the Screenwriters’ Bulletin of Shooting People. It’s funny, but it seems nothing like the machinations of the English Language get us writers talking more: there have been so many interesting, controversial and bizarre questions regarding actual screenwriting posed on that list, yet the average poster is lucky if they get two replies… Unless they post about grammar. Then the floodgates open: insults, accusations and assertions fly with abandon. It’s extraordinary. Regular Readers know that I’m a bit of a Grammarian. I think when you send your work out it should be the best… Read More »Grammar – Again

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