Top Screenwriting Contests and Fellowships of 2018

Want to make it in the film industry as a writer, but you just don’t know how? One way is to win a screenwriting competition. Screenwriting competitions are great for several reasons. One reason is that if you have a deadline to finish a script it’s far more likely that you’ll complete it. Another is that you’re having talented people judge your scripts. You may not have feedback on the script from them, so a piece of advice before you submit would be to get some professional script coverage. Finally, the cash prize is great incentive, but the best thing that can come out of it is that your script can be made or a big agent may want to sign you. Pretty cool. Screenwriting competitions are fierce, and a very small percentage come out on top. That being said, if you want to take screenwriting seriously this is a great avenue to go down. At the very least you’ll be gaining some great writing experience.

Here’s an article of some of the top screenwriting contests in 2018:

Good In A Room – The Top 14 Screenwriting Contests To Enter In 2018

Also, keep a lookout on our Twitter page, where we’ll now be announcing upcoming deadlines for the biggest competitions.


How To Write Great Dialogue

Image result for dialogue

Great dialogue can make or break a movie. This is why I suggest replacing all dialogue with emojis, and having the actors improvise the scenes based off of those emojis. It would certainly make our jobs as writers easier!

I found a great article about writing better dialogue, and it uses “Manchester by the Sea” for all of it’s examples. There’s a lot more to writing great dialogue, but this is a very helpful article that points out most issues people have when writing it.

Here it is: StudioBinder: 6 Essential Screenwriting Tips for Writing Better Movie Dialogue

Creating Great Characters

Do all of your characters sound and act just like you? Or like robots? Neither would be a good sign for your screenplay. That’s why today’s post is about characters. If you’re having trouble with creating your characters, I’ve found a great article that will help you with 5 tips on how to write them better. I’m a strong believer in good characters. No matter what the story is, if you don’t have good characters, people won’t invest their time.

The five tips are:

  1. Make your character likable early on
  2. Build realistic and detailed characterization
  3. Let your character make the decisions for you
  4. Give your character compelling dialogue
  5. Think like an actor and give your character a point of view

This is a great article that has lots of good information. I hope you can enjoy and learn from it.

IndieWire – Screenwriting 101: 5 Tips for Writing Better Characters into Your Screenplay

When To Stop Writing…

Image result for too much

Right now, we live in a time when it seems there’s never an end to the story. Comic books are getting reboot after reboot, games are getting sequel after sequel, films and TV shows get spinoffs, etc. That’s not always a bad thing, in fact I’m all for a good story any time. In a lot of cases though, certain stories should be ending or don’t need to be told and that’s a major issue. But how do we know when to end it? That’s the question. It’s not easy to figure out, especially in this time when it seems stories keep continuing on.

It seems there are many ways to keep a story going. You can reboot a series, bring a character back from death, go into their unexplored past, create a new story from a side character… the list goes on. This trend started a while back, and a good example of it was the death and return of Superman, at least in the comic book world. That has leaked over into film and TV. Here’s a great video about that by Max Landis. It’s definitely worth the watch:

I also have a great article here on when to stop writing: Standout Books: Are You Killing Your Book With Too Much Detail And Explanation?

I feel like this is an important topic to cover at this time. The impact a story creates is very important, and can easily be taken away when a story drones on. It may be a good idea to ask yourself, “what’s truly best for this story?” You’ll be happier with what you’ve written, and your audience will be happier with the results. It’s a win-win.

Storytelling in Videogames

Image result for super smash bros ultimate

This week, in celebration of E3, we’re going to depart from film and TV to celebrate the storytelling in video games. E3, for those that don’t know, is the Electronic Entertainment Expo. It’s the largest video game convention, which is held annually here in Los Angeles at the LA Convention Center. Video games are a major passion of mine, and the storytelling in them has evolved to the point where I believe they can compete with film and TV. In fact, one of the greatest things about the storytelling in games is that in some games you can create a story of your own, and make decisions that will take you down a different path than others that play. Whether you play games or not, this post should fascinate you in seeing how far storytelling has come in video games over the past 30 years. For a perfect example of how far gaming has come watch the trailer below for “The Last of Us Part II.”

Pretty amazing, right?! Well, if there’s any indication games and the storytelling in them will only get better and better. There’s still a long way to go, and the experiences created are already truly one of a kind. For a full look at how the storytelling in games has changed over the years, watch the video below:

How I Get My Story Ideas

Last night I was talking to a friend, and they asked me how I come up with all of my story ideas. I thought it would make for a fun post. I told them usually when I’m in the shower, driving on the freeway, or when I’m about to go to bed are the most frequent times… Why is life so cruel?! Ideas don’t just come out of nowhere though. I mean sometimes they’ll pop up into my mind, but generally the best ideas come to you when you have your mind on something specific.

I like to write sci-fi, so I’ll typically think of things I’d like to know more about. Could time travel really work? If you were sent through a teleportation device, is what comes out on the end really you? Is extraterrestrial life out there, and what is it really like? One story that comes to mind is about the future of dating. I had been online dating at the time, and I began to wonder what the future of that would be like in 15 – 20 years. Once you have that question in your mind all sorts of things will come at you. Researching and brainstorming can help immensely once you have a basic idea. Honestly, the idea is the most important part. Once you have that, a flood of supporting questions and ideas can come your way.

There are numerous ways to come up with a good idea for a story. They come best from a passion and the urge to want to know more about something, or to see something come to fruition. There are a plethora of things to write about. You might want to know how to properly protect yourself during a zombie apocalypse, or you might want to know the intimate details of the life of Albert Eintstein, or you may just want to rewrite the “Fantastic 4” in a vision of your own. If you’re not the idea generator that you want to be, than you can always create an adaptation of a comic book or novel that you love. That’s the beauty of this industry. We can create and share the stories we love. Ideas are not hard to come by, and if you put your mind on it there is always an interesting story to tell. I also believe that if you write something that you are truly interested in and passionate about that there will be an audience out there just waiting to see it. There are an infinite amount of ideas waiting in that brain of yours just waiting to burst out. Let them run wild.

Editing Your Script

This week we’ll be talking about editing you’re your script. At this point in the process your story should be solid. You may make a few minor changes, but you should feel like the order of events is set in place, all the characters are there, and really nothing major will be changing once you start the edit. This is where you start to put the final touches. You’ll fix spelling errors, replace more interesting words with less interesting ones, etc. It’s largely a cosmetic thing.

Here’s an awesome article about the process of editing you scripts: Go Into The Story – How I Write A Script, Part 10: Editing