Screenwriting Tips RSS

catalogue, collection, scripts -

How many scripts do you need in your catalogue at any given time as a screenwriter? It’s a short answer. MORE. One of the common pitfalls we see at ScriptArsenal is newer screenwriters come in with one piece of material and just rework that piece of material without generating new, separate material.

To be clear, reworking a piece of material many times is an essential and valuable part of screenwriting. But by the same token, it’s equally important to have many completed screenplays, if your aim is to be a working screenwriter.

Read more

screenplay contests, strategic perspective, waste of time -

As we mentioned last month, in the article "Facing Rejection", a total of 7,102 screenplays were entered into the Nicholl Fellowship in 2017. Faced with those odds, it’s understandable that screenwriters are loathe to bother with contests.

And the truth is for most screenwriters, contests ARE a waste of time. But that’s not necessarily a reflection of the contests or the screenplays entered into those contests. Here’s why:

Read more

brain storming, emotion, ideas, inspiration -

Finding the concept for your script is a huge pain in the butt for screenwriters. It often feels like every possible idea has already been done. No matter what crazy mad libs brainstorming process you try, someone has beaten you to it, or it just feels derivative. 

There’s an alternate way to brainstorm, though, one based more in emotion, and less in plot. First, you need to know what type of script you want to write. Are you a comedy writer? A horror aficionado? A thriller junkie?

Read more

cost-benefit analysis, film industry, financial, legal, optioning script -

Screenplay option agreements are both exciting and sometimes puzzling milestones in a new screenwriter’s career. The initial excitement of acceptance (instead of rejection) brings a flush of positive emotion. But the dense legal jargon in the contract is like a cold shower, that brings things back to reality.

Option agreements are basically like car rentals, with an option to buy. The producer gets the exclusive right to try and make your script into a movie, often for one year, sometimes six months, sometimes eighteen months.

Read more

character introduction, memorable -

Writing an effective character introduction is a tricky thing to wrangle for screenwriters at every level of the field. But there is a progression that tends to happen, which may shed some light on the subject.

Newer screenwriters tend to either give no character introduction at all apart from a name and age, OR to give too much of a character introduction, with three sentences about the character’s internal life and personal backstory.

Read more