Sunday, October 22, 2006


I call it the Yellow Sheet, because the original is purple ink on one sheet of yellow paper. I check it over and over again during a writing session, to keep the essential elements of the scene uppermost in my mind.

Get in as late as possible, get out as early as possible. No ramp.

Motivate all entrances and exits w/in the logic of the story.

Immediately follow each scene header w/ an action line. The dp must know what image is to be shot. Actors, crew etc. must know who's in the scene.

What can you do without?

Watch for on the nose dialogue and overexplaining.

Avoid repetition, eliminate redundancy.

People talk to get what they want. What does each person want in the scene?

What makes each character unique - the combo of dialogue and action that clearly delineates each character?

Each scene is a ministory with a begin, middle, and end. Think of each scene as a 2 pg short story.

Have each scene build to an emotional peak.

Know what each person is thinking and feeling at each moment in a scene.

Each character in a scene is the hero of his or her own drama.

Begin each scene in the middle of a confrontation involving a main character.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Fine post from The Film Diva on pleasing our best friend and worst enemy, the reader:

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Shawna over at Shouting into the Wind gives a rundwon on the best TV shows to spec, that is, to write sample scripts as audition pieces to get jobs on other TV shows. She covers the territory exceptionally well. I do disagree about the viability of CSI vegas specs. People are sick of reading them.

And she loves us. All of us.

Shouting into the Wind: Hot Specs

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Have your doubts about screenwriting gurus? Try before you buy. Michael Farrand's Magic Star of Dramatic Writing is a short guide to several of the gurus advice on concept, character, story, dialogue, and action. Also see his sections on Screenwriting and Story Dynamics.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

John Rogers and assorted readers with tricks for getting past doubt and hesitation to "FADE OUT". The tricks can get you through a slow writing session in the same way that a knuckleball can get a pitcher through an inning.

"Based on a quick discussion among writers -- what's your knuckleball? The little trick you use that seems to have made life easier, smoothes your process, but as far as you know isn't widespread."

Monday, October 16, 2006

Fine post from an underappreciated blogger, Charles Deemer. Playwright, screenwriter, college instructor, Deemer offers an antidote to the boosterism and feel good rhetoric favored by screenwriting gurus and the false encouragement industry.

Also, spec script style in a nutshell:

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