by Fin Wheeler You want to make it in the creative industries, and your middle-class sense of entitlement suggests you shouldn’t let a little thing like no knowledge of linear storytelling get in your way. So, you’ve decide to become a loud and proud advocate of non-linear. While a triumph
by Fin Wheeler Even the most experimental, non-linear screenplay has structure. No screenwriter simply types a hundred one-page scenes and then throws them up in the air in front of the reader. We order our scenes, and there’s (hopefully) meticulous reasoning behind the choices we make. The reader/viewer is given
by John Bucher (@johnkbucher) It’s that time of the year. Ghost stories are filling the theaters. Writers sometimes mistakenly ghettoize ghosts solely to the realm of horror films. It’s easy to forget that the ghost takes many forms and can work in any genre at any time of the year. Here
by John Bucher (@johnkbucher) At some point in their career, many writers will decide to work outside the traditional method of telling a story about a single protagonist on a journey. This can turn into a wild monster that gets away from the writer, causing them to chase their stories down
by Emily Jermusyk (@EJemily24) This article contains spoilers from the series Game of Thrones, particularly the recent episode “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” written by Bryan Cogman. Read at your own risk. A couple weeks ago, I wrote an article listing Game of Thrones as “overrated.” For the most part, this season
by Angela Bourassa Keith is a bit of an expert in the field. His book, Writing the Comedy Blockbuster, shares the wisdom he’s gained over the years writing for such companies as Paramount, Walt Disney, Universal, Warner Brothers, and Spyglass. Keith, who was named UCLA Extension’s Instructor of the Year in
The incomparable Kurt Vonnegut gave a lecture once in which he discussed the shapes of stories. Stories of all types, he points out, have very nice curves that can be plotted on a chart. His thoughts apply to screenplays, novels, poems, and everything in between. Learn from Vonnegut’s example. You
Tootsie was written by Larry Gelbart. It’s considered one of the most perfectly structured screenplays ever written and is referred to in virtually every book on screenwriting.
Your ego and your conscious mind already have way too many rules. To receive another set of rules about having 3 acts and 1st act twists and all sorts of things like that, I think, is a way of homogenizing movies. It’s very destructive to the industry. On the other hand, your sub-conscious, the crazy person, that’s the one who needs the rules.
A structural approach to screenwriting requires patience and discipline, but the rewards are great. You might find if you spend three weeks hammering out your story, the actual screenwriting will take only a week.