TAG: Writing a Screenplay


The Key Stages of Script Development


There are a number of stages in the evolution of a screenplay, and each stage usually requires various drafts. Each stage has a specific purpose as you proceed, step-by-step, from a general outline of your story to a script that contains the full dimensions of your film, including locations, actions, dialogue, sounds, movements, etc. This…


Writing Screenplays – Everything You Need to Know You Can Learn from City Lights


Okay, that’s a bald overstatement. You can’t learn everything you need to know about writing screenplays from City Lights, but you can get pretty close if you pay close attention to one scene in the film. You’ve probably seen it—Charlie Chaplin meets the blind flower vendor—but I recommend that you screen it again. Several times,…

Photo by Dyanna

Screenwriting Tip #100: The Three Acts of Writing a First Draft


Screenwriting Tip #100: The point of a first draft is just to exist. Nobody should ever spend more than three months on a first draft unless they’re hand-chiseling it on a stone tablet. The psychological process of writing the first draft follows a predictable arc. At first it feels like love in the springtime –…

10 Things You Should Know About Writing A Screenplay

10 Things About Writing A Screenplay


1. Just A Blueprint A novel is a finished product. A film is a finished product. A screenplay is just a blueprint. It’s just a template. You’re creating the possibility of a film, not the final product. Let that free you. 2. Writing To Be Read Before Writing To Be Seen A script has to read well…

Using Improv for screen-story development

Using Improv as a Screenwriting Tool


Despite the justly celebrated virtues of planning, most filmmakers make at least some use of impromptu creativity, such as an actor’s ad lib or a director’s on-set inspiration. More-extensive improvisation, at any phase of the project, offers the writer-director substantial benefits, but with some significant drawbacks to mitigate. Improv can be used to help write…

Photo by Victor Gregory

Signs of a Good Screenplay


The professional screenplay is minimal because it aims to seed a visual, nonliterary, organic, and experiential process. A well-written one, Includes no author’s thoughts, instructions, or comments. Uses few qualifying comments and adjectives (over-describing kills what the reader imagines). Leaves most behavior to the reader’s imagination and instead describes its effect (for example, “he looks…

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