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The 15 Platinum Rules of Screenwriting

scootywoopinaway:

The Ultimate List of Screenwriting Rules is home to hundreds of rules, tips, laws, principles, guidelines and more. These articles are overflowing with incredible insight and advice to help you write better screenplays. But what do they all have in common?

After sorting through each article, I came up with the 15 rules that appeared in the most articles. These are the ALL STARS. The tips every screenwriter must know. The platinum rules of screenwriting!

(1) Tell a great story

Nothing matters if you don’t have a great story worth telling. A tale you are passionate about. A screenplay worthy of your creativity and devotion.

(2) Master the format

Anyone can learn the industry standard for margins & overall structure of a screenplay. However, you have to master the subtleties of white space, slug lines, page counts & more. Not to mention the constant threat of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. Mastering the format liberates your screenplay of distractions and leaves only the story.

(3) No stage directions

You are not the director. Leave out camera shots & notes for actors. If something must be seen then skillfully describe it.

(4) Show, don’t tell 

Story is revealed through actions and characters. Your exposition shouldn’t be obvious to the reader. Show don’t tell.

(5) Get in late, get out early 

This rule applies to your entire screenplay but also to individual scenes. Cut out the excess and keep your story focused on what matters most.

(6) Know your audience

Never lose sight of who you are writing for even if it’s yourself. Every screenplay should be a perfect match for the audience it’s intended for.

(7) Create obstacles

Nothing should be easy for your characters. Put them through hell so people will care when (and if) they succeed. There is no suspense without obstacles and avoid cheating by giving them convenient escapes.

(8) Clarity

Every sentence should communicate an idea (or more than one idea) and it should be crystal clear. Only you can describe what your screenplay is about. Show people the exciting moments that previously existed only in your imagination. Be clear about your characters motivations and immerse the reader in your world.

(9) Your world, your characters

If you don’t have the answers, how can you ask the questions that drive your screenplay? What is your world like? Where did your characters come from? What is your story about?

EXTRA SPARK: Thousands of questions to help you develop better characters

(10) Less is more

Nearly every rule in this list is related to this rule in some way. Writing with clarity requires a simplification of descriptions. Hiding exposition can sometimes require dialogue to be rewritten and often shortened. Getting into your scenes late and out often, using white space effectively and rewrites in general all point to this one rule. Less is more. Keep it in mind at all times. Make every single word matter and eliminate the ones that slow your screenplay down.

(11) Write what you know

Writing what you know doesn’t necessarily mean you have to write only what you’ve lived. On the other hand, if you don’t know anything about sharks and want to write about sharks… Maybe you should go swim with some sharks! Research is key. A screenwriter is a student of life. Seek out the answers to better inform your story. You have to know every detail.

(12) Have something to say

You’ve got a great story, vivid characters and your structure is perfect. You still can’t take your screenplay to the next level unless you have something to say. What does your story mean? What is it truly about? You have to know the answers to these questions and build them into every page.

(13) Entertain

Above all else, your screenplay has to be entertaining. When reading each and every scene in your movie ask yourself one question: Is this entertaining? If the answer is no or not really then you’ve got some work to do.

(14) Write, rewrite, repeat

The only thing greater than a good idea is a better idea. Keep writing until it’s perfect. Don’t be afraid of a bad first draft. Be confident that your story will improve with every pass. Write until you adore every sentence.

(15) Write everyday

Screenwriters write screenplays. Find time to write and never stop thinking about what happens next. The more you write the more your skills improve. You CAN write an amazing screenplay as long as you’re willing to sit down and actually write it! (and rewrite it)

currentflavor:

wannabeanimator:

The Cinematography of The Incredibles Part 1 & Part 2

Shot Analysis

Wow I haven’t seen such a detailed visual analysis of a film in probably…ever! (well, except maybe for The Shining). This is a cornucopia of information for anyone interested in rules-of-thumb on how films are put together. There is a lot of good information here. 

overbrainbows:

Peacock Spider Dances to YMCA

I love spiders. I really do.

I can’t handle an unexpected encounter without trying to trap them and toss them outside, but I love them.

Curiously this also describes much of my interaction with my family

Story portfolio questions and guidelines

currentflavor:

Hey all, here are some of the questions I’ve received about submitting a portfolio for a story artist position (or internship). If you have questions, feel free to send them along and I will answer what I can.

How should I best present my portfolio if I was applying somewhere like Pixar?…

eschergirls:

meagan-marie:

SDCC Showcase: Warrior Wonder Woman!

Had an absolute blast wearing Warrior Wonder Woman at SDCC. Surprisingly, I made it all day hauling around the incredibly heavy shield, proving that the dedicated lifting these past few months has yielded some results!

For anyone who hasn’t seen this costume before, it’s an original collaboration between artist Tess Fowler and I. I’ve always adored Diana’s Amazon roots, and wanted to pay tribute to that aspect of her legacy. Tess helped me flesh out the design, and then I went to work on the costume!

More photos coming soon - Ljinto and I worked some magic together! :D

  1. Photo by Estrada Photography
  2. Photo by Estrada Photography
  3. Photo by White Darryl Photography
  4. Photo by Shutterfoo 
  5. Photo by Shutterfoo 
  6. Phone shapshot!
  7. Photo by Eurobeat Kasumi
  8. Photo by League of Hot Geeks 
  9. Photo by Chris Fink
  10. Photo by Chris Fink
   MM.com | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | DeviantArt

Since Wonder Woman’s costume, and people’s suggestions/concepts on different takes/redesigns, has come up as a topic on this blog before, I thought I’d share this awesome cosplay/design. :3

*scream*

Fuck Yeah SciFi/Fantasy WOC: Author Scott Lynch responds to a critic of the character Zamira Drakasha, a black woman pirate in his fantasy book Red...

fuckyeahscifiwomenofcolour:

The bolded sections represent quotes from the criticism he received. All the z-snaps are in order.

Your characters are unrealistic stereotpyes of political correctness. Is it really necessary for the sake of popular sensibilities to have in a fantasy what we have in the real world? I read…

I should get me to a book store, because middle-aged black mother pirate? I NEED ME THAT.

Same author as Lies of Locke Lamora?

I NEED ME THAT NOW

bikiniarmorbattledamage:

helpyoudraw:

Armor Tutorials and References

Armour Tutorial - PART 1 by rynarts

Armour Tutorial - PART 2 by rynarts

Armor Study and Guide 1 by KataabaIzuua

ASG 2 Head and Neck Armor by KataabaIzuua

ASG 3 Body Armor by KataabaIzuua

ASG 4 Arm by KataabaIzuua

Romance Roundtable

Wasson Artistry

Sword Forum International

ConceptArt

Was intending to reblog for personal reference but heck, we had a few positive examples and resources on real armor, so why not this? :)

(Source: old-helpyoudraw)

eschergirls:

urjabhi:

Concepts for “The Lord of the Rings Online” by Wesley Burt.

These are pretty cool.

Ohhhh myyyy great love of all that is armored and boobed.

I just googled “lord of the rings online women armor” and while there are some boob-windows popping up, it looks outnumbered by the badass fully-armored lady sets. Anyone play this and can confirm?

Because damn.

mochazombie:

emcaco asked: Hi! In your website FAQ you mentioned going to school as an animator. Do you have any advise/musing/rambling on transitioning from school into professional working life? :>

Answering this as a blog because I put my ranty pants on and don’t want to clog up the dashboards with my long-winded blabber!

Read More

Thank you!

I have about two years left in my program, but it took me all of an entirely different degree to work out that I really wanted to work in commercial art. Despite how much I loved and grew in those four years, there’s that niggling voice that’s shrieking “YOU WASTED TIME YOU NEED TO GET ON TRACK CATCH UP GET YOUR SHIZ TOGETHER NOWWW FIXITFIXITFIXIT”

It’s incredibly reassuring to hear that it’s okay to keep working things out. <3

infinitetundra:

lifewithanorwegianfjord:

this is mesmerizing. 

non equine blogs have reblogged this? Because that’s really cool because horses and stuff.

Horses are notoriously difficult to draw and animate so this is an absolute treasure. Thank yoooou, medical resources. 
http://edition.cnn.com/2012/12/07/sport/equine-massage-therapy-painted-horses

infinitetundra:

lifewithanorwegianfjord:

this is mesmerizing. 

non equine blogs have reblogged this? Because that’s really cool because horses and stuff.

Horses are notoriously difficult to draw and animate so this is an absolute treasure.
Thank yoooou, medical resources.

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/12/07/sport/equine-massage-therapy-painted-horses

(Source: carryonmywaywardstirrup)