Archive | Screenwriting

Struggling Screenwriter, Part Two of One Zillion

  …Continued from yesterday In the next draft of the first screenplay we wrote as a team, we bounced from one mistake–funny action scenes that did not advance the plot or the character development–to a new mistake: TMD (Too Much Dialog.)  We had lots of speechifying in which the characters explained their intentions.  Maybe we […]

Struggling Screenwriter, Part One of One Zillion

When my co-writer and I started our feature-length black comedy, we wrote a bunch of anecdotes that cracked us up whenever we told them to each other. They were funny; they took place in the imaginary circumstances; yet they did not hold together in a good plot. It was a necessary first step.  The anecdotes […]

Bad Writing Part Three Zillion: On The Nose

The screenwriter can and should avoid giving direction to the actors.  You write the story; let the actors create the characters.   One way to do avoid giving direction to actors,  while still getting the story across,  is to write vague actions. Example Version 1     MAGNOLIA Do you like the idea?   Abby […]

Dead Cats

I fear I have swung way too far over in the paring down process in my script. I now have too many scenes like this in my script–all subtext and too little text.  How much is too much/too little?

Character Sketches

In our short history as independent screenwriters slash independent producers, my partner and used to write character sketches after the script was finalized. We would make them available, rather than give them, to the director and the actors.   Some directors, the ones I label “Visual Directors” were not a bit interested in the sketches.  […]

Lost, the Final Season Rant #8

MYTHOLOGY The real reason that the final season of “Lost” is so confusing and dissatisfying is that the writers got lost: the show does not have an internally consistent mythology. Blake Snyder (of “Save The Cat” fame) writes about Double Mumbo Jumbo.  Blake was called “one of Hollywood’s most successful spec screenwriters” by  Blake has […]

Lost: A Summary, Rant #7

Why is it important to have an internally consistent mythology?  Why do I harp on “Lost” for mixing up multiple forms of mumbo-jumbo?  Characters need a world in which they can conduct their own search for themselves and their own meaning.  They need to have something stable but flexible to push against, to test themselves […]

Cherry & Willy

No, not the title of my porn flick. The tale of Cherry & Willy is a tale of delusion, of hard work, of disdain, of ignorance, of talent, of ideas, of paper.  Cherry & Willy is an allegory for the sad state of disrespect accorded the screenwriting craft and the joyful soaring of Storyteller within […]


So, I decided that before I could write my blog, before I could work on my four unfinished—languishing—screenplays, before I could call my costume designer for my one-woman live performance piece, before I could start working on my German accent for Nancy’s film…I must. MUST Organize my entire life. You may say this is a […]

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