New Shot, New Paragraph

New Shot, New Paragraph

When do you start a new paragraph? One thing that tends to confound new screenwriters is the issue of paragraphs. Some scripts have longer paragraphs. Other scripts have shorter ones — some as short as one word.  So how do you decide it’s time to start a...
Shakes His Head

Shakes His Head

Efficiency Screenwriting is all about efficiency. Maximum impact with the minimum number of words. So one of my biggest pet peeves is when I see the following in scripts: She shakes her head no. There are two big things wrong with that action line: Why is the word...
The Importance of Active Verbs

The Importance of Active Verbs

Dude, aren’t all verbs active? Good question, smartass! The truth is, there are passive and active forms of verbs. The active form (without the “ing”) is almost always the best one to use. For example, I often see a variation of the following...
Capitalizing God, Mom and Dad

Capitalizing God, Mom and Dad

When do you capitalize god, mom and dad?  Based on the frequency with which I encounter these capitalization mistakes while proofreading scripts, there seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding this question. Luckily, there’s a really easy trick to...