FRIDAY'S SCRIPT TIP:

CHARACTER FLAW IS STORY


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Story IS character. Once you find your character's big emotional problem - the thing he fears, his problem in life, his big flaw, the thing that prevents him from achieving his goal - you build the story that forces him to confront that problem. An external conflict that places him right in the middle of his emotional problem.

For the first few seasons of the TV show CSI, Gary Douardan played the character of Garrick Brown who was a compulsive gambler - he can't set foot into a casino without feeling the urge. He's a crime scene investigator... in the city of Las Vegas... and frequently gets assigned to murder cases that take him into the casinos. One of the episodes n the first season had him investigating the murder of a gambling addict at a casino - the victim very much like him. He was kind of investigating his own murder (if he falls off the wagon and starts gambling again). The episode ended with him walking through the casino to leave (depressed by the case) and feeling the urge so strongly he's almost brought to his knees. He's GOING to go on a gambling binge, you just know it!

CSI could keep the gambling character of Warrick away from cases in casinos, but where's the fun in that? Where's the STORY in that? They could have him under complete control in casinos, but where's the fun in that? You need that conflict to create a story. Put a guy who doesn't care about gambling in a casino and you have no conflict, no excitement, and no emotions. That means your protagonist can't be perfect. Perfect people are boring.

FAMILY FLAWS

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Look at your protagonist's character flaw (emotional problem) - does your story make him bumping into their flaw? Usually a character is in denial about their flaw. In FACE/OFF Sean Archer thinks that focusing his entire life on revenging his son's murder proves that he's a good father and husband. Everything Archer does is for his family, right? Well, from HIS point of view that may be true, but from his FAMILY'S point of view it's completely wrong. Archer is neglecting his family (but he doesn't think he is). He thinks he's a great father/husband - WRONG! He's terrible! He think that the MORE time he puts in on his quest to kill Castor Troy, the better husband/father he becomes. So totally wrong - but he can't see that. He doesn't WANT to see that. He AVOIDS seeing that.

The more he avoids it, the deeper Castor Troy (with Archer's face) inserts himself into Archer's family. He keeps trying to capture Troy to solve the problem, but if he just took a minute to realize the mistake he's making, he'd realize the easiest way to get Castor Troy OUT of his family's life is to get himself INTO his family's life. Instead of chasing Troy he should be making amends with his family. That's the REAL solution to the problem. And once he does that, once his wife and daughter are on his side, Troy can no longer "hide" in the Archer house using Archer's identity. With no place to hide, Archer can finally capture Troy.

The family stuff isn't a subplot in FACE/OFF, it's the main plot! You can't remove the family aspects because Archer is chasing Troy because Troy killed Archer's son! Remove the son's murder and you have no story! The family stuff and the action stuff are all part of the same story - the son's murder creates both an ACTION plot (revenge) and an EMOTIONAL plot (the family problems).

HORROR MOVIE FLAWS?

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The Korean disaster-zombie flick TRAIN TO BUSAN is about a self-centered businessman Seok-woo (Yoo Gong) going through a contentious divorce and child custody battle over his daughter Soo-an (Soo-an Kim). He ruthlessly puts his interests before anyone else's - and in the opening scene makes a business decision that will probably destroy a lot of people's lives (little does he know how many) but make him and his clients a lot of money. When he comes home to his daughter; he has not only missed her music recital at school, he has bought her a birthday gift... that he bought her last time he had to give her a gift. He has no idea what his daughter wants or needs. She has become a pawn in his fight with her mother. His daughter wants to celebrate her birthday with her mother, who lives in Busan (a long train ride away)... and dad just doesn't have time for that. Soo-an says she'll ride the train alone. Reluctantly the businessman decides to accompany his daughter on the train to Busan... working by phone the whole time and mostly ignoring her.

On the train, Soo-an goes to restroom without his noticing... and then our plot kicks in: a zombie plague has broken out, and both an infected woman and a survivor of a zombie attack have sneaked onto the train moments before it left the station. Now we have "zombies on a train" - but the story is handled more like a disaster movie with each of the main characters (including our businessman Seok-woo) forced to deal with their fears and flaws while trying to get from one end of the train - through several cars filled with infected zombie passengers - to the other end of the train and safety. It's really more like THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE than a typical zombie flick - with our core group of characters forced to do things way outside their comfort zones to survive... and each character dealing with their emotional issues along the way. That's the key to why this film works - the emotional issues of the characters. Though there are all kinds of scary and violent zombie attacks, it remains grounded by the characters.

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Our businessman father Seok-woo starts out in self preservation mode - actually closing the door on a blue collar guy (played with gusto by Dong-seok ma from THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE WEIRD) and his very pregnant wife so that they are trapped in a train car with a horde of flesh eating zombies... and scolding his daughter for being kind to a pair of old women when she should be thinking only of herself in a situation like this. Many of the characters are dealing with the selfishness side of self preservation in the middle of a zombie attack - the horror plot seems designed to put these characters in situations where they must decide if they will save their own skin (literally) or take a chance on failure and help to save a stranger. Our supporting cast has been introduced along with their flaws and emotional issues in succinct scenes on the train. The blue collar guy forces Soo-an to use another restroom further down the train so that his pregnant wife can take her time in the closer one... he's mean to a little girl! He also hates businessman Seok-woo on sight - prejudiced against wealthy people. The two older women - one is a nosey busybody constantly telling the other how she should live her life. There is a high school baseball team on the train, heading to a game, and a cheerleader. Everyone on the team is a muscular jock who wants to make out with the cheerleader, except one guy - a smaller and sensitive guy who is secretly in love with the cheerleader but stuck in the "friend zone". She can trust him, so she sits next to him. That baseball player and the cheerleader he secretly loves will become major supporting characters. There's a male and female steward on the train who figure into the story, and a very important character - the reflection character for our businessman lead - a *very* selfish businessman Yon-suk played by Eui-sung Kim. Yon-suk would sacrifice everyone else on the train if he could survive - and often throws people into the horde of zombies so that he can get away. He is all of our businessman father's flaws magnified...

Each of these supporting characters deal wit their flaws and emotional issues in this life-or-death (or undead) situation, designed to bring out their characters.

Our businessman father character Seok-woo slowly comes to realize that he and his daughter can not survive without the help of others, and that those other people also deserve to survive. He forms a team with the other supporting characters and as the story progresses ends up doing dangerous things that put him in danger in order to rescue them. We see him progress step-by-step, until we come to the end where he is willing to perform an act that may end his life to save the other survivors. It's a big emotional moment in his journey from self-centered a-hole to human being. Without that flaw - and the flaws and issues of the other characters - this would just be a standard zombie flick. Instead it's a multiple award winning film which played at Cannes... to critical praise.

CHICKEN OR EGG FLAWS?

Look at the incident that sparks your action plot - what are the emotional side effects and how will they come into play? It's kind of a chicken and egg situation: you can either take a character and set him down in a story that forces him to deal with his flaw, or take a story and find the emotional side effects (flaw) it creates in the character... that he'll have to resolve in order to solve the story problem. Either way - somewhere in your script is the answer. You may have to rethink some parts, you may have to really dig deeper into your story to find the place where everything connects - then explore that in your scenes... but that's normally what happens in rewrites anyway.

Your protagonist's character flaw is the story. He physical problem (plot) should be created to force him to deal with this emotional problem. He won't be able to resolve the physical problem (plot) without resolving his emotional problem... Just like Luke Skywalker can't blow up the Death Star until he believes in the force and starts trusting his intuition.

What's your protagonist's problem?


BRAND NEW!

OUTLINES & THE THEMATIC!

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OUTLINES & THE THEMATIC Blue Book.

ARE YOUR SCENES IN THE RIGHT ORDER?
AND ARE THEY THE RIGHT SCENES?

Your story is like a road trip... but where are you going? What's the best route to get there? What are the best sights to see along the way? Just as you plan a vacation instead of just jump in the car and start driving, it's a good idea to plan your story. An artist does sketches before breaking out the oils, so why shouldn't a writer do the same? This Blue Book looks at various outlining methods used by professional screenwriters like Wesley Strick, Paul Schrader, John August, and others... as well as a guest chapter on novel outlines. Plus a whole section on the Thematic Method of generating scenes and characters and other elements that will be part of your outline. The three stages of writing are: Pre-writing, Writing, and Rewriting... this book looks at that first stage and how to use it to improve your screenplays and novels.

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BRAND NEW!

DESCRIPTION & VOICE Blue Book!

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DESCRIPTION & VOICE Blue Book.

IS HALF OF YOUR STORY IN TROUBLE?

Most screenplays are about a 50/50 split between dialogue and description - which means your description is just as important as your dialogue. It just gets less press because the audience never sees it, the same reason why screenwriters get less press than movie stars. But your story will never get to the audience until readers and development executives read your script... so it is a very important factor. Until the movie is made the screenplay is the movie and must be just as exciting as the movie. So how do you make your screenplay exciting to read? Description is important in a novel as well, and the “audience” does read it... how do we write riveting description?

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NEW AND HOT!

*** STRUCTURING YOUR STORY *** - For Kindle!


William Goldman says the most important single element of any screenplay is structure. It’s the skeleton under the flesh and blood of your story. Without it, you have a spineless, formless, mess... a slug! How do you make sure your structure is strong enough to support your story? How do you prevent your story from becoming a slug? This Blue Book explores different types of popular structures from the basic three act structure to more obscure methods like leap-frogging. We also look at structure as a verb as well as a noun, and techniques for structuring your story for maximum emotional impact. Most of the other books just look at *structure* and ignore the art of *structuring* your story. Techniques to make your story a page turner... instead of a slug!

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LEARN SUSPENSE FROM THE MASTER!

*** HITCHCOCK: MASTERING SUSPENSE *** - For Kindle!

Alfred Hitchcock, who directed 52 movies, was known as the *Master Of Suspense*; but what exactly is suspense and how can *we* master it? How does suspense work? How can *we* create “Hitchcockian” suspense scenes in our screenplays, novels, stories and films?

This book uses seventeen of Hitchcock’s films to show the difference between suspense and surprise, how to use “focus objects” to create suspense, the 20 iconic suspense scenes and situations, how plot twists work, using secrets for suspense, how to use Dread (the cousin of suspense) in horror stories, and dozens of other amazing storytelling lessons. From classics like “Strangers On A Train” and “The Birds” and “Vertigo” and “To Catch A Thief” to older films from the British period like “The 39 Steps” and “The Man Who Knew Too Much” to his hits from the silent era like “The Lodger” (about Jack The Ripper), we’ll look at all of the techniques to create suspense!

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KINDA NEW!

*** THE BOURNE MOVIES

All five "Bourne" movies (including "Legacy" and it's potential sequels) - what are the techniques used to keep the characters and scenes exciting and involving? Reinventing the thriller genre... or following the "formula"? Five films - each with an interesting experiment! A detailed analysis of each of the films, the way these thrillers work... as well as a complete list of box office and critical statistics for each film. This book is great for writers, directors, and just fans of the series.

Only $3.99 - and no postage!





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Strange Structures!

*** HITCHCOCK: EXPERIMENTS IN TERROR! *** - For Kindle!

***

Contained Thrillers like "Buried"? Serial Protagonists like "Place Beyond The Pines"? Multiple Connecting Stories like "Pulp Fiction"? Same Story Multiple Times like "Run, Lola, Run"?
HITCHCOCK DID IT FIRST!

This book focuses on 18 of Hitchcock's 52 films with wild cinema and story experiments which paved the way for modern films. Almost one hundred different experiments that you may think are recent cinema or story inventions... but some date back to Hitchcock's *silent* films! We'll examine these experiments and how they work. Great for film makers, screenwriters, film fans, producers and directors.

Only $5.99 - and no postage!


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GOT IDEAS?

*** YOUR IDEA MACHINE *** - For Kindle!

*** YOUR IDEA MACHINE *** - For Nook!

Expanded version with more ways to find great ideas! Your screenplay is going to begin with an idea. There are good ideas and bad ideas and commercial ideas and personal ideas. But where do you find ideas in the first place? This handbook explores different methods for finding or generating ideas, and combining those ideas into concepts that sell. The Idea Bank, Fifteen Places To Find Ideas, Good Ideas And Bad Ideas, Ideas From Locations And Elements, Keeping Track Of Your Ideas, Idea Theft - What Can You Do? Weird Ways To Connect Ideas, Combing Ideas To Create Concepts, High Concepts - What Are They? Creating The Killer Concept, Substitution - Lion Tamers & Hitmen, Creating Blockbuster Concepts, Magnification And The Matrix, Conflict Within Concept, Concepts With Visual Conflict, Avoiding Episodic Concepts, much more! Print version is 48 pages, Kindle version is over 175 pages!

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BRAND NEW!

*** HOOK 'EM IN TEN *** - For Kindle!


Your story doesn't get a second chance to make a great first impression, and this book shows you a bunch of techniques on how to do that. From the 12 Basic Ways To Begin Your Story, to the 3 Stars Of Your First Scene (at least one must be present) to World Building, Title Crawls, Backstory, Starting Late, Teasers and Pre Title Sequences, Establishing Theme & Motifs (using GODFATHER PART 2), Five Critical Elements, Setting Up The Rest Of The Story (with GODFATHER), and much more! With hundreds of examples ranging from Oscar winners to classic films like CASABLANCA to some of my produced films (because I know exactly why I wrote the scripts that way). Biggest Blue Book yet! Print version was 48 pages, Kindle version is over 100,000 words - 312 pages!

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WHAT IS A SCENE?

*** SCENE SECRETS *** - For Kindle!

***

What is a scene and how many you will need? The difference between scenes and sluglines. Put your scenes on trial for their lives! Using "Jaws" we'll look at beats within a scene. Scene DNA. Creating set pieces and high concept scenes. A famous director talks about creating memorable scenes. 12 ways to create new scenes. Creating unexpected scenes. Use dramatic tension to supercharge your scenes. Plants and payoffs in scenes. Plus transitions and buttons and the all important "flow"... and more! Over 65,000 words! Print version was 48 pages, Kindle version is around 210 pages!

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DO YOU WRITE PICTURES?

*** VISUAL STORYTELLING *** - For Kindle! (exclusive)


Show Don't Tell - but *how* do you do that? Here are techniques to tell stories visually! Using Oscar Winning Films and Oscar Nominated Films as our primary examples: from the first Best Picture Winner "Sunrise" (1927) to the Oscar Nominated "The Artist" (which takes place in 1927) with stops along the way Pixar's "Up" and Best Original Screenplay Winner "Breaking Away" (a small indie style drama - told visually) as well as "Witness" and other Oscar Winners as examples... plus RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES. Print version is 48 pages, Kindle version is over 200 pages!

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GREAT SUPPORTING CHARACTERS!

*** SUPPORTING CHARACTER SECRETS *** - For Kindle! (Exclusive)


Expanded version with more techniques to flesh out your Supporting Characters and make them individuals. Using the hit movie BRIDESMAIDS as well as other comedies like THE HANGOVER and TED and HIGH FIDELITY and 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN and many other examples we look at ways to make your Supporting Characters come alive on the page. Print version was 48 pages, Kindle version is around 170 pages!

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Over 400 Pages!

*** BREAKING IN BLUE BOOK *** - For Kindle!


Should really be called the BUSINESS BLUE BOOK because it covers almost everything you will need to know for your screenwriting career: from thinking like a producer and learning to speak their language, to query letters and finding a manager or agent, to making connections (at home and in Hollywood) and networking, to the different kinds of meetings you are will have at Studios, to the difference between a producer and a studio, to landing an assignment at that meeting and what is required of you when you are working under contract, to contracts and options and lawyers and... when to run from a deal! Information you can use *now* to move your career forward! It's all here in the Biggest Blue Book yet!

Print version was 48 pages, Kindle version is over 400 pages!

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Over 240 pages!

*** THE TERMINATOR MOVIES *** - For Kindle!


He's back! The release of "Terminator: Genisys" (now on BluRay) is set to begin a new trilogy in the Terminator story... 31 years after the first film was released. What draws us to these films about a cybernetic organism from the future sent back in time? Why is there a new proposed trilogy every few years? This book looks at all five Terminator movies from a story standpoint - what makes them work (or not)? What are the techniques used to keep the characters and scenes exciting and involving? How about those secret story details you may not have noticed? Containing a detailed analysis of each of the five films so far, this book delves into the way these stories work... as well as a complete list of box office and critical statistics for each film. This book is great for writers, directors, and just fans of the series.

Only $3.99 - and no postage!


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NEW BUT OLD!

*** VINTAGE #1: HOW TO WRITE PHOTOPLAYS *** - For Kindle!

***

Screenwriting books have been around as long as films have. This series reprints vintage screenwriting books with a new introduction and history, plus new articles which look at how these lessons from almost 100 years ago apply to today’s screenplays. Anita Loos book is filled with information which still applies. In addition to the full text of the original book, you get the full screenplay to Miss Loos' hit THE LOVE EXPERT, plus several new articles on the time period and women in Hollywood.

Only $2.99 - and no postage!


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MAKES A GREAT GIFT!

*** THE SECRETS OF ACTION SCREENWRITING *** - For Kindle!

*** THE SECRETS OF ACTION SCREENWRITING *** - For Nook!

Why pay $510 for a used version of the 240 page 2000 version that used to retail for $21.95? (check it out!) when you can get the NEW EXPANDED VERSION - over 500 pages - for just $9.99? New chapters, New examples, New techniques!

"SECRETS OF ACTION SCREENWRITING is the best book on the practical nuts-and-bolts mechanics of writing a screenplay I've ever read." - Ted Elliott, co-writer of MASK OF ZORRO, SHREK, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN and the sequels (with Terry Rossio). (ie; 4 of the top 20 Box Office Hits Of ALL TIME.)

Only $9.99 - and no postage!


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HOW YOU TELL IT

*** STORY: WELL TOLD *** - For Kindle!


This book takes you step-by-step through the construction of a story... and how to tell a story well, why Story always starts with character... but ISN'T character, Breaking Your Story, Irony, Planting Information, Evolving Story, Leaving No Dramatic Stone Unturned, The Three Greek Unities, The Importance Of Stakes, The Thematic Method, and how to create personal stories with blockbuster potential. Ready to tell a story? Print version was 48 pages, Kindle version is over 85,000 words - 251 pages!

Only $4.99 - and no postage!


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STUCK IN THE MIDDLE?

*** ACT TWO SECRETS *** - For Kindle!


Expanded version with more techniques to help you through the desert of Act Two! Subjects Include: What Is Act Two? Inside Moves, The 2 Ps: Purpose & Pacing, The 4Ds: Dilemma, Denial, Drama and Decision, Momentum, the Two Act Twos, Subplot Prisms, Deadlines, Drive, Levels Of Conflict, Escalation, When Act Two Begins and When Act Two Ends, Scene Order, Bite Sized Pieces, Common Act Two Issues, Plot Devices For Act Two, and dozens of others. Over 67,000 words (that's well over 200 pages) of tools and techniques to get you through the desert of Act Two alive! Print version was 48 pages, Kindle version is over 208 pages!

Only $4.99 - and no postage!


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GREAT SUPPORTING CHARACTERS!

*** SUPPORTING CHARACTER SECRETS *** - For Kindle! (Exclusive)


Expanded version with more techniques to flesh out your Supporting Characters and make them individuals. Using the hit movie BRIDESMAIDS as well as other comedies like THE HANGOVER and TED and HIGH FIDELITY and 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN and many other examples we look at ways to make your Supporting Characters come alive on the page. Print version was 48 pages, Kindle version is around 170 pages!

Only $4.99 - and no postage!


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THAT STAR PART!

*** CREATING STRONG PROTAGONISTS *** - For Kindle!

*** CREATING STRONG PROTAGONISTS *** - For Nook!

Expanded version with more ways to create interesting protagonists! A step-by-step guide to creating "take charge" protagonists. Screenplays are about characters in conflict... characters in emotional turmoil... Strong three dimensional protagonists who can find solutions to their problems in 110 pages. But how do you create characters like this? How do you turn words into flesh and blood? Character issues, Knowing Who Is The Boss, Tapping into YOUR fears, The Naked Character, Pulp Friction, Man With A Plan, Character Arcs, Avoiding Cliche People, Deep Characterization, Problem Protagonists, 12 Ways To Create Likable Protagonists (even if they are criminals), Active vs. Reactive, The Third Dimension In Character, Relationships, Ensemble Scripts, and much, much more. Print version is 48 pages, Kindle version is once again around 205 pages!

Only $4.99 - and no postage!


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THEY SOUND DIFFERENT!

*** DIALOGUE SECRETS *** - For Kindle!

*** DIALOGUE SECRETS *** - For Nook!

Expanded version with more ways to create interesting dialogue! How to remove bad dialogue (and what *is* bad dialogue), First Hand Dialogue, Awful Exposition, Realism, 50 Professional Dialogue Techniques you can use *today*, Subtext, Subtitles, Humor, Sizzling Banter, *Anti-Dialogue*, Speeches, and more. Tools you can use to make your dialogue sizzle! Special sections that use dialogue examples from movies as diverse as "Bringing Up Baby", "Psycho", "Double Indemnity", "Notorious", the Oscar nominated "You Can Count On Me", "His Girl Friday", and many more! Print version is 48 pages, Kindle version is over 160 pages!

Only $4.99 - and no postage!



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FINAL DRAFT SOFTWARE

Use your creative energy to focus on the content; let Final Draft take care of the style. Final Draft is the number-one selling application specifically designed for writing movie scripts, television episodics and stage plays. Its ease-of-use and time-saving features have attracted writers for almost two decades positioning Final Draft as the Professional Screenwriters Choice. Final Draft power users include Academy, Emmy and BAFTA award winning writers like Oliver Stone, Tom Hanks, Alan Ball, J.J. Abrams, James Cameron and more. * * * Buy It!

copyright 2018 by William C. Martell


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SECRETS OF ACTION SCREENWRITING

bluebook IT'S BACK! SECRETS OF ACTION SCREENWRITING
Over 460 pages packed with tips and techniques. How to write a plot twist, the four kinds of suspense (and how to create it), reversals, ten ways to invent new action scenes, secrets and lies, creating the ultimate villain, five kinds of love interests, MORE! CLICK HERE!

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Class CDs CLASSES ON CD! Take a class on CD! GUERRILLA MARKETING - NO AGENT? NO PROBLEM! and WRITING THRILLERS (2 CDs). Full length classes on CD. Now Available: IDEAS & CREATIVITY, WRITING HORROR, WRITING INDIE FILMS, more!
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NAKED SCREENWRITING CDs

Naked Class The NAKED SCREENWRITING CLASS ON CD! The 2001 London Class on 8 CDs! Recorded *live* the morning after the Raindance Film Festival wrapped. The two day class on 8CDs, plus a workbook, plus a bonus CD.
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My nineteen produced films, interviews with me in magazines, several sample scripts, my available scripts list... And MORE!
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E BOOKS PAGE

bluebook E BOOKS: New Blue Books and Novelettes!
I am expanding all of the Blue Books from around 44 pages of text to around 200 pages! Some are over 250 pages! See what is availabale and what is coming soon!Also, I've been writing Novelletes and there will soon be novels.
E BOOKS: BLUE BOOKS & NOVELLETES

BOOKLETS & PRODUCTS

bluebook FIRST STRIKE BLUE BOOKS
Each Blue Book is 48 pages and focuses on a different aspect of screenwriting. Dialogue. Visual Storytelling. Your First Ten Pages. Act 2 Booster. Protagonists. Great Endings.
Seventeen Blue Books now available!

THE SECRETS OF ACTION SCREENWRITING OUT OF PRINT!