Patrick O'Driscoll

Dramatic Tension – Don’t Let Them Go (Part 1)

Dramatic Tension – Don’t Let Them Go (Part 1)

Clever concepts, genre staples, and rare characters can entice audiences, but without story-long dramatic tension your screenplay will struggle to keep them engaged. Screenwriting has one rule: thou shalt not bore thy audience. Even Neanderthal storytellers knew that boring a cave full of people meant death (figuratively, we think). Writers strive for audience involvement with every tool […]

 James Napoli

How To Climb Into Your Screenplay (Part 1)

How To Climb Into Your Screenplay (Part 1)

“Before you can write anything,  you have to notice something.” – John Irving Once a film script is written, once it is shot and becomes a movie, that is when critics and bloggers get to dig into the material and come up with the story’s overarching themes, what the characters represent, and what the screenwriter […]

 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 […]