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David Trottier

Dave Trottier has sold or optioned ten scripts and helped countless fellow screenwriters break into Hollywood through his work as an acclaimed script consultant and author of The Screenwriter's Bible, the Industry's de facto spec writing and formatting guide. He also writes a column for Script magazine and hosts keepwriting.com.

Articles by David Trottier

The New Spec Style

There has been a lot of talk lately about the new spec formatting style. Throughout the 1990s, there has been a movement toward 'lean and clean' screenwriting: Shorter screenplays, shorter paragraphs, shorter speeches, more white space and the omission of technical instructions. It should come as no surprise that this gradual evolution continues to refine spec style. Let's take a quick look at ... (read more)

How do I Format Simultaneous Dialogue?

A Reader's Script Formatting Question:

How does a writer denote in a spec screenplay the fact that a character has a double identity and is known to individual characters under two separate identities? Example: a character is known as 'BILL' to one set of characters, but 'JIM' to another -- do you type both BILL/JIM each time he speaks dialogue in the screenplay? Beari... (read more)

Breaking In - Through Hollywood's Back Door

When you write your first screenplay, the path to glory seems clear: find an agent who will get you a six-figure deal. A hundred and fifty query letters later, you're languishing at Hollywood's front gate. You've received a lot of encouragement, but, as Pauline Kael put it, "Hollywood's the only town where you can die of encouragement." Maybe it's time to try the back door... (read more)

Platforming Strategies for Screenwriters: 21 strategies for breaking in and advancing your screenwriting career

When you write your first screenplay, the path to glory seems clear—find an agent who will get you a six-figure deal. A hundred and fifty query letters later, you’re languishing at Hollywood’s front gate. You’ve received a lot of encouragement, but, as Pauline Kael put it, “Hollywood’s the only town wher... (read more)