Twitter For Screenwriters

  • OMG. Get your story started fast
  • Have the Instigating Event (or Inciting Incident if you prefer) happen ASAP—within Pages 1-4
  • Make sure The Major Dramatic Question is clear by the end of Act I
  • Have plenty of complications in Act 2. Don’t make things too easy for your protagonist
  • Get your subplot rolling early in Act 2
  • Remember: almost every film ever made has a romantic subplot. Yours should too
  • Always have a middle of Act 2 event that cranks up the action. Approximately Page 55
  • Have a big moment at the end of Act 2 that propels the story into Act 3. Think of it as introducing new information
  • Have another event in the middle of Act 3 that further cranks up the action
  • Aim for a satisfying ending. Doesn’t have to be happy, but it should be satisfying
  • After your first draft, get feedback from 3 trusted friends. Do a rewrite, then get feedback from your most trusted friend. Do a polish
  • IMO. After the polish don’t look at it for a few weeks. Longer if possible. The distance will give you clarity. Then do a final pass
  • You are done
  • Focus on trying to find an agent, manager or producer to read your script
  • Start your next screenplay and repeat the process
  • And in the words of Winston Churchill, "Never, never, never give up!"
  • B4N


31 comments:

  1. Kind of a screenwriting class to go. Very cool!

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  2. That's very cool. I always thought you should be doing that. If I could program, I'd build you an iPhone app.

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  3. If I knew these great tips I could've saved $600 bucks on a stupid on-line screenwriting class I got ripped off by. Thanks!!!

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  4. FYI. I normally hate Twitter, but this makes sense. Easy to remember. TTYL

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  5. I love this! I'm printing it out and putting it over my computer. Thanks!

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  6. This is very helpful. Condenses what McKee took a long weekend to convey. Thank you.

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  7. Ditto! Very informative and cool. You should find a way to make this available online.

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  8. Where were you when I was taking some crappy screenwriting courses on-line and at Gotham Writers Workshop? I'm going to check out your books.

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  9. Another very helpful post, DB!

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  10. I think what you say about satisfying endings is important. An ending can be "sad" and still be satisfying. Some endings can be "happy" but yet unsatisfying. I loved "Crazy Heart" but I felt that the ending of the movie was very unsatisfying...almost as if it was tagged on after the fact.

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  11. I'm going to carry this around with me and look at it every time I get bogged down. Big thanks!

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  12. I have been using something very similar for years. I find its works perfectly to take each bullet point and use it as almost a mini goal as I write. So for example, if I am on page 50 of a script my goal for that day will be to make it to a midpoint by page 55ish.
    But lets talk about this leetspeak business, IMO B4N, DON'T DO IT DB... its for emo kids and pervs to speak in code... i.e. Btw I love hello kitty lmao, or I am going down to an amp for some atm.

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  13. Thanks for the insight into the middle of act 2 thing. Never heard that before.

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  14. I hate twitter, but I like this. Easy. I counted. You didn't hit 140 characters.

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  15. OMG I love this. I took 2 screenwriting classes with a guy and a woman who didn't know diddlysquat. All they did was talk about movies and gave us stupid writing exercises. We spent most of both classes working on outlines...endless outlines. Thinking about character motivation and backstory. I hate both classes. I think they were related even though they were at two different places. Neither one of these morons touched on what you said in this posting. A friend of mine recommended this blog. I'm gonna go and read every one from the start. DB Gilles rocks!!!

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  16. I have trouble with the first 15 pages and the last 15 pages. My middle, although it's more than the actual middle comes easy for me. Getting started and finishing is what drags me down

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  17. The part about never giving up is more important than most people imagine. It's about staying focused and keeping your eyes on the prize.

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  18. This is good to know. I just started my first screenplay. I'm page 14 and I now realize my story really hasn't started yet. I'm gonna check into this.

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  19. Getting the story started fast always causes me trouble. Sometimes I think I need to take 10 or 15 pages to establish everything. I'll try to do it by page 4 and see what happens.

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  20. Your list makes it seem so easy. There's nothing like a nice formula

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  21. I've been enjoying all your posts,but could you elaborate on how to find an agent or producer?

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  22. I used to have a problem with giving my scripts distance. The minute I thought they were done, usually after 2 drafts, I wanted to send them out. I learned the hard way the value of time passing and taking a fresh look. It'll always turn up problems and another pass will make the script better and tighter. Cool list!

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  23. Thanks D.B. - excellent advise, and so "to the point"...

    Looks like old Winston knew a lot about writing... and other things ;)
    ----
    Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence
    is the key to unlocking our potential.
    ~Winston Churchill
    ---

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  24. Love reading bulleted info...great for us short attention span writers. It's like a memo with helpful info.

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  25. Cool, very cool and easy to remember. Thanks.

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