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...
To Pre-lap or not to Pre-lap

To Pre-lap or not to Pre-lap

What the heck is Pre-lap? I had a good discussion with some of my screenwriting friends last week about using “PRE-LAP” in a script. Since many hadn’t heard the term before, I thought I’d cover it on my blog for those who may be unfamiliar with...
Be Like Donna

Be Like Donna

Short And Sweet I’m fortunate enough to have two friends named Donna. Curiously, they both share a trait: they get straight to the point — no padded sentences or beating around the bush. I love it. You always know where you stand and it saves a ton of...