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blad exposition, crazy openings, formatting, risky, Screenwriting contests, script length, things to avoid -

At ScriptArsenal, some of our analysts also read for prominent screenwriting contests. After reading dozens of scripts for a prominent contest (and hundreds for previous contests), here are some things to avoid for screenwriters looking to advance in screenwriting contests. Crazy opening sequence plus “Five days/two weeks/seven years/etc. earlier.” This is a cliché that is incredibly popular. It shows up (anecdotally) once in every four or five screenplays. That’s an unbelievably high rate. The story starts at some moment of high tension, typically one from later in the screenplay, and then jumps back to “Two weeks earlier” or some other...

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budget, character introduction, compelling writing, Dialogue, Mistakes to avoid, script length, Script Reader Pet Peeves -

The lowly script reader, tucked in a windowless back room at a production company or agency, holds massive power when it comes to newer writers breaking in. A poor reader’s report will sink a script from a newer writer. That lowly script reader is often the one who decides what his or her boss is going to read (or in plenty of cases, is not going to read, but will simply trust the reader’s report about). For this reason, it is in a writer’s best interest to write a script that a reader will like. This seems obvious, but there...

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