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Best Screenwriting Tips, Writer's Help & Advice

Find expert screenwriting advice articles, industry leading interviews with writers, expert writing advice, screenwriting tips and answers to commonly raised questions from screenwriters, scriptwriters, filmmakers, and writers of all types. A little insider screenwriting help can go a long way toward improving the writing craft and working with screenwriting software.

Future of Story Interview Series: Pamela Jaye Smith

Pamela Jaye Smith is a world renowned mythologist, speaker, consultant, writer, award-winning producer/director, and the founder of MYTHWORKS with over 30 years of experience on features, TV series, commercials, documentaries, corporate an...

Read more... | Published: 08/02/11 | by Ann Baldwin and Pamela Jaye Smith

Future of Story Interview Series: Kathie Fong Yoneda

Kathie Fong Yoneda has over thirty years of successful experience working in film and television. She has held executive positions at Disney, Touchstone, Disney TV Animation, Paramount Pictures Television and Island Pictures, specializing in deve...

Read more... | Published: 08/02/11 | by Ann Baldwin and Kathie Fong Yoneda

Five Great Reasons Why Writers Should Consider Reality Television

The reality of reality is that the genre may be the most often overlooked option when it comes to careers in storytelling. While the debate about whether or not reality television is “written” rages on, the real skinny is that story is story, and ...

Read more... | Published: 08/02/11 | by Troy DeVolld

The Future of Story Interview Series: Pilar Alessandra

Pilar Alessandra is the director of the Los Angeles-based writing program On The Page and a highly sought-after speaker and script consultant. She’s worked as Senior Story Analyst for DreamWorks and Radar Pictures, trained writers at ABC/Disney a...

Read more... | Published: 07/14/11 | by Ann Baldwin and Pilar Alessandra

The Future of Story Interview Series: Christopher Vogler

Christopher Vogler is one of Hollywood’s premier story consultants for major film companies such as Disney and 20th Century Fox, a respected teacher of filmmakers and writers around the globe, a popular speaker on screenwriting, movies, and myth,...

Read more... | Published: 07/14/11 | by Ann Baldwin and Christopher Vogler

The Future of Story Interview Series: Jen Grisanti

Jennifer Grisanti is a highly respected author, script consultant, public speaker, and writing instructor. She started her career as an assistant to Aaron Spelling. She climbed the ranks and eventually ran Current Programs at Spelling Television ...

Read more... | Published: 07/14/11 | by Ann Baldwin and Jen Grisanti

The Future of Story Interview Series: Pen Densham

Pen Densham is an accomplished and award-winning writer-director-producer-author and a principal of Trilogy Entertainment Group. He’s spent his lifetime in the business of entertainment, selling films and television series, as well as hiring, men...

Read more... | Published: 07/14/11 | by Ann Baldwin and Pen Densham

Don't Say "Networking": A Discussion With Kathie Fong Yoneda & Ellen Sandler

KATHIE FONG YONEDA: Everybody knows that getting hired in this business is about who you know. So, Ellen, you’ve been hired to write on over twenty shows, how do you get to know people and even more important, how do people get to know you? What ...

Read more... | Published: 07/14/11 | by Ellen Sandler and Kathie Fong Yoneda

Meet Your New Swiss Army Knife: Use The Four Magic Questions of Screenwriting to Structure Your Screenplay Fast

Most of us have read quite a few books on screenwriting, attended classes, watched videos and perhaps even had some success selling our screenplays. Somehow, the best process for structuring a screenplay or TV show remains elusive, so we contin...

Read more... | Published: 07/05/11

Questions Writers Frequently Ask Directors

Q: I can “see” the movie in my head as I write it. Why can’t the director see it too? A: You’ve heard of “the director’s vision”? The director CAN see the film before a single frame is shot, but since he or she is a unique individual, as ar...

Read more... | Published: 07/03/11 | by Bethany Rooney and Mary Lou Belli

Q&A With Syd Field

How much thought do you think writers should invest in terms of tracking the broad strokes of the protagonist’s emotional journey when structuring the story? I think all screenwriters should know the emotional journey from beginning to end. If y...

Read more... | Published: 06/20/11 | by Syd Field

5 Keys to Writing a Summer Blockbuster

It used to be that summer was the season for blockbuster movies. Now it’s a year-round phenomenon. Hollywood is in the business of selling films to a worldwide audience, which means they are always looking for a script with blockbuster potential. ...

Read more... | Published: 06/13/11 | by John Truby

A Call to Arms (In the War Between Art and Survival)

This is not an article revealing The Three Secrets To Financing Your Independent Film or How To Network With Hollywood Big-Shots or How To Write A Hit Movie In Four Hours. There are plenty of books, DVDs, and classes for that, and they have their ...

Read more... | Published: 06/07/11 | by Carl King

Why TV and Screen Writers Should Create For the Net

(adapted in part from his book Byte-Sized Television: Create Your Own TV Series for the Internet) Let’s say your dream is to write the next Oscar-winning script like Up in the Air , or to create the next groundbreaking TV series like Modern Fa...

Read more... | Published: 06/07/11 | by Ross Brown

Your Burning PitchFest Questions Answered

Summer is the season of selling, as people from all over the world flock to Los Angeles (or online) to pitch their ideas with the hope of getting their project sold. With these opportunities come questions, so we sat down with the leading authorit...

Read more... | Published: 05/12/11 | by Great American Pitchfest

Comedy Writer: Know Thyself!

I know a lot of comedy writers. Some are funnier than others both in daily life and on the page. More often than you’d imagine, the funniest scripts are written by men and women who aren’t that much fun to be around. They can “write” funny, but n...

Read more... | Published: 05/02/11 | by D.B. Gilles

Evolving Story

Strong story comes from so many different perspectives. There is value in every unique perspective, including your own. As storytellers, our story evolves as life moves forward. We continue to learn more about story from experiencing and interpr...

Read more... | Published: 04/05/11 | by Jen Grisanti

My Story Can Beat Up Your Story: The Missing Chapter

How embarrassing is it for a writer to forget to write a chapter of his or her own book? Especially, a book about…uh…writing? Back when my book on story structure, My Story Can Beat Up Your Story! , was in the planning stage I knew that I wa...

Read more... | Published: 04/05/11 | by Jeffrey Alan Schechter

Myth, Magic, & Metaphysics in Your Media

There’s MAGIC in the air, whether from Harry Potter’s wands or the wizards of Lord of the Rings . Ancient MYTHS come to life in modern forms from the Mayan calendar and Roland Emmerich’s 2012 to Slumdog Millionaire ’s version of Orpheus an...

Read more... | Published: 03/01/11 | by Pamela Jaye Smith

Light A Fire: Writing For Celebrity

Artists want control. Really? How refreshing! Or, are we just making up new ways of defining independent? Perhaps. If a green light comes from independent financing and not a studio, you’ve got an independent. In 2009, 36% of the total film marke...

Read more... | Published: 02/23/11 | by Hester Schell

John Truby Interview February 2011

John Truby is Hollywood's premier screenwriting instructor and story consultant. Over the last 25 years, more than 30,000 writers have attended his sold-out seminars around the world, with the American Film Institute declaring that Truby's "cour...

Read more... | Published: 02/22/11 | by John Truby

Writing a Cinematic Scene: Now Write! Screenwriting Exercise

(Excerpt from "Now Write! Screenwriting: Screenwriting Exercises from Today's Best Writers and Teachers" , edited by Sherry Ellis & Laurie Lamson) A film, by its very nature, is a visual art form. However, I’ve found that new screenwriters ...

Read more... | Published: 02/02/11 | by Steve Duncan

The Unusual Suspects: How to Use Unconventional Industry Contacts to Launch Your Screenwriting Career

There’s a common misconception among new or ‘unrepresented’ screenwriters that only agents, managers, and producers can open Hollywood’s gates, and that without at least one of the three, it’s virtually impossible to sell a script or sidestep Holl...

Read more... | Published: 01/31/11 | by Michael Elliot

Don’t Break the Chain - Jerry Seinfeld's Method for Creative Success

When it comes to making New Year's resolutions, we writers aren't exactly the norm. Most people resolve to lose weight, dreaming of the day they can hold up their "fat jeans," as if in a weight-loss commercial. We want to hold up a few freshly p...

Read more... | Published: 01/01/14 | by The Writers Store

5 Money Making Jobs for Writers

As an aspiring novelist or screenwriter, it can be frustrating to work at a day job that doesn’t allow for much creativity. Fortunately, there are avenues you can explore for bringing in a steady stream of income that incorporates your passion for...

Read more... | Published: 01/03/11 | by Athena Hayes