Craft and Story

Art Holcomb offers advice on the craft of screenwriting

 Art Holcomb

The Umami of Story

The Umami of Story

Art Holcomb explores how to elevate your writing from the simply competent to the extraordinary with seven questions to ask of your script, and reveals why a script must be a work of art.

Art Holcomb explores how to elevate your writing from the simply competent to the extraordinary with seven questions to ask of your script, and reveals why a script must be a work of art.

 Art Holcomb

Personal Story Arc: The Key to Powerful Writing

Personal Story Arc: The Key to Powerful Writing

Art explores how to develop your Personal Story Arc to create compelling and emotionally-believable scripts.

Art explores how to develop your Personal Story Arc to create compelling and emotionally-believable scripts.

 Art Holcomb

The Rule Book

The Rule Book

Art Holcomb uncovers the emotional rule book inside us all, and explores how to use this in developing characters.

By Art Holcomb. So much of good storytelling is about cause and effect, set-ups and payoff, motives and consequences. Consider for a moment: if there are two separate story paths that exist in each script we write, then there is a story engine – a consequence mechanism that drives each and they are quite different […]

 Art Holcomb

The Question of Theme

The Question of Theme

Art Holcomb discusses the use of theme in story, and provides a step-by-step example of how to build your screenplay around a central theme.

By Art Holcomb. From academics in film school to producers in Hollywood, ‘Theme’ is a term that gets tossed around a great deal. I’ve heard it used as a label for any myriad of aspects within the narrative structure; anything from plot structure, to emotional character motivations, to ways of explaining genre designations. I believe […]

 Art Holcomb

String of Pearls: An Alternative Way to Create a Story

String of Pearls: An Alternative Way to Create a Story

Forget for a moment all story structure, acts, beats and technical terms. Forget the guru and screenwriting experts. Art Holcomb explores an alternative method of screenwriting.

By Art Holcomb. Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist. Pablo Picasso     One common problem I see in my practice is when aspiring screenwriters cannot separate the Creating Process from the Drafting Process. Many beginning writers sit down at the keyboard, type FADE IN and rush […]

 Art Holcomb

To Every Character Their Moment

To Every Character Their Moment

Art Holcomb discusses the importance of Moments for characters, and offers advice on how to use them in your own scripts.

By Art Holcomb. Moments. They’re what the audience remembers about a great movie. They’re what actors (and script readers) look for in a good script. Moments can be more important than structure; when strung like pearls on a necklace, it is the moments of a film that link writer-to-actor-to-director-to-viewer. They are what turn film into […]

 Art Holcomb

Collaboration

Collaboration

Art Holcomb's tips for successful collaboration with a writing partner.

By Art Holcomb. What to these people have in common? Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright. Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel. The Farrelly Brothers. Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio. Joel and Ethan Coen. All are famous screenwriting teams that went on to great success. And all are screenwriters who once made the decision that they were […]

 Art Holcomb

Are Your Scripts Written in Clay or Written in Marble?

Are Your Scripts Written in Clay or Written in Marble?

How Art Holcomb's process can make your writing more efficient.

I do think the challenge, in a way for me, is to write a narrative film and when you finish watching it you feel like it’s a collage. You tell the narrative, you tell the story, but you feel like you’ve created this tapestry. But it also has a shape, a story.  Shane Black   Writers have […]

 Art Holcomb

The Most Common Mistake in Spec Scripts

The Most Common Mistake in Spec Scripts

Four steps to coming up with a great script concept.

By Art Holcomb. “Most aspiring screenwriters simply don’t spend enough time choosing their concept. It’s by far the most common mistake I see in spec scripts. The writer has lost the race right from the gate. Months — sometimes years — are lost trying to elevate a film idea that by its nature probably had […]


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Joss Whedon on Screenwriting

MFA in Screenwriting