Monday, 19 September 2011

Screenwriting Tips

Yep, that's what we're looking for. Ways to do it better or easier or faster or smarter. And there are lots of books and writers' blogs around where you can find a tip or two.

One popular blog for screenwriters is: Screenwriting Tips... You Hack. Written by Xander Bennett, a former Hollywood script reader who currently works for Australia’s Shine Television Studios, his tips are pithy, quotable, memorable and, best of all, helpful. 

Three examples: 
Screenwriting Tip #405
Are you as sick of the meet-cute as I am? Try the meet-horrible, the meet-embarassing or the meet-awkward. They’re a lot more fun to write.
Screenwriting Tip #334
Set every scene. Don’t make me wonder what room of the house they’re in, or why somebody just started talking when you didn’t even tell me they were present.
Screenwriting Tip #218
When it comes to action scenes, the simpler the better. Kill your adverbs.  Ever read the screenplay for ALIEN? It’s sparser than the surface of Mars, and it’s effective as hell.
Screenwriting Tip #121
People will say they can tell in the first 10 pages whether or not they’ll like your script. They’re lying — they can tell by Page 1. So make Page 1 a thing of beauty.

Whether you’re blocked, bored or otherwise in need of amusement, you'll find something quotable in Xander Bennett's blog. Better yet, you can now buy most of the collection in this book of the same title.

P.S. I have to confess I like so many of his tips that I kept changing my three examples. But I've stopped now. Promise. And there's actually four. I know. But I like them, and I hope you do, too.


1 comment:

Xander Bennett said...

I just stumbled across this post of yours, and I wanted to say: thanks for the shout-out! I know how tough it can be trying to make a career in screenwriting as an Australian. Good luck, and happy writing.