Tony Bicat and Tony Macnabb. Creative Screenwriting: A Practical Guide. Ramsbury, Marlborough, United Kingdom, 2012.
Screenwriters should tap into their imaginations and experiences when telling their creative stories. The limitations of screenplays must be recognized, for the degree of introspection found in novels will not fit into a screenplay. A screenwriters must be creative.
Screenwriters should observe people and events around them. They should create fantasies. They should write their stories, Remember that something has to be told in order for an audience to realize it. They have to be told orally and usually presented with drama.
Courier New 12 is the proper screenwriting font.
A log line can not be longer than 28 words. It may include an overriding theme, set the scene, tell of characters, and present the film’s atmosphere.
A story should appear real. The characters must have conflicts and troubles A plot should cover the why, how, and what of the story.
The character’s mannerisms should be presented upon initial introduction.
Character names should reflect the story’s theme.
Dialogue should reflect how people naturally speak. The dialogue should reflect the character’s nature.
A scene usually should not be more than three pages.
Subtext uses previous information to let an audience know a character is saying one thing yet thinking something different.
Conflict is crucial to the story. The conflict must reflect the different desires of characters There usually should be a moral side to the conflict.The story must test the values, social mores,and taboos that exist.
The throughline, which is the main character’s objectives in the story, guide the plot. The structures draw out the conflicts. Aristotle and Gustav Freytay observed that stories often have a five act structure: 1.) exposition / diegesis, 2.) inciting incident, 3.) climax. 4.) move to conclusion, and 5.) denouement.
Syd Field sees screenplays having a three act structure. Act 1 establishes the story, has an inciting incident, problems emerge leading to a first conflict and then to a climax. Act 2 increases the tension, creates a turning point, reaches a climax, and increasing actions leading to more turning points. Act III sees a reversal, crisis leading to a climax, denouement, and resolution.
A story should conclude with order restored. A character arc should occur. The three act structure does not require a restoration conclusion.
Imagination can be anarchic and a story may be dynamic such hat it does not fit into a formal structure.
Voice overs should also show a picture during the voice over.
An interview voice over, showing character’s thoughts, should increase the visual.
A back story should be presented only if it is important to the story. It will take time away from the current story.
A flashback shows the past.
The “story point of view” shows what viewpoint the story presents.
A movie ending should have closure.
Most films have a climax, denouement, post-climax resultion, finale, and coda.
Climax generates energy for a satisfying conclusion.
Denouement un-knots the story’s threads.
The post-climax resolution creates a psychological resolution for characters.
The finale celebrates the story.
the coda is a grace note that is what one wants audiences to learn.
Some stories do not end happily. An audience has to appreciate how a film ends.
A film’s ending should unite and conclude a story. Often a character finds salvation, achieves a victory,, or obtains redemption. A moral can be involved.
Endings that conclude with despair or damnation could include an extreme irony, the character’s extinction, the character left in a life of hell, or an amoral Satanic apothesis.
Films fit a genre. A formal story often has cliches specific to that genre.
The European Union copyright last 75 years from the writer’s death, This is designed to extend to the lives of grandchildren.
The Writers Guild of Great Britain registers scripts for free
There is no standard contract for screenwriters in the United Kingdom, An agent usually receives 2% of the budge which often ranges from 1% to 3%.