FRIDAY'S SCRIPT TIP:

STORY INSTINCT


There's a quote that pops up over on the Wordplay site, I'm pretty sure from Nicholas Ray (one of my favorite directors) that says you can't teach directing. I think that's both right and wrong. You *can* teach techniques and technical stuff, what you can't teach is talent. This website is all about providing the screenwriter with all of the tools and techniques to write a screenplay. What I can't do is make anyone more talented.

The biggest problems I see in most scripts and movies are the basics. Those simple tools you learned when you first interested in telling stories. Maybe the professional writers and "professional" development people and professional producers have moved on to more complex tools and forgotten the basics? Whatever the reason, many movies these days fail due to something that wouldn't fall into a class for Advanced or Professional screenwriters - but something that might end up in beginners class.

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Which brings us to BASIC INSTINCT 2: RISK ADDICTION, which fails for so many reasons I could write a month's worth of tips using it as the bad example.... but that would be torture for me. So we're going to look at two major failings that fall into the category of Screenwriting 101 - Central Question and Boring Protagonist. The script was co-written by Leora Barish and Henry Bean (who is a good thriller writer on his own, responsible for INTERNAL AFFAIRS and DEEP COVER and THE BELIEVER) - neither are first timers, so the rookie mistakes are kind of shocking. The fact that neither was corrected in development (or the possibility that both were *added* in development) is even stranger.

Caution: Actually watching BASIC INSTINCT 2 may cause permanent brain damage. Yes, it's that bad! Here's why....

WHAT IS THE CENTRAL QUESTION?

At the heart of every screenplay is the central question. It's what propels the story forward and keeps the audience involved. In a romantic comedy, the central question might be: Will they hook up or not? In a disaster movie it might be: Will they survive, and *who* will survive? The story begins with the introduction of the central question and then keeps us wondering how it will be resolved for the next 100 pages. Pretty basic stuff.

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Joe Eszterhas, love him or hate him, knew about the central question and milked it for a long and profitable career. At one point in time, BASIC INSTINCT was the biggest script deal *ever* - he opened the door for the rest of us to dream about making $3 million bucks off one spec script. Then he topped that with some scribbles on the back of a napkin - the central question for an unwritten screenplay - that he sold for $4 million.

Eszterhas had one central question th he used in screenplay after screenplay: Did they or did they not commit the murder? Guilty or innocent? He used that central question in what is probably his best script, JAGGED EDGE. That film has workaholic attorney Glenn Close defending hunky Jeff Bridges on charges that he murdered his wealthy wife. Close, of course, falls in love with him... and the rest of the script explores that central question by bouncing us back and forth between believing that he's guilty as sin and a lovable hunk falsely accused of murder by an overzealous D.A. (the great Peter Coyote). We hope that he's innocent so that she can find love but fear that he's guilty. E-Z Joe manages to milk that question in interesting ways, including a great reveal of a previous murder and a likely suspect that isn't Bridges.

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Eszterhas used the same central question in the *Oscar nominated* art house film THE MUSIC BOX, this time with Jessica Lange defending her father, Armin Mueller-Stahl, against charges that he was a Nazi in World War 2 and did a whole bunch of evil things. Did he or didn't he? Guilty or innocent? Even though this time around it's a father/daughter relationship, the central question still works... in fact, I think it works better! We get to explore all kinds of family relationship issues, and zero in on that faith we all have in the goodness of our parents (and that point in our lives when we realized that they were human, too). Eszterhas would explore the same dynamics in his Payola script TELLING LIES a few years later.

But before E-Z Joe began his last ditch effort to reclaim some sort of post-SHOWGIRLS respect only to sink deeper into the muck of Hollywood failure... and burn, Hollywood, burn all of his bridges... he wrote a huge hit movie called BASIC INSTINCT.

In an ambitious search-and-replace of JAGGED EDGE, the film that changed Sharon Stone from that chick that played Ah-nuld's ex-wife in TOTAL RECALL into an actual movie star who would get to work with Scorsese and pick up an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, BASIC INSTINCT had a pretty strong central question. Michael Douglas is a cop living on the edge charged with investigating the murder of rock star "Mr. Boz" (like Boz Skaggs, who really lives in San Francisco and really owns a night club... just with a heavy metal rocker glaze). Number one suspect is smokin' hot writer Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone) who is every man's fantasy. Of course, Douglas starts a relationship with her, even though she's their #1 suspect. Central question again: Did she or didn't she? Is she a predatory female killer? Or innocent of murder but guilty of just about anything that can be done between the sheets?

We *care* whether she did it or not. If she did it, Michael Douglas is sleeping with a killer... if she didn't do it, Douglas might be arresting an innocent person. Eszterhas used his old standby central question to propel the story and keep us hooked and as emotionally involved as we can be in a story this surface and glossy. Even though Douglas was a flawed protagonist, we cared enough to worry that he might get killed. Sure, the film is silly (how can everyone Douglas knows have slept with Catherine?) but underneath it all is a central question that works.

(For the non-brain-dead version of this story, check out SEA OF LOVE.)

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BASIC INSTINCT 2: RISK ADDICTION opens with Catherine Tramell in London... in a really expensive spots car with famous soccer player... indulging in sex, drugs, and rock & roll at speeds over 100mph. Of course, you can't focus on driving with Sharon Stone climbing all over you, so the car ends up crashing into the Thames. The soccer star drowns, Stone walks away without a scratch, the police arrest her.

Okay, now what is the central question in this scenario? In the first film, we knew a hot blonde chick killed Mr. Boz in the bedroom with an icepick - and Tramell was a hot blonde chick. In the first few minutes of the movie, we had set up that central question that would fuel the rest of the flick. In RISK ADDICTION we *know* Stone didn't murder the soccer star - it was an accident. We can debate whether distracting the driver caused the accident or not, but it wasn't *murder*. As for "did she or didn't she?" - we know exactly what she did, no question about it. That's a mistake.

The police require her to see a shrink, played by unknown at the time actor David Morrisey (now hot in WALKING DEAD). And here's where the whole film goes way off track. Because the shrink has a deep dark cloud over him due to a previous patient who died named Cheslov. There were police involved and the press and it almost ruined his career. Was the shrink responsible for Cheslov's death? Unfortunately, that becomes the central question of the film. The problem with that as a central question:

1) It's an incident that happened in the past, so it can't really propel the story forward.
2) It has nothing to do with Sharon Stone's character.
3) If he was responsible or wasn't responsible... nothing changes *now*.

You might think this situation is like Bruce Willis in THE SIXTH SENSE, except his past mistakes had a direct relationship to his current case. The central question there was "Will he make the same mistake twice or will he be able to help *this* kid?" We spend the movie hoping that Bruce Willis will break through and find out what's wrong with the kid and help him... but worry that he will fail. That involves us emotionally in the story and propels the story forward. It's a good central question.

Cheslov?
Cheslov...
Cheslov!
Cheslov?

RISK ADDICTION doesn't use that as a central question at all. Instead, it focuses completely on the past, with Sharon Stone's character being kind of a subplot. The whole film is about Morrisey's past screw up on the Cheslov case! Whether he screwed it up or not doesn't matter now (except in some internal way - should Morrisey feel guilty or not?). It has nothing to do with Stone... or even risk addiction. Every once in a while Stone shows up for an appointment, and there's even a scene or two where she has sex with Morrisey. But these things have nothing to do with Cheslov and Cheslov has nothing to do with Stone or the dead soccer player or anything else. Which brings us to the next problem...

IDENTIFICATION CHARACTER

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David Morrisey is a good actor, but wasn't a movie star - no one was paying just to see him. Sharon Stone is the star of this film... but it's not about her character. Now, I've watched many films where the star is an actor I'm not familiar with. David Thewlis is in RISK ADDICTION as the possibly crooked cop, and I "discovered him" in some movie where he did an amazing job and now I go out of my way to see movies that he's in. But to "discover" an unknown actor, you need to see them in a role that is interesting or flashy or emotionally involving. Most people "discovered" Sharon Stone in TOTAL RECALL, where she completely steals the show. If Morrisey had been a supporting role in RISK ADDICTION with some great dialogue and an interesting character, we might have "discovered" him here... but he's the lead. The story is all about him and his past with the Cheslov case. He's the whole focus if the film...

And they've given him the dullest character ever to be put on screen.

He's an uptight, boring, civil servant.

He even wears boring *clothes* and because this whole film is about some incident in his past, his dialogue is one huge chunk of exposition after another. Instead of showing us things as they happen, the film is about things that happened long ago - so he's forced to *explain* the past again and again - booooring!

Now, I'm sure that someone was thinking that by making him *dull* hooking up with Catherine Tramell is a huge "risk" on his part... but we don't care about him and we don't care about his past with this Cheslov case and we don't care whether Tramell screws him to death or lures him into a speeding sports car or whatever. We don't care about him, we don't care about anything else. Characters have to be interesting enough that we want to hang out with them for 2 hours, and this guy? When will he ever get over his sad-sack past and get on with his life?

This script has so little to do with Catherine Tramell that I suspect it began life as a non-BASIC INSTINCT script and they just shoved her character into it to make the deal. I know that this was supposed to be one of the worst scripts in Hollywood before it was made - they actually had to sue Stone to star in it! I know that Stone had issues with every star they tried to cast in the shrink role - my guess is that she knew the script was not about her and was trying to get them to rewrite the script by casting a non-star. Didn't seem to work. Instead, we end up with a movie that's not about Stone's character and has a bland lead character.

OTHER SEQUEL ISSUES

Since the central question is about incidents in the past, *all* of the dialogue ends up being expositional. The story is obvious, the dialogue trite, and no matter how hard they try... no one can act their way out of this script.

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Plus we have weird logic-defying scenes. Tramell has been sleeping with a reporter... who asks Morissey for *basic* information about her for his story. Wait? Wouldn't he know this stuff just from pre-sex small talk? Even if he didn't, can't he use his position (sleeping with her) to coax a couple of answers from her? None of the Tramell plot stuff makes any sense, which is why I think she was added to an existing screenplay.

If the script was going to be about the Cheslov case... why not just make it about the Cheslov case and take place as Morissey is working on the Cheslov case?

I think you run into trouble with sequels like this because the killer ends up the star... and you're just remaking the first film. The central question from the first film no longer works, because if Catherine Tramell is again accused of a murder, we don't wonder if she is guilty or not... we saw the first film and *know the answer*. So we'd just have the dumbest cop in the world who can't keep his pants zipped. The key to a good sequel is to give us the same characters in a similar-but-different experience (like ALIEN and ALIENS). Sequels fail when they give us the exact same experience or go so far off track that it has nothing to do with the first film at all. THE FUGITIVE has Agent Gerard chasing an innocent man accused of murder, Dr. Richard Kimble, and eventually discovering that he really is innocent and (sort of) teaming with him to find the real killer. The big problem with the sequel U.S. MARSHALS is that it has Agent Gerard chasing an innocent man accused of murder (Wesley Snipes), and eventually discovering that he really is innocent and teaming with him to find the real killer. Been there. Done that. A better FUGITIVE sequel would have had Gerard chasing a *guilty* man and maybe uncovering a much larger conspiracy behind the gulty man.

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A more inventive sequel idea for BASIC INSTINCT might have been to rip off THE FUGITIVE and have mystery novelist Catherine Tramell framed for a crime, on the run, trying to figure out who the killer is before the police catch up with her. Who would believe that she's innocent? We've seen the first movie - she's guilty as hell! But we've seen the opening of the sequel and know she is innocent of *this* crime. Wow, knowing her past - how's she going to get out of this one? She would be portrayed warmer and sympathetic (Sharon Stone is a star, now) and we might wrap the story around her work as a mystery novelist - did she discover something by accident while researching her new novel? And what if she has no idea *what* she has discovered? The woman who knows too much... except she has no idea what she knows! It would be a totally different movie - and that might alienate some audience members who came to see Sharon Stone as a bad girl who doesn't wear underpants. But I prefer the ALIENS type sequels over a complete rehash of the original. I'd rather see something I didn't expect, than something I've seen before. I like the idea of changing the central question to: will she be able to prove that she's innocent by finding the real killer *before* the police catch her? There's a kick ass Robert Young movie called THEY WON'T BELIEVE ME! about a guy accused of murder once being accused of a second murder he didn't do... and struggling to convince people that he's innocent. I would have looked at that as a model.

Now to the stuff you really want to know: Does she get nekkid and does she look okay? Well, I think you see more in the original than in the sequel... and that's a good thing, because Stone is about the same age as I am, and even though she has taken care of herself, you can't beat gravity. You won't be seeing *me* naked any time soon. I'm sure Stone is proud of how good she looks, now (though she seems to have had some face work done) but she should be trying to find roles that play off her hard-edged persona, not her rack.

There - now you don't even have to rent it!


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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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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?

Only $4.99


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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!

Only $4.99 - and no postage!


NO KINDLE REQUIRED! Get the *free* app (any device, except your Mr. Coffee) on the order page on Amazon!



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!

Only $5.99


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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!

Only $4.99 - and no postage!


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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!

Only $4.99 - and no postage!


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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!

Only $4.99 - and no postage!


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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!

Only $4.99 - and no postage!


bluebook

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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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!

$4.99 - and no postage!


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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!


bluebook

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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bluebook

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!


bluebook

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!


bluebook

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!


bluebook

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!


bluebook

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!


bluebook

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!



hcd

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 2017 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!

CLASSES ON CD

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!
Take classes on CD!

MY OTHER SITES

B MOVIE WORLD
Cult Films, Exploitation, Bikers & Women In Prison, Monster Movies.

FIRST STRIKE PRODUCTIONS
Producing my own scripts, investment possibilities, pipe dreams.

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.
The 2 Day Class on CD!

BOOKSTORE

Every screenwriting book in the world!
SCREENWRITER'S BOOKSTORE
In Association With Amazon.com
From the latest screenwriting book to guides for finding agents and producers... all with at the Amazon.com discount!

ONLINE CLASSES
Furious Action Class
SCRIPT SECRETS STORE

Script Secret Store SCRIPT SECRETS STORE From Typing Monkey coffee cups to messenger bags to T shirts - everything a screenwriter needs to look sharp while working on that Oscar nomination! Get your Script Secrets Coffee Cup today!

BILL'S CORNER

My nineteen produced films, interviews with me in magazines, several sample scripts, my available scripts list... And MORE!
...............................BILL'S CORNER


Available Scripts

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!

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


eXTReMe Tracker
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!

CLASSES ON CD

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!
Take classes on CD!

MY OTHER SITES

B MOVIE WORLD
Cult Films, Exploitation, Bikers & Women In Prison, Monster Movies.

FIRST STRIKE PRODUCTIONS
Producing my own scripts, investment possibilities, pipe dreams.

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.
The 2 Day Class on CD!

BOOKSTORE

Every screenwriting book in the world!
SCREENWRITER'S BOOKSTORE
In Association With Amazon.com
From the latest screenwriting book to guides for finding agents and producers... all with at the Amazon.com discount!

ONLINE CLASSES
Furious Action Class
SCRIPT SECRETS STORE

Script Secret Store SCRIPT SECRETS STORE From Typing Monkey coffee cups to messenger bags to T shirts - everything a screenwriter needs to look sharp while working on that Oscar nomination! Get your Script Secrets Coffee Cup today!

BILL'S CORNER

My nineteen produced films, interviews with me in magazines, several sample scripts, my available scripts list... And MORE!
...............................BILL'S CORNER


Available Scripts

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!