Randall Silvis

The Script Chef

Like many writers, over the years I've worked at numerous jobs that had no apparent connection to writing. As a teacher, however, I’ve discovered that my best writers come from outside academia. They come with a deeper ...read more

Posted at 20 Jan, 2015 | By: Randall Silvis

Colin Costello

The Worst of the Year

Meg Cabot, the writer of “The Princess Diaries,” once said, “If you're writing a screenplay, you need to be prepared to let go. There's a good chance the words you write aren't going to be the ones that end ...read more

Posted at 13 Jan, 2015 | By: Colin Costello | Categories:  The Biz

Colin Costello

The Best Films of the Year

This was probably the hardest list for me to make, because I did see many great films this year. How is "Boyhood" not on this list? Or "Guardians of The Galaxy?" Or even, "The Lego Movie?" My criteria are very simple. What r...read more

Posted at 08 Jan, 2015 | By: Colin Costello | Categories:  The Biz

Rickie Castaneda

How to Write the Holidays

There’s no doubt that Hollywood loves holiday themed specials and movies. Christmas movies have become its own genre and the shelf life can be forever. So what makes a good Christmas film? As a writer of more than few...read more

Posted at 30 Dec, 2014 | By: Rickie Castaneda

Colin Costello

Ain't that the Dickens

Is there a more perfect story than Charles Dickens’ novella, “A Christmas Carol?” There’s a reason it transcends radio, stage, film and even the “Huh-Huh-Humbug,” episode on “Beavis a...read more

Posted at 24 Dec, 2014 | By: Colin Costello | Categories:  Writing Tips, Selling, The Biz

Rickie Castaneda

Ticking Clock

When outlining your story, one component to keep in mind is your “ticking clock.” The “ticking clock” is used a lot in thrillers and action films to create tension for impending doom, but it's a great ...read more

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

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 tur...read 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’Ha...read 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 see...read 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 ad...read 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 screenwrit...read 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 n...read 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” rati...read 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 kil...read 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 memor...read 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 i...read 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 ...read 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’t...read 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 pr...read 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 genre...read more

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

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