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Q: How Do You Script Edit A Script Without Rewriting It As Your Own Story?

Blandine asks, “I notice you’re script editor on ACT OF GRACE. How can you do this without rewriting it as your own story?” Being a script editor is all about doing what’s best for the story – WITHOUT rewriting the script as you see fit, based on your own preferences or how *you* see the story. Why? Because you’re not the Writer. These are two different jobs. As far as I’m concerned, the two jobs go like this: The Writer is responsible for the idea and executing it, ie. coming up with the premise and getting the drafts down on… Read More »Q: How Do You Script Edit A Script Without Rewriting It As Your Own Story?

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How To Get The Most Out Of A Writer’s Group by Lisa Shoreland

Writer’s groups are a great way to get feedback about your work and learn how to improve your writing. They also provide you with the inspiration and motivation you likely need to keep writing and stay on track. Plus, they’re a great way to meet other writers and to form long-lasting friendships. However, as with any group, writer’s groups can easily lose focus and turn into unproductive social hours where you’re just chatting about the latest books you read or movies you saw. Even if you manage to stay on topic about writing, these groups can devolve into personal attacks… Read More »How To Get The Most Out Of A Writer’s Group by Lisa Shoreland

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Exposition

Here’s the dictionary definition of “exposition” that’s relevant to writers: ex·po·si·tion (ksp-zshn)n.1. A setting forth of meaning or intent.2. The part of a play that provides the background information needed to understand the characters and the action. In other words then: YOUR STORY AND WHAT IT’S DOING NEEDS TO BE CLEAR TO THE READER. Pretty simple and obvious, right? Except loads of scripts in the pile don’t do this. Why not? Writers want “mystery”. Loads of writers, especially in science fiction & thriller, want to hold something back in order to make a BIG REVEAL at the end. And why… Read More »Exposition

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Case Study: All About Symbolism in ALIEN (1979)

Symbolism in Screenwriting Many spec writers want to introduce symbolism in their scripts. And why not? Sometimes the best writing we see “hints” at other things; there are multiple ways of “reading” it — and us screenwriterly types can pat ourselves on the back for “seeing” it. So Think LAYERS When it comes to symbolism of any kind, think LAYERS, like an onion. You can do this any way you want: visual metaphors, allusions, motifs, character traits. There are no rules, remember. However, the biggest issue I see when it comes to symbolism: It’s not clear what the screenwriter is… Read More »Case Study: All About Symbolism in ALIEN (1979)

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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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Do Your Preparation: How To Write Outlines, Beat Sheets And Treatments

You should do your preparation! Bang2writers often ask me what is the “best” way to go about writing a screenplay or novel. My answer? There is no “best” way. But it’s definitely going to help if you’ve done your preparation first in the form of an outline, beat sheet and/or treatment. Here’s why preparation work helps you get rid of all the obvious pitfalls and crap FIRST, as it … GIVES your brain time to “breathe” and work out all the machinations of the plot and the character motivations and themes etc concurrently STOPS you writing a load of junk… Read More »Do Your Preparation: How To Write Outlines, Beat Sheets And Treatments

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