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FADE IN: on Screenwriting, by Jeffrey Scott

Screenwriting Blogs

HOW TO WRITE FOR ANIMATION available again at Amazon.com

My book, How To Write For Animation, has just been released for the Kindle and other eBook formats. Read what Jeffrey Katzenberg, Stan Lee and others have to say about it. 

Screenwriting Blogs

GOT A RESEARCH QUESTION? ASK GOOGLE. GOT A STORY QUESTION? ASK YOUR MIND!

Every screenwriter is born with an amazing writing tool. It’s called the human mind. But if you don’t know how to use it effectively you could be wasting a lot of creative potential. I’ve found a very special way to resolve creative story problems that I think you’ll find very useful...

Screenwriting Blogs

WISH IT WASN’T SO DAMNED HARD TO WRITE A GREAT SCREENPLAY? WISH NO MORE!

Wish it wasn’t so damned hard to write a great screenplay? Wish no more! Emmy-winning writer Jeffrey Scott reviews THE CORE ELEMENTS screenplay writing method.

Screenwriting Blogs

WRITE SCREENPLAYS THAT COMMUNICATE!

The secret to great screenplay writing is keeping it simple and visual. Words can be your friends as well as your deadliest enemy. Here’s a short tip that will improve your writing with every word you don’t write.

Screenwriting Blogs

DRAGON AGE: DAWN OF THE SEEKER - WRITTEN BY JEFFREY SCOTT

When I’m not writing important blog posts I’m writing frivolous stuff like feature films. Earlier this year I had the pleasure of working with Chris Moujaes, the Director of Original Entertainment at FUNimation Entertainment, and producer April Bennett on Electronic Arts/Bioware’s animated feature film, Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker...

Animation Blogs

THE FUTURE OF ANIMATION

As you graduate today, and face an uncertain jobs market, many of you are asking yourselves 'What does the future of animation hold for me?'   To see what lies ahead, one only need look to the past...

Screenwriting Blogs

How To Flush Writer’s Block Down Your Mental Drain

There is no precise definition of what writer’s block is. Most likely, it’s just the terror of staring at a blank page or screen and thinking that the next words that come out of your cranial matter have got to be Oscar quality. Whatever it is, it’s really not that hard to handle. Over the years I have found three effective ways to get past whatever is blocking my creativity...  

Screenwriting Blogs

The First 10 Pages: How to Hook the Audience

Ever get a big fish on the line only to have it get away before you could pull it into the boat? You probably didn’t set the hook. Rule #1 in fishing: set the hook. The same is true in screenwriting, only you’re not trying to hook a fish, you’re trying to hook the audience. You don’t need a fishing rod, you need ten great pages.

Screenwriting Blogs

But Wait, There's More! A Final Post on Self-Promotion

Self promotion turned out to be the hottest topic yet on my blog.  My three posts on the subject are approaching 6,000 reads! I have received dozens of comments, both on the blog and at LinkedIn, over 95% of which were in agreement that self-promotion is vitally important. You get it!  That's good!  Here's what I got...

Screenwriting Blogs

Does Self-Promotion Really Work? The Results Are In for My Experiment In Self-Promotion

Does self-promotion really work?  What happens when you promote your writing via blog, Facebook and LinkedIn?  Over the past several weeks I’ve done just that.  The results are in.  Check out this post and find out exactly what happened with my experiment in self-promotion...

Screenwriting Blogs

Does Self-Promotion Really Work? Let’s Try It And Find Out

I got a huge response to my last post, Why Do Many Artists & Writers Hate Self-Promotion?, including several active discussions on various LinkedIn groups. Self-promotion is a very hot topic! Many of the people who commented on the post talked about their shyness, self-doubts, the unworthiness of their creativity, and other barriers to promoting themselves and their work.  One of the biggest concerns was whether or not self-promotion was really effective.  Well, let's find out...

Screenwriting Blogs

Why Do Many Writers & Artists Hate Self-Promotion?

A funny thing happened on the way to my Facebook page.  A handful of professional contacts refused to be my friend, not because they didn’t like me, but because they weren’t on Facebook.  The interesting thing was that they seemed to take pride in not being on Facebook.  This reminded me of something I’ve noticed over my career, an odd anomaly about many writers and artists: They don’t like to promote themselves.  Not a good idea!

Screenwriting Blogs

Creative Momentum

Do you write part time?  Do you write for just a few hours a day?  Are you writing a spec screenplay a few days a week or month? If you answered any of these questions in the affirmative you may be losing more time (and creativity) than you think. Let me give you a few suggestions that will help you get a lot more writing done...

Screenwriting Blogs

The #1 Most Important Screenplay Element. Are You Interested?

What is the #1 most important ingredient of every great screenplay? 

Is it great characters? 

Great plot?                 

High Concept? 

It’s none of these.  The #1 most important ingredient of every great screenplay is...

Screenwriting Blogs

Software Review: Final Draft 8

In my previous post, How to Turn Microsoft Word into a Terrific Screenwriting Program, I explained how to use Word’s “styles” to automatically create script formatting.  I received a blog comment from Ben Cahan, the creator and co-founder of Final Draft, who pointed out that a true screenwriting program was more than just “margins and capitalized slug lines and character names”.  Ben makes a good point.  Whereas Word allows you to easily and automatically format basic script elements such as slug line, action, character name, parenthetical, dialog and transitions, that’s about all it can do.  Final Draft, in contrast, does those things and much more.

Self-Publishing Blogs

Publishing a Book is Now So Easy Even a Writer Can Do It!

The book publishing industry, like the newspaper biz, is on a glide path to oblivion.  It's just too easy and cheap to download a book to your computer, iPad, Kindle or smartphone.

And that was last year!

Now it takes less time to publish your own book than it does to write a publisher query letter, let alone send it out and wait for the rejection letters.

Screenwriting Blogs

How to Prosper in Toon Town — An Excerpt from "How to Write for Animation"

Before you run off half-cocked with that shiny new animated six-shooter of yours, here are a few pieces of advice that will help you live long and prosper in this business. It would be foolish to think you could become a good animation writer without first understanding a little bit about creativity, especially considering cartoon writing is one of the most creative forms of writing there is. Fortunately, creativity is not as ethereal as some might lead you to believe.

Screenwriting Blogs

K.I.S.S. Bad Stories Goodbye

One of the most useful maxims in life is known by the acronym K.I.S.S. I'm sure you've heard of it. It stands for “Keep It Simple Stupid”. But simplicity is not just the key to a happy life; it's also the key to great storytelling—which only makes sense because stories are about life. Well-written animated features, no matter how complex they may seem upon first viewing, have basic character and plot elements that are very simple. To create a simple, well-constructed story you need only answer the following questions...

Screenwriting Blogs

Learn the Three R’s to Become a Better Screenwriter

There are only two things you need to do to become a better writer: study and write.  The question is: are you studying and writing optimally?  I wrote screenplays for Columbia and Paramount on instinct, and wrote hundreds of animation scripts the same way.  But I’d never really “learned” how to write. I finally decided to get serious about my craft and read all the best-selling screenwriting books.  I learned quite a bit.  But one of the most important things I learned was that WHAT you read is only half of the journey.  HOW to read is the other.  Learn the three R's and become a better screenwriter...

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