What Playing D&D Can Teach Screenwriters

Image of gaming dice with text that reads "Writers block? Take two of these and call me in the morning."

Screenwriting and Dungeons and Dragons (D&D). What possibly could a roleplaying game have in common with the century-old art and craft of writing a screenplay for film or television? What on Middle Earth could these two worlds have in common? Believe it or not, there’s actually a Hobbit-ton (pun intended) of overlap between the kind of techniques … Read more

3 Strategies For Making the Most out of Script Notes and Feedback

hand picking cherries, text reads "Mmmm. Cherry-pickin' my script notes."

The difference between mediocre screenwriting and solid screenwriting often comes down to the screenwriter knowing the difference between what’s working in her script and what’s not. Beyond the various euphemisms for cutting your favorite moments (e.g. “Killing your darlings, ” or its less popular counterpart, “Drowning your puppies/kittens”), there comes a time when you need … Read more

3 Steps to Unlock Your Extraordinary Villain Within

Are you, as a villain, reaching your fullest, most extraordinary villain self? Or is your villainy being limited by mundane, mealy-mouthed tropes or other half-baked screenwriting mistakes made by your creator, the screenwriter? It’s time to take charge of your life, Villain. I’m here to help you unlock your villainous potential, and unleash your villainous … Read more

How To Write an Inciting Incident By Putting Your Characters in a Pickle

cartoon pickle saying "Put your characters in a pickle and the audience will love you."

Somebody once said — I think it might’ve been Mel Brooks — “If your Act 3 doesn’t work, go back and rewrite Act 1.” Every movie and film must start somewhere, right? If the movie doesn’t start, then there’s probably something wrong with the projector. But if the feature-length film is 45 minutes into its … Read more

Fade In Screenwriting App — Can it take down Final Draft?

Is Fade In screenwriting app the Kingslayer - image of Jaime Lannister

Fade In is a screenwriting app in a world full of screenwriting apps. Where there once was only one or two big screenwriting software packages — the venerable Final Draft and Movie Magic Screenwriter — now there are several upstarts, seeking to usurp the de facto Final Draft throne. Enter Fade In, created by General … Read more

Subtext in a Screenplay – How Screenwriters Can Write With More Depth

Sean Connery from Hunt for Red October saying "We're on a submarine so this is all subtext, right?"

Subtext in a screenplay isn’t easy to spot, and writing subtext — or writing subtextually — isn’t easy to do. A screenwriter requires not only verbal dexterity, but a certain depth of life experience to draw from, in order for her subtext to actually work. At the end of Arthur Miller’s classic feel-good play Death of … Read more

Screenplay Action and Description – How to Write it Like A Badass

Pic of hovercraft that reads "I am a badass writer, and this is my hovercraft."

Writing a screenplay often involves coming up with beautiful characters, stark settings, and really cool hovercraft race sequences. Communicating these elements effectively is the task of the script’s action and description text. The challenge is that not only must the action convey what’s going on to someone reading the script, but also to people turning … Read more

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