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The Dude Character Description
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What Are The Must-Know Keys to Writing Great Character Descriptions?

The Must-Know Keys to Writing Great Character Descriptions   Great character descriptions are what help ease the reader into your great characterization. They’re the entrée, if you will, to the main event. If you’re a screenwriter, you know a huge amount goes into the making of a fantastic screenplay. It’s

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Se7en Protagonist and Antagonist Dynamic
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Protagonist and Antagonist: How to Craft The PERFECT Dynamic

How Do You Craft the PERFECT Dynamic Between Protagonist and Antagonist?   The conflict between the protagonist and antagonist is an essential part of screenwriting. However, this crucial conflict can often be a conflict between three characters rather than just two. We’re going to take a look at what defines

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Daenerys Season Eight
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15 Examples of Bad Writing in Really GOOD Movies and Shows

15 Examples of Bad Writing in Really GOOD Movies and Shows   If you pay even a sliver of attention to people’s critiques of TV and film, then you understand that great screenwriting isn’t necessarily a given, even for shows and movies that have made it all the way to

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Matrix Exposition - Morpheus and Neo
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15 Crafty Exposition Examples: How to Do It Right

15 Crafty Exposition Examples: How to Get Exposition Right   Exposition is an essential part of any screenplay. However, there is a fine line between pulling it off smoothly and making it feel too obvious to audiences. Learning how to write good exposition is a key step in learning how

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Judy Garland Biopic - 'Judy'
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How to Write a Great Biopic: Pitfalls Screenwriters Should Avoid

How to Write a Biopic: Pitfalls Screenwriters Should Avoid   From BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY to JUDY, the biopic is a seriously popular modern movie genre. But having such a concrete story to work from in the telling of someone’s life isn’t always as carefree as it seems. With the number of

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save the cat 10
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Save the Cat! Analysis Series: MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING (2002)

One of the world’s most popular screenwriting books, Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat has brought clarity and a sense of direction to thousands of screenwriters, many of whom were looking for the logical extension of Syd Field’s work. If you’re not familiar with it, the book delivered a structural screenwriting roadmap: not quite a full-blown

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Bradley Cooper Writing First Draft
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Your First Draft : 9 Essential Steps to Getting it Right

Your First Draft : 9 Essential Steps to Getting it Right   It might not be what you want to hear after months, maybe years, of painstaking screenwriting work. But your first draft is almost certainly only the first stage in the evolution of your screenplay. Your screenplay’s first draft

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Various Archetypes
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201 Character Archetypes Writers MUST Have In Their Armoury

201 Character Archetypes Writers MUST Have in Their Armoury   Every screenwriter knows that writing a great screenplay takes more than just a good plot or good world building. It relies heavily on constructing memorable characters. Understanding character archetypes are an important step in this endeavor. Character archetypes are broad

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Fleabag Fourth Wall Break
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The Fourth Wall Break in Screenwriting – How to Do it & Why

The Fourth Wall Break – How to Do it and Why   An increasingly common device used in modern Film and Television, the fourth wall break can serve as a dynamic way of breaking down the barrier between an audience and a protagonist. However, when deployed inappropriately it can also

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Westeros World Building, Daenerys
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World Building in Film and TV: The Essential Steps

World Building in Film & TV: The Essential Steps   If you’ve ever enjoyed losing yourself in the world of Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings, you know how important world building is. After all, world building is what makes us suspend our disbelief and fully sink into a

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Anthony Minghella writing process
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50 Hollywood Screenwriters Reveal Their Writing Process

What’s Your Personal Writing Process? In screenwriting, sometimes the biggest challenge is discovering the most effective writing process That Works For You. For example, each and every writer has a different approach to how they: summon key plot points establish characters use subtext utilize themes generate dialogue control pacing optimize

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How to Definitively Nail Your Movie Theme – The ULTIMATE Guide

How to Nail Your Movie Theme: What is Your Screenplay Actually About?   What is your screenplay about? What is your movie’s theme? These may seem like obvious questions. But many experienced script consultants will tell you that a common frustration in reading hundreds of screenplays professionally is that often

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Internal Conflict in Toy Story
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10 Fantastic Internal Conflict Examples

10 Fantastic Internal Conflict Examples   Internal conflict is a powerful and absolutely essential tool used by writers and filmmakers in drama. These ten examples, as well as the internal conflict definition below, definitively prove it. Most, if not all, of the great TV shows and films are rife with

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Whodunnit - Seven, Detectives
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How to Write a Whodunnit or Detective Movie

How to Write a Whodunnit   A whodunnit is more a narrative structure, than a genre (although one could easily argue it’s a sub-genre). That’s why it can be presented in the form of a thriller, a horror, a mockumentary and even a comedy. The structure encompasses everything from the

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how to generate script ideas
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How to Generate Great Script Ideas – 5-Step Guide

Generating Script Ideas – 5 Top Tips Whether you’re sitting down to write your first script or are an experienced writer writing your tenth screenplay – where you get your script ideas from can be tricky.  There are a number of easy ways to help get your creative juices flowing

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How to Write A Coming-Of-Age Movie

How to Write a Coming-Of-Age Movie   As its name implies, a Coming-Of-Age movie focuses on the growth of the main character from youth to adulthood. In this context, it’s quite common and logical that most of these stories revolve around the high school years, especially 12th-grade senior year. Leaving

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Movie Titles
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Crafting Ideas for Great Movie Titles: Your 5-Step Guide

Crafting Ideas for Great Movie Titles: Your 5-Step Guide   It is often argued that the first 5 pages of your script will make or break your chances in screenwriting ,at least in terms of making that initial first impression on busy script readers, development executives and producers. First impressions

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script analysis
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Why Screenwriters Need Pro Script Analysis Now, More Than Ever

There’s often an element of mystery or confusion surrounding script analysis services. Sitting at home, watching a bad film or TV show, it’s the easiest thing in the world to play  “backseat writer.” The thinking goes: “I could write better than that. All I have to do is write something

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save the cat 10
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Save the Cat! Analysis Series: SUPERBAD (2007)

One of the world’s most popular screenwriting books, Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat has brought clarity and a sense of direction to thousands of screenwriters, many of whom were looking for the logical extension of Syd Field’s work. If you’re not familiar with it, the book delivered a structural screenwriting roadmap: not quite

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save the cat 10
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Save the Cat Analysis Series: GROUNDHOG DAY

One of the world’s most popular screenwriting books , Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat has brought clarity and a sense of direction to thousands of screenwriters, who were looking for the logical extension of Syd Field’s work. If you’re not familiar with it the book delivered a structural roadmap to writers: not quite join-the-dots,

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save the cat 10
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Save the Cat Analysis Series: DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS

One of the world’s most popular screenwriting books , Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat has brought clarity and a sense of direction to thousands of screenwriters, who were looking for the logical extension of Syd Field’s work. If you’re not familiar with it the book delivered a structural roadmap to writers: not quite join-the-dots,

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How to write a period drama - Mary Queen of Scots
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How to Write Period Drama

Period drama “Period drama” is a slippery term. Typically, it means a project set in a time period that’s older than recent memory. (While STRANGER THINGS is set in the period of the 1980s, it’s unlikely anyone would refer to it as a “period piece”.) But where to begin when facing

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Reddit screenwriting
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Reddit Screenwriting: A Comprehensive How-To Guide

Reddit Screenwriting: A How-To…   Reddit is an online community made up of smaller, individually themed communities, whether they’re centred around sharing simple images or jokes, posting personal anecdotes and requests for advice, or hosting Q&As with celebrities.  Then, of course, there’s the Reddit screenwriting community, pictured below.     

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Mike Judge quotes
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15 Great Mike Judge Quotes for Writers & Filmmakers

15 Great Mike Judge Quotes After gaining a Physics degree from the University of California, Mike Judge put his science career on hold. The Ecuadorean-born American would go on to create some of the most influential American animated comedies of the 90s, including BEAVIS AND BUTTHEAD and KING OF THE

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screenwriting electricity in The Silence of the Lambs
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What is “electricity”, in screenwriting terms?

On the Special Edition DVD/Blu-Ray for THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, Jodie Foster is interviewed as part of a retrospective. In the interview, Foster explains that a structurally insignificant scene (the one where “Multiple” Miggs can’t contain his excitement, after Clarice’s first meeting with Hannibal Lecter) is in fact very

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all blacks
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What the Most Successful Sports Team Can Teach Screenwriters

Learning From the New Zealand All Blacks In the history of organised sports – globally – one team stands alone. The New Zealand All Blacks are the most successful sports team in history, with an astonishing 90% win rate. We’ll say that again so it sinks in properly – they

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R J Macready in The Thing
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GENIUS CHARACTER REVEALS: R J Macready (THE THING)

In our Genius Character Reveals series we examine scenes and moments where a film or TV show reveals a tremendous amount of character information in a compressed amount of screen time. This instalment focuses on R J Macready (Kurt Russell) the helicopter pilot besieged by a shape-shifting alien in John Carpenter‘s

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screenwriting etiquette
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An Ultimate Guide to Screenwriting Etiquette in Film & TV

Why Screenwriting Etiquette is so important…   As a new screenwriter, how does one conduct oneself in one of the most competitive industries in the world? It’s an important question, and one that so many new screenwriters only find the answer to through costly mistakes. Screenwriting etiquette is more important

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dead man's shoes
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10 Screenwriting Lessons From DEAD MAN’S SHOES (2004)

DEAD MAN’S SHOES (2004) DEAD MAN’S SHOES follows Richard (Paddy Considine), a soldier who returns to his home town to get revenge on the men who abused his mentally-challenged brother Anthony (Toby Kebbell). The script was written by director Shane Meadows and Considine, with additional material by Paul Fraser. After

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Kurt Vonnegut
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31 Writing Lessons From Iconic Author Kurt Vonnegut

31 Writing Lessons From Iconic Author Kurt Vonnegut With his deceptively simple prose style, novelist, playwright and essayist Kurt Vonnegut, jr. (1922 – 2007) bridged sci-fi and literary fiction. Novels like Slaughterhouse-Five, Cat’s Cradle and Breakfast of Champions didn’t exactly open readers to new worlds as new ways of thinking. Perhaps this is why

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screenwriter species
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Which Species of Screenwriter are you?

The ‘building-block’ nature of screenwriting is such that any screenwriter needs a selection box of varying skills. As you’d expect then, different screenwriters tend to find themselves drawn to, and more skilled at, certain aspects of the process. Whether it’s creative story ideas, unique characters, or a structure so tight,

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theme-rich screenplay paterson
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Is the Subtle, Theme-rich Screenplay Dead?

Is the Subtle, Theme-rich Screenplay Dead? Theme-rich Screenplay Treated Unfairly? The plot-light, theme-rich screenplay is often – at the script development stage at least – unfairly maligned with the phrase ‘nothing happens’. But there are many that more than make up for that ‘nothing’ with atmosphere, character and theme, from

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3D audience, cinema experience
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OPINION: Screenwriters Should Consider the Cinema Experience

It’s a cliché, but the entertainment industry is an industry. Show business is a business. It behoves screenwriters to remember this and to consider why write films in the first place. What makes the cinema experience worthwhile? When deciding whether an idea is worth developing and writing, it’s worth asking first: Is this

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write omnisciently featured
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Should Screenwriters Write “Omnisciently”?

To write omnisciently as a screenwriter often entails, for better or worse, including elements that may never show up onscreen: jokes in descriptions or insights into characters’ thoughts and histories that only a reader will ever truly experience and appreciate. This statement is unlikely to surprise anyone sentient, but film

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screenwriting lessons featured
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10 Screenwriting Lessons From ANGEL HEART (1987)

ANGEL HEART Alan Parker’s ANGEL HEART is an odd blend of genres, taking noir, psychological thriller and horror to a three-way shotgun wedding. The screenwriting lessons it can teach us are similarly diverse. The basic plot is this: a private detective named Harry Angel is hired by the mysterious Louis

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thriller screenplays primer
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10 Thriller Screenplays You Should Read

Thriller Screenplay Power As a genre, ‘thriller’ tends to gently caress several others, namely horror, sci-fi, and drama. As such, thriller screenplays provide a goldmine of various narrative and structural techniques. These may well be films you’ve seen; it’s just that some of them might not have left you desperate

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screenwriting contests scripts
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10 Script Notes You May Choose to Ignore…

Whilst advocating the deflection of script notes may be a strange thing for a dedicated script consultancy to do, the truth is that there is a great deal of bad advice handed out by script consultants at the murkier end of the industry (read also: “11 Reasons for the High

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minor characters arc
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10 Minor Characters Who Still Have a Great ARC

One facet of screenwriting which causes writers enormous headaches is conveying a lot with a little. Studying great minor characters is one way of learning this kind of efficiency. Minor Characters To Finer Characters The best minor characters can be just as rich as main characters. Ideally they should feel like they

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unresolved plot thread inception totem
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Unresolved Plot Threads: Magic or Madness?

Endings are crucial. The feeling an ending gives an audience is the feeling they leave the cinema with. It’s the feeling that will colour their perception of their whole experience and the whole film. How do unresolved plot threads make an audience feel? Often, creating a satisfying ending means tying

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screenwriting commandments
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10 Commandments of the Accountable Screenwriter (Download)

There are two kinds of rugby player”, the legendary Scottish coach Jim Telfer told his players, “there are the honest ones, and there’s the rest. The honest player gets up in the morning and looks himself in the mirror and sets his standard, sets his stall out, and says: “I’m going

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avoid cliche
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How to Write “Mythically” but Avoid Cliche – PDF Guide

Writing mythically with cliché is relatively easy: watch a couple of films, read a couple of books then regurgitate the obvious stuff: quasi-religious story world, the quest, the mentor, initiation, testing, the final battle, rebirth etc. Writing mythically without cliché, by contrast, is not easy at all… In the 3rd

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no country
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10 Almost-Great Screenplays

An almost-great screenplay can be more frustrating than a really bad one. The potential is strong and the execution is almost there, but something went wrong at the final hurdle. Of course, it’s easy to pick out flaws in retrospect or to credit (or blame) the writer for something that

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inciting incidents the goonies
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15 Genius Inciting Incidents by Screenwriters

15 Genius Inciting Incidents by Screenwriters You’ve created a fully developed character or series of characters and are now pondering their motivation through the narrative you’ve started to develop. Inciting incidents come in all shapes and sizes, so you should try to think of something clever, inspirational or at least interesting

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mid film plot twist john doe surrenders
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10 Classic Mid-Film Plot Twists by Screenwriters

10 Great Mid-Film Plot Twists by Screenwriters Too often when watching a film, especially for those of us who have seen many of them, you can read where the story is going and predict what is going to happen onscreen prematurely. However, those screenwriters in pursuit of something that will

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goodfellas
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10 Moments Where Problem Upon Problem Hits the Protagonist

Conflict is essential in every great story. The amount and complexity of the situation can obviously vary greatly depending on the scope, settings and characters involved. In some cases, loading problem upon problem on your character(s) is important in that it shows what they are made of or it shows

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Ex Machina - Science Fiction Screenplays
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Writing Science Fiction Screenplays

Writing Science Fiction Screenplays Sci-Fi is one of those odd genres – like the Western – that among script theorists often stimulates more argument about ‘defining your terms’ than it does about structure, plot or theme. It is helpful first to qualify the term ‘genre’, as film theorists and script

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Cabin in the Woods - Writing Horror Screenplays
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Writing Horror Screenplays: How to Write Teen Horror

Writing Horror Screenplays: How to Write Teen Horror From 1974’s BLACK CHRISTMAS – rightly credited with being the god-monster of the modern mainstream genre – through to every postmodern twist on the ‘final girl’ archetype, Teen Horror is now a mainstay of popular cinema. It was a cornerstone of the

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