I remember someone telling me that in a good screenplay or teleplay there should be a surprise on every page.
I’m more interested in being a part of an entire piece that I think is brilliant, even if it’s a small part to play.
Your main character has to really WANT SOMETHING.
Dan’s 2-Minute Screenwriting School brings you Part 2 of this panel of top script doctors, including Oscar winners Diablo Cody (Juno) and Dustin Lance Black (Milk, Big Love) as well as Josh Olson (A History of Violence) and Emmy-winning writing team Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely (Captain America, Chronicles of Narnia, The Life and Death of Peter Sellers).
It’s back! The 2-Minute Screenwriting School is back in action with this video and I’ve got more in the pipeline.
There are actually three climaxes in The Sixth Sense that satisfy the External and Internal goals of Cole (Haley Joel Osment) and Malcolm (Bruce Willis).
Learn more about Story Maps and buy the E-Book Story Maps: How to Write a GREAT Screenplay.
- Related: Download the Full Story Map for “The Dark Knight:” here
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Good luck and happy writing!
I thought I knew everything about Raiders of the Lost Ark until I Story Mapped it out. There is essentially a “soft” climax — Indy and Marian are strapped to a pole and rendered inactive. The day is won, but not at the hand of Indiana Jones. Our big action-adventure hero is essentially inactive in the climax, or is he?
The First Trial is the first test of the commitment that your protagonist made at the end of Act One when they made that active decision that pushed them and us into the second act. This must be a setback…a failure…thus there is a First Casualty…
The Story Map breaks down your narrative into its eight main dramatic elements, the four major story engines and the ten crucial story beats that must be in the same order and must fall in specific page points in your screenplay, no matter the genre.
Learn more about Story Maps and buy the new E-Book Story Maps: How to Write a GREAT Screenplay.
Good luck and happy writing!
Not only does each film adhere to the story map structure but there’s an over arcing structure where the trilogy is a story map unto itself as if it were one film.
The first ten pages of your script must establish the world of your story, set up a compelling conflict with intriguing characters, establish your skills on the page and suck in the reader.
Related: Don’t Suck, Suck in the Reader!
The Big Idea has replaced the term “high concept”… they essentially mean the same thing. The big idea is the first and maybe the only thing that will get your script read if you’re a new, unproven writer…the big idea is not just a stringing together of familiar elements from other hit movies, as many newbie writers think.
Don’t print the title of the script on the card stock cover… it should go on the title page of the script. If you’re using Final Draft…define a title page so you don’t get the generic, default title page.