Posts tagged ‘screenplay tips’

October 2, 2013

Terry Rossio on Finding a Uniquely Compelling Screenplay Concept

Perhaps one of the most frustrating things that can happen to a writer is having someone in power tell you that your writing is great and your story is entertaining, but your concept isn’t sellable. Or it’s not quite compelling enough, or too complicated, or whatever. Having that perfect concept is the first key to writing a script that people will actually want to buy. But how do you find your concept? And how do you know when it’s strong enough?

Terry Rossio has weighed in on this very subject on his website, Wordplayer:

As a screenwriter and novice film producer, people send me screenplays. Like everyone else in town, I’d love to find that next great script, discover that next great talent. And having read and commented on several hundred scripts, let me tell you the single most common problem I’ve found:

Lack of a good concept.

Very often the screenwriter has picked, right from the start, a concept that even in its best form isn’t the type of story that sells to Hollywood.

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April 24, 2012

7 Screenwriting Paradigms

Dave Herman has written a useful article about some of the most commonly used screenwriting paradigms (e.g. Blake Snyder’s 15 beats, three act structure) and how they can both help and hinder writers. Dave writes:

In a recent episode of the On The Page screenwriting podcast, screenwriter Irving Belateche related how he changed his attitude to what he calls ‘screenwriting paradigms’ and the dramatic improvement this had on his writing. The essence of his story seems to me to encapsulate everything that’s good and bad about screenwriting templates: He discovered that he could write much more freely and creatively if he only started checking for plot points, sequence breaks, act breaks and the like, afterhe’d finished writing the story. He found that too much ‘thinking about the writing’ too soon, detracted from his ability to create.

I don’t believe there are any rules about whether it’s better to check for plot points before, during or after writing an outline or even a first draft. But I think it’s wise to be aware of the essential difference between a creative and an analytical mindset.

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