top of page

Creative Screenwriting Magazine Notes-2

Tips From Creative Screenwriter Magazine


1. Creative Screenwriter-v7# 4


      1.Don’t overwork building your characters

      2.let some of the magic come out as you write out for advice that can slow you down

      4.No need for screenwriter to plot same details of a character


6. CS.V7N5 “Management Begins at Home”

1.Everyone hopes for a great manager or agent, both

2.Until then a writer must rep. Himself

3.Bender-Spink will except new artists

4. Send short, good letters

5.Go to a film school writing program

6.Get referrals if possible

7.Try newer companies

8.Take a job in the business- meet people

9.Go to pitch sessions

10.Become writer-director

11. Make a short film

12. Be creative with submissions

13. Read the trades

14.First call, first impression critical

15.”relationships” is the fundamental law

16. Have an entertainment lawyer submit your work!!

17. Research the company you are calling


7. CSV7N5P.24 ‘Ron Suppa”

1. It’s who you know

2. Times have changed-its always evolving

3 .Fewer films being made-102 this year

4 .stars- now hold the power where studio exc. used too-box office!

5. Good news! Good scripts, good writers still needed

6 .Go West! Be there!

7 .Schools.Ucla,Usc,AfI

8. Produce a play in L.A.-free talent everywhere

9 .Produce short-decent video camcorder


11. Screenplay contests: enter for the hope of meeting people in Hollywood

12.”face to face meeting” is worth a million bucks

13. Hang out at the ‘Writers Guild”




1.So new-know one knows how well it will work

2.Writer’s Script Network-Jerrol Le Baron has good features, recommended

3.Scrptcave-Dave Donnegan  has 1st look deals with Universal

a.  get evaluation for 75 dollars and its marked; “consider”, “recommend”

b.  goes to their board of directors-Pramount, Disney, Warner Bro.

c.  Good coverage-Berg=Saccani may offer to take the writer on as client

d.  Chat room open

4.ScreenConnect-$125-$75 after rewrite

a.  Uses professional readers-Disney, Bette Midler,etc

b.  Has only 30 scripts by 15 writers, no sales but 7 requests

c.  Must be a pro already to be listed


5.Script Shark-Ed Kashiba, Roy Lee

      a. Owned by Ifilm

      b. $100 get read and rated: “pass”, “consider” ,”recommend”

c. One writer landed and agent

a.  One writer landed an agent


6.Hollywood Screenwriters Network –Carlos de Abreu

                 a.  No evaluation

                b.  Few deals made-mostly educational (Good Story)

     a.  no coverage

    b.  anyone for $10

8.The Screenwriters’ Room, no advantage)


41. CS-v-11#2-“Teach Yourself “- Jeff Newman

  • what is the CSQ for each story you study?- central story question

  • your main character must have a clear personal, emotional situation.

  • Character Arc- any changes along the way?

  • What is the theme of the movie?

  • Any central relationship that has developed?

  • The central problem/conflict acts as a through line

  • The central COMCEPT- of the which the story hangs? This is sometimes called the spine of the story.

  • THE AUDIENCE THROUGHLINE refers to the thoughts and emotions that most in the audience will likely have while viewing the movie – surprises, concern, tension, excitement, anger, relief, sadness, etc.


54. CS- V2#1- Teach Yourself- the end- Jeff Newman-

1.      Scenes: average movie contains between forty and seventy units

2.      While watching movies determine how long many scenes are

3.      Ask yourself what they accomplish- plus or minus- move the character closer to his goal or farther away

4.      Check this article for things to accomplish in a scene

5.      Some scenes have a middy beg, mid, and end

6.      When studying movies ask yourself how that screne contributes to the movie

7.      Make a list of the events that the scenes accomplish- an event outline

8.      Often one character drives the scene although the driver sometimes changes mid-scene. Nearly always one or more characters have a scene goal in mind- something they want or are trying to accomplish

9.      Sequences: made of up scenes to accomplish a certain goal- an overall action that may have merit with Central Dramatic Question.  They could be called – sub-acts, sub- goal

10.  Integration of Elements: plot, character, theme are all intertwined (plot is character in action)\

11.  Aspects of character- inner need- key flaws- usually related to the theme

12.  In a scene, one or more of these elements must be integrated into the action

13.  Tip: watch a movie with the sound off 

a.       notice to what degree the story can be understoof without hearing the dialogue

b.      notice how much information is conveyed visually

c.       then, don’t watch the movie but only LISTEN TO IT

14.  Beyond the Video- to be a top notch screenwriter, some other skills  must be mastered

a.       language and grammar skills

b.      take Writer’s digest’s course to get up to speed


55. CS- Teach Yourself- Jeff Newman- The Sequel

1.      A look at the purpose of structure

2.      THE INITIAL HOOK: first three to five minutes- it must attract the attention of the audience- it must bring them on board to the story-

3.      CATALYST( INCITING EVENT): can occur from one to fifteenth minute: foundational story starter

4.      ACT ONE CENTER POINT: between minute 14 to 20- event, bit of information that reveals SOMETHING IMPORTANT about the story that leads to…

5.      END OF ACT ONE TURNING POINT: distinct, noticeable event that changes the story’s direction- 20to 25 minutes into story- it is a new beginning- another plot turn acting as a consequence of the turning point-

6.      MIDPOINT: distinct, pivot, reversal, ups the stakes, shift the odds

7.      ANOTHER STORY SHIFT: sometimes between mid and end of middle- crisis event

8.      END OF ACT TWO (OR END OF MIDDLE_) TURNING POINT: often involves defeat- seemingly imminent

9.      CLIMAX: event occurs which answers the central story question, and main story achieved or lost, conflict ends. Moment of emotional release

10.  DENOUEMENT: the final resolutions- wrap up- epilogue- three minutes


  • dimensional: are the main characters rounded? Do they seem like real flesh and blood characters with traits

  • Primary flaw: main character- interferes with fulfilling of his inner need- impedes the pursuit of goal- error of thinking?-

  • If MC is reluctant to accept the main goal, then what changes his mind?

  • Orchestration: very important- do they all seem alike or different- do they play off each other?

  • Ties that bind: what connects them to each other?

  • Identification tech: why do we care about these people?

  • Arc: can be many different things- 


a.       Amount: does the film seem too talky? Or good balance?- just of convey, intentions, emotions, likes and dislikes..

b.       Character- specific- do most of the characters speak alike, or do they instead speak in ways that are distinct

c.       Subtext: identify instances where subtext is employed- find examples where it’s clear that a character is thinking or feeling more than is conveyed by the actual lines of dialogue spoken.

d.      Semblance of naturalism: note how seldom characters say yes or no at the beginning of sentences or well, say, hey…also, notice how few instances that are of “ I mean” and “you know”( movie dialogue seems natural but is really more focused and concise


56. CS- V11#5-  Teach Yourself- Even More- Important story elements

1.      SURPRISES: audiences need to be frequently surprised

2.      Watch movies with SURPRISES  in mind

3.      Major and minor surprises- all count

4.      Due to revelation, reversal, complication, unexpected development leading to an unforeseen change in the story path, obstacle or “boo”- sudden scares causing the audience to be jolted- ( these should not be the main surprises in the movie)

5.      OBSTACLES:  challenge the characters who encounter them and force them to spend more time, effort, or thought in order to deal with them so they can continue with their plans and goals

6.      Obstacles add surprise, variety, energy-

7.      Can be any kind of endangerment, something to dodge, bypass,

8.      Obstacles do not affect the future story line once they have been disposed of

9.      COMPLICATIONS:  are like obstacles with an AFTER EFFECT

10.  Complications de affect the course of the story

11.  A plot complication is some event, problem, or new element that changes things

12.  A complication is a new element that changes things

13.  Sometimes the main goal must be revised

14.  All  good movies have several large course changing- story-line, altering complications

15.  REVERSALS: super complications- creates a sharp turn in the story- reversal of fortune- scene reversals- ex: the death star tractor beam grabbing onto the millennium falcon dragging it inside-

16.  Most movies employ three or four major reversals-

17.  This adds to the element of surprise- keeps characters off  balance- prevents story from becoming too linear and predictable

18.  REVELATIONS: recognition, realization, epiphany, discovery- refers to significant information whose disclosure startles us- changes things

19.  Revelations about events in the past- hidden agenda- ulterior motive

20.  Could be about the true nature of a situation that until now has been unknown

21.  Self-revelations- key flaw- inappropriate values, reasons for behavior

22.  End of story twists are also revelations-  the sixth sense

23.  Ally  is part of the opposition

24.  Darth Vadar’s disclosure to Luke

25.  Three ways: disclosed to the character but not to the audience

  • experienced  by audience  but not characters

  • experienced by audience and main character at the same time


27.  Both positive and negative stakes are involved-

28.  Positive  if the main character achieves his goal and gets his reward

29.  Negative: has to pay the consequences

30.  Two kinds: issue related, moral, justice and personal stakes


32.  time limits create a sense of forward focus in the story

33.  sparks anticipation

34.  character against time is always good

35.  focus forward: the upcoming dance in Back to the Future

36.  BEFORE AND AFTER:  by the end of the story how are things different?

37.  General condition that script started with  before Inciting Incident should return at the end

38.  How is the character different? His arc went where? Is it a change for the better or



57. CS  Vol. 11#6- TEACH YOURSELF- PART 5

1.      While watching and studying movies look for the following things

2.      SUB-GOALS AND PLANS: every so often a change point occurs- a development that creates a bend in the story

3.      Setback, opportunity, new problem, motivating event

4.      Action of main character responds to it-

5.      A sub-goal is an en-route objective or task- a step that must be accomplished  before the main goal can be achieved-

6.      Each story contains numerous stub-goals

7.      Some last a minute or two, others twenty- (snakes in Indian Jones)

8.      PROGRESSIVITY AND ESCALATION: most change points create a sense of progression

9.      Many change points are escalators- the situation, problem, conflict, degree of difficulty

10.  PACE/MOMENTUM: if a film’s pace remains the same too long it will grow tedious-

11.  They are measured against the goal- if events seem to be leading toward the achievement of the overall goal, then the pace seems healthy. If there is no goal the story will seem to meander

12.  Making progress and moving toward an endpoint helps to achieve a vibrant pace

13.  Changing the length of scenes can add variety and contrast

14.  A healthy pace and flow are achieved by alternating periods of tension and release

15.  The release moments or scenes don’t need to last as long as the times of tension, but they need to be there or the tension will no longer be as effective


17.  Mixed genre movies can work well but what usually doesn’t work is a mixture of levels of realism or of the author’s attitude toward the material-

18.  Drama and comedy can mix, but not drama and slapstick.

19.  A serious drama can be ruined if supernatural, magical elements are introduced late in the story


21.  Some serious dramas don’t require us to make allowances

22.  High concept stories do require us to go along with some idea or premise if we are going to have a good time watching the film

23.  This is known as “willing suspension of disbelief”

24.  The writer makes the rules for the universe of the story

25.  CREDITILITY:  the will suspension of disbelief does not cover any and all credibility problems, convenient coincidences, or unmotivated, implausible behaviors.

26.  Most good movies have few or none problems with wsod

27.  CAUSALITY: in life, very often one thing happens then another, In drama, most things happen because of another.  It’s not always the immediately preceding event however.

28.  Examine scenes as to whether they are part of a cause-or-effect relationship- the effect of prior cause.





bottom of page