When you need me, but do not want me, then I will stay.
When you want me, but do not need me, then I have to go.
You've got to ask yourself one question:
'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?
CAPT. GEOFFREY T. SPAULDING
One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas.
How he got in my pajamas, I don't know.
If you want me to keep my mouth shut, it's
gonna cost you some dough. I figure a thousand
bucks is reasonable, so I want two.
Your friends have a high mortality rate Frank. First three, then two.
_ I’m always amazed at the number of basic spelling and grammar errors I make. You can probably throw in punctuation and syntax as well. It's just not very good.
I’ve concluded that my spelling and grammar have both seriously gone downhill in the last ten years or so. This is a little depressing. I think it’s down to the fact that I don’t read like I used to. There was a time when I would read lots of novels, but these days I usually find myself reading screenplays. Not that’s a bad thing, that's a good thing, that’s what I do now. I write screenplays.
From a writing point of view, a writer needs to read as much as possible to keep that gray matter ticking over. If you don’t read, how can you expect to write?
A screenwriter writes for readers, so you have to look at it from their point of view. A few grammar issues and spelling mistakes can be overlooked. However, if there is a consistent and constant bombardment of these types of errors throughout your screenplay. Especially on that opening first or first five pages or so, what impression is that going to give the person reading your work?
It’s probably going to make a negative impression and they may then conclude that if you’re this careless with your spelling and grammar. What hope is there for your story?
Even if you have the coolest concept and have executed it to the highest standard possible. The screenplay might end up getting tossed in the trash by the (yikes) fourth or fifth page.
In conclusion, check your spelling and grammar the best you can. Put it in a drawer for a couple of weeks and come back to it with a fresh pair of eyes. If you can get someone who's good at spelling and grammar to read through it, even better.
Common words that get mixed up.
Access / excess
Accept / except
Practice / practise
Licence / license
Advice / advise
Their / they’re / there
You’re / your
Who’s / whose
Affect / effect
Every day / everyday
Were / where / wear / ware / we’re
Cite / site / sight
Principle / principal
Assure / insure / ensure
Whether / weather
I usually get these confused when I haven’t actually bothered to take the time to read what I’ve written. And it can be quite frustrating. So I wonder what it must be like for someone reading my work. Check your spelling and grammar.
Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.
By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.
_ As it’s that time of year I thought I’d get myself a book on screenwriting. I didn’t want any old book written by someone claiming to know the ins and outs of the business when in fact they know nothing. You get a lot of these how to books on the subject written by people who actually have done nothing themselves in the way of produced credits. There’s quite a lot of self professed gurus out there.
I’d seen this book and had wanted to get it for quite a while so decided to purchase it.
The book in question is
The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriters: Insider Secrets from Hollywood’s Top Writers.
This is the Tenth Anniversary Edition. Karl Iglesias (Author)
What you get is twenty-two working writers giving their own personal views on the industry.
The content is divided into 6 Parts.
PART 1 PASSION:
The Urge to Screenwrite
Portrait of a Screenwriter
PART 2 CREATIVITY:
Summoning the Muse
The Creative Process
Creating a Writing Environment
PART 3 DISCIPLINE:
Applying the Seat of Your Pants to the Seat of the Chair
The Writing Habit
PART 4 STORYCRAFT:
Weaving a Great Tale
What Makes A Great Script
The Most Important Audience
PART 5 MARKETING:
It’s Not Who You Know, It’s Your Writing
The Hollywood System
Getting An Agent
Acting Like A Professional
PART 6 THE FOUR PS:
Patience, Perseverance, Passion and Practice
Each of the above parts contain the writer’s insights into that particular area.
I’ve picked three examples of what they have to say. If you’ve been writing a long time, these thoughts should be second nature to you.
“My advice is to read screenplays, good ones and bad ones, so you can learn what you don’t want to do, but more importantly, write a lot of stuff. You only learn to write by writing. Write every day. If it’s a burden, you shouldn’t be doing it.”
“People’s time would be much better spent trying to write screenplays than going to seminars. Make some labors of love. Write others quickly. Have the idea. Be inspired. Write it. Learn as you go. Watch movies. Read screenplays and write some more.”
Aline Brosh McKenna
“I also learned from getting feedback, people around you telling you what works, what doesn’t work, or how it affects an audience.”
The above are just snippets. But it gives you an idea of what to expect.
Definitely worth the money, it’s also very inspirational to see how professional writers broke into the industry. There’s no one way of doing this, everyone’s situation is different.
Definitely worth a read.
As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again.
Who is Keyser Soze? He is supposed to be Turkish. Some say his father was German. Nobody believed he was real. Nobody ever saw him or knew anybody that ever worked directly for him, but to hear Kobayashi tell it, anybody could have worked for Soze. You never knew. That was his power. The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist. And like that, poof. He's gone.
Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten me into!
Well, it’s that time of year again when screenplay competitions start vying for our scripts. Page Screenwriting Awards and scriptapalooza have both started. If you’re new to the world of contests you may be wondering which ones to choose. Believe me, there are hundreds out there all dying to get your entry and probably the entry fee that comes with it.
Before you rush into it and enter every contest that comes along, you need to ask yourself.
What do they offer in the way of prizes?
If you’re paying $40-$50 dollars a pop for an entry, it soon adds up and your bank balance is going to feel the impact sooner or later. And what will you really get in return for that expense? Probably nothing.
Who are the judges?
Do the entries get read by production companies? Because it’s no good if Mr.Random Guy off the street reads them? What’s the point of that? Zero, nothing...
Who sponsors the contest?
Do they list previous winners, semi-finalists, quarter-finalists?
What success stories do they have?
Is the contest really geared to helping the screenwriter?
There are so many questions you should ask yourself before entering a screenplay contest.
If in doubt, email the organizers. If they take forever to reply to your email and questions. Especially if they don't reply. That should tell you something about how the contest is probably run.
If they’re quick and polite in their response... chances are the contest is run well.
What contests should you enter?
There are probably five worth considering:
Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting
The Grand Daddy of contests.
Being a finalist or even being placed can put you on the map. But it’s tough, they’ll probably be pushing 7000 entries next year, so make sure your screenplay is as good as it can be.
Austin Film Festival
Very much geared toward the screenwriter. It’s probably worth attending if you can so that you can absorb the whole experience. Again reaching the finals or doing well could possibly open doors for you.
Page Screenwriting Awards
Has been running for a long time and has a great reputation. Good thing about this contest is that they have genre categories for your entries. So your horror will be up against other horrors etc. Also they offer discount if you wish to enter your script into other genres.
They’ve changed their format this year, so it’s actually similar to Page Screenwriting Awards. They have genre specific categories for the entries now. Not sure if they offer discount on multiple entries. Hopefully they will do this or will consider doing this in the future if they don’t currently.
Again been going for quite a while and the entry fee is very reasonable. Winning and being placed can do things for your career.
There are probably a few more out there. But those ones are definitely worth considering. Just make sure your work is the best it can be.
What about you? Do you find it... wisible
... when I say the name... 'Biggus'...
Both guards chuckle.
He has a wife, you know.
You know what she's called?
She's called... 'Incontinentia'...
Welcome to Russell’s website. A storyteller who enjoys writing screenplays for movies. Even though the process is hard. It keeps his imagination working overtime.
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