Colin Costello

Character Cheat Sheet: The Big Five

Whether it’s Andrew Neiman attempting to become the next Buddy Rich in Terrence Fletcher’s torturous jazz class or Captain America chasing down The Winter Soldier, I believe all protagonists encounter five key more

Posted at 19 Dec, 2014 | By: Colin Costello | Categories:  Writing Tips

Rickie Castaneda

The Hero

Writing for the protagonist is rather tricky since readers usually wants to follow them; they're after all the purpose for the story. Naturally, you want them to be likable. But what about characters like Scarlett O’ more

Posted at 04 Dec, 2014 | By: Rickie Castaneda | Categories:  Writing Tips

Colin Costello

There Goes the Script-Hood

One of the great perks about The Writers Guild is the ability to go to their lovely theater to watch films for…FREE. Since I'm a confirmed cinephile, I love to take advantage of this. It gives me the opportunity to more

Posted at 02 Dec, 2014 | By: Colin Costello | Categories:  Writing Tips, The Biz

Colin Costello

Hooked on Horror

And now comes the moment we've been waiting for my fellow mad scientists (aka screenwriters). The moment we take your horror message, messenger (the monster) & protagonist and combine them into one giant scareplay! My more

Posted at 24 Nov, 2014 | By: Colin Costello | Categories:  Writing Tips

Mark Sanderson

It's About the Work

Maybe you've completed a few screenplays. Perhaps they've bounced around Hollywood, suffered criticism, notes and ultimately rejection. Congratulations! You've experienced the first rite of passage for any aspiring more

Posted at 19 Nov, 2014 | By: Mark Sanderson | Categories:  Selling, The Biz

Rickie Castaneda

Deadlines & Discipline

I wish writing were more romantic and I could tell you that I go to a secluded lakeside and type away effortlessly all while sipping on gourmet coffee until finishing a flawless first draft. For some, that may be true, but more

Posted at 18 Nov, 2014 | By: Rickie Castaneda | Categories:  Writing Tips, The Biz

Chris Soth

It's a Wonderful, Meaningful Life

Finally the last of my posts on meaning in screenwriting. And as promised, I’m going to discuss how to bring more meaning to your writing. First with an example, maybe the highest “meaning per moment” more

Posted at 13 Nov, 2014 | By: Chris Soth | Categories:  Writing Tips

Colin Costello

Flaws & Claws

Martin Brody is terrified of open water and faces a man-eating shark. Damien Karris is a priest without faith and has to exorcise a demon. Ellen Ripley is a by-the-book engineer to a fault and must break rules in order to more

Posted at 06 Nov, 2014 | By: Colin Costello | Categories:  Writing Tips, Selling

Randall Silvis

Find Your Screenwriting Bag

Recently I was having a conversation with John - my good friend and fellow screenwriter/novelist – to discuss a possible collaboration. At one point the conversation came around to dissecting the requirements of a more

Posted at 04 Nov, 2014 | By: Randall Silvis | Categories:  Writing Tips, Selling

John Weidner

Mantra Madness

Landing a meeting in this town isn’t easy, especially when you desperately want to fit the mold - you know, the one that gets you hired. That said, perfecting the art of the meeting once you actually manage to get one more

Posted at 31 Oct, 2014 | By: John Weidner | Categories:  Pitching, Selling, The Biz

Colin Costello

Beware of Monsters

Author Richard Wright once said, “The artist must bow to the monster of his own imagination.” So too, shall your readers. And if you scare them correctly, they won't simply bow. They’ll run for cover. In more

Posted at 20 Oct, 2014 | By: Colin Costello | Categories:  Writing Tips, Selling

Mark Sanderson


If you want to be a working screenwriter in Hollywood, you must learn the craft of executing a producer’s notes quickly and effectively. You’ll usually get one crack at your second draft, and if you haven’ more

Posted at 15 Oct, 2014 | By: Mark Sanderson

Rickie Castaneda

Table It!

You’ve finished a few drafts of your script, but still feel like it needs some work. You’ve separated yourself, reread & rewritten...but something’s still missing. I think the best way to remedy this more

Posted at 14 Oct, 2014 | By: Rickie Castaneda

Colin Costello

Horror Lessons

Boo! It’s that time of year again - when demons and unearthly creatures emerge to scare the bejesus out of us. And, no, I’m not talking about receiving notes from a producer or agent. I speak of my favorite more

Posted at 04 Oct, 2014 | By: Colin Costello | Categories:  Writing Tips

Colin Costello

How Much Do You No?

The burst of “no's” came with the speed and painful sting of a twirled wet towel “thwacking” multiple times against my bare ass. Each email began: “Thank you for entering….” Then more

Posted at 26 Sep, 2014 | By: Colin Costello | Categories:  Networking, Selling, The Biz

Rickie Castaneda

Keep the Pace Up!

Pace is a critical part in the construction of a screenplay. A slow-paced story can be agonizing for a reader to get through and, in-turn, become an easy pass. The most common mistake I see in screenplays are including more

Posted at 23 Sep, 2014 | By: Rickie Castaneda | Categories:  Writing Tips

John Weidner

Are You Prepared?

"What are you prepared to do?" was Sean Connery's oft-repeated line to Kevin Costner in De Palma’s classic gangster pastiche, "The Untouchables.” To me, it perfectly sums up the screenwriter's dilemma, vis-à more

Posted at 18 Sep, 2014 | By: John Weidner

Rickie Castaneda

Let's Get Visual

There are lots of “How to Write a Screenplay” books. But if you’re like me, sometimes you need to see things visually. If so, I have two recommendations for you: AMC’s "Story Notes” This more

Posted at 16 Sep, 2014 | By: Rickie Castaneda | Categories:  The Biz

Colin Costello


Once again I didn't listen to my girlfriend’s sage advice. It bit me in the ass. I broke her rule of not reading Internet reviews for my family film, “The Stream.” I was feeling pretty good after seeing a more

Posted at 09 Sep, 2014 | By: Colin Costello | Categories:  The Biz

Colin Costello

It's Bad, Dude!

I had a bad experience with a heavyweight producer two weeks ago. He started reading a spec of mine and called me after 40 pages to praise it. He went on to say that he never gets past page five. He then said he hoped I didn& more

Posted at 04 Sep, 2014 | By: Colin Costello | Categories:  Writing Tips, Networking, The Biz

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