Diane Drake

Subtext – The Beauty Of What’s Left Unsaid (Or Unwritten) In Your Screenplay

Subtext – The Beauty Of What’s Left Unsaid (Or Unwritten) In Your Screenplay

A problem I frequently come across as a screenwriting consultant and instructor is the tendency of writers to overwrite and to include too much on-the-nose exposition. This can quickly mark as a screenplay as amateurish, whereas its opposite—effective use of subtext— almost instantly conveys a more sophisticated and polished level of screenwriting. So, before I […]

 Patrick O'Driscoll

Thematic Conflict – The Intersection Of Dramatic Conflict And Theme

Thematic Conflict – The Intersection Of Dramatic Conflict And Theme

Like generating drama, exploring theme is a primary function of any story, but why is it so important? From Terrence Malick to Marvel, every cinematic story strives for audience involvement. For markets broad and niche, making people care is the name of the game. The most rudimentary method of captivating an audience is with dramatic conflict. […]

 James Napoli

How Pacing, Style & Tone Shape Your Screenplay

How Pacing, Style & Tone Shape Your Screenplay

Most screenwriters should be aware of the main structural pillars of a screenplay – act breaks, inciting incidents and conclusions. Few consider the less tangible aspects of their screenplays such as style, tone and pacing to the same extent. Let’s take a look at some screenplay examples which illustrate how the interplay of these factors […]

 Mark David Gerson

Why Your Outline Could Kill Your Screenplay

Why Your Outline Could Kill Your Screenplay

Your outline could be killing your screenplay. That’s right, the tool everyone says you must have in order to start work on a successful screenplay could be doing the opposite. Why? Because outlines force you to plan like an engineer not craft like a storyteller. Outlines drive you into linear thinking when the most memorable […]

 James Napoli

You Will Never Run Out Of Screenwriting Ideas If You Keep Killing Them

You Will Never Run Out Of Screenwriting Ideas If You Keep Killing Them

At some point early in the creation of their screenplays, students I work with need to share their loglines with their fellow screenwriters, and very often the air of unease about this process is palpable. Not so much because these authors are nervous about having written a poor logline, but because once the idea is […]