Unlocking Act Two
For beginning screenwriters, the second act can be an intimidating challenge to face
down. If the prospect of filling 60 pages with tightly paced, well-plotted action causes
you to sweat, you aren’t alone.
It’s easy enough to think of a beginning, and even to imagine an exciting climax.
But what … More
The Third Act Crunch
Your hero is plummeting toward an uncertain confrontation with forces they don’t quite understand, and under circumstances that are not completely under their control.
Third acts tend to be short, because if a story has been carefully constructed, and character motivations are clear, … MoreRead more
Characters are modeled on people. A writer, being a person who knows other persons, should theoretically have an innate understanding of the mechanics of personality and social interaction; which they do, yet if this were all it took, sociologists should be great screenwriters. The process of creating character is not … MoreRead more
The Character Questionnaire
Script Study: “The Matrix” – Part I
Part 1: The “Hero’s Journey” Never Dies
The Wachowski Brothers, Larry and Andy, screenwriter-directors of The Matrix, have taken what could have been a routine exercise in cinematic recycling and turned it into a hyperactive postmodern pastiche of every action, sci-fi, and kung fu film ever made. The result, … MoreRead more
Script Study: “The Matrix” – Part II
Part II: The Second Coming
So far we have seen how much of the first half of The Matrix script has layered the necessary information for us, the audience and/or script reader, to get oriented in its strange new universe. It has done this via the character of Neo–a name … MoreRead more
Writing Effective Dialogue
Theme: The Soul of Story
Breaking Free of Genre
Genre is a much discussed, often little understood, idea.
What genre essentially means to you, the writer, is a set of conventions and tropes that define a particular kind of story and storytelling format.
For screenwriters, genre can either be a blessing or a torturous curse. I continually advise new … MoreRead more