American Beauty DVD - Buy it!

One great idea does not a script make. You will need hundreds of ideas for your screenplay - character ideas, dialogue ideas, scene ideas, action ideas, and if you are writing a comedy - joke ideas. Now, when I say "joke" I don't mean some Borscht Belt Henny Youngman routine (though that may work depending on the type of comedy you are writing) - I mean things that are funny. That funny thing can come from the character, character interactions, or situations. But it is something created with the intention to make the audience laugh. Those funny lines or moments or situations start with an idea, and for a comedy film you need enough of them to be constantly funny. Not every joke works for every audience member, so the key is to pack your comedy with different kinds of comedy so that there is always something to make every audience member laugh.

A couple of years ago Will Ferrell seemed to be back with THE OTHER GUYS, though Sam Jackson and The Rock stole the show... and Marky Mark did a great job as a cop with *extreme* anger management issues...

The previous few years we seemed to be having a joke shortage - both GET SMART and ZOHAN didn't have enough funny material for their running times. There were long dry patches where either the one joke didn't work (there will always be misfires, so pack extra ammo) or there *was* nothing funny in that portion of the scene. Colin's brother Will has a new movie coming out where he plays John C. Reily's new step-brother, and the trailer only has a couple of laughs in it. Not a good sign. Lately, Ferrell has been making so many films there aren't enough laughs to go around. SEMI-PRO (now on DVD) is a good example of why you need to spend more time honing your script and making sure there are enough jokes-per-square-inch to provoke consistent laughter *before* you spend the millions to make the film.


American Beauty DVD - Buy it!

The most important idea in your screenplay is the concept, so you want to make sure you have the absolute *best* concept possible before going to script. I may come up with 100 ideas before I find the *right* one - the best one. Then I play around with that idea to find the very best version of it before I go to script. I'm thinking about writing a Western right now, and it begins in a town... but what makes this town special? I thought it wold be interesting if it was the town where gunslingers go to retire - so the entire population are fast-draw killers. Look, it could have just been a generic cowboy town where most Westerns take place - but my goal is to improve every part of the idea before I have 110 pages. I want to make sure I have the best idea and the best version of that idea *before* I write the script.

Okay, we're going to make a Will Ferrell sports comedy. Let's start with a sport... say, NASCAR driving. What is funny about that sport? Well, NASCAR started with hillbilly moonshine drivers, so we can do a bunch of "redneck" jokes - how many books full of those does Jeff Foxworthy have? And is there an "opposite" in that world that can create conflict and humor from that conflict? Well, Formula One drivers are often sophisticated Europeans... let's throw in one of those! I think we might find enough material for a movie, there. Okay, what about male figure skating? I can brainstorm up a hundred jokes about male figure skaters! Okay, now what about basketball?

Basketball... what is inherently funny about basketball? What are the built in, obvious basketball jokes? When I watch male figure skating on TV, which is every chance I get (not), it's just funny. When I watch basketball... it's an exciting game. Not funny. Even the Harlem Globetrotters - which are a comedy basketball team - aren't *funny*. They are clever and talented and do amazing tricks - when we laugh at the Globetrotters, it's a laugh of admiration - these guys are like magicians with a basketball. But basketball - not a funny sport. So why select that as the sport to use for your Will Ferrell comedy? Why not click through sports until you find one that is really funny... or not confine yourself to the arena of sports (as opposed to a sports arena) and find the best funny idea available? If you are writing a comedy script, you want to begin with a funny idea... or a situation that can be funny. Look at ZOHAN - we have a tough action hero guy who wants to become a hairdresser. That's a funny concept... unfortunately, they didn't come up with much else that is funny for that movie.


American Beauty DVD - Buy it!

One of the things I often do when I'm looking at an idea, I'll make a list of ideas based on that idea. Scenes, story ideas, sub-concepts, etc. And if I can come up with 25 "sub-ideas" - scene or sequence ideas, I know I have enough for a screenplay. Sure, I'll probably need 50-60 scenes for my script, but if I can come up with 25 ideas, the rest will come when I actually outline the script and flesh out the concept. But if I can't come up with 25 ideas? Well, I sure as hell can't come up with 50-60 good scenes for my script.

Then when I'm writing the script, I brainstorm up a bunch of ideas for things that happen within a scene just before writing it, and then select the best to use. I want to make sure there are enough unique and interesting ideas within the scene that it is the best possible version of that scene. Because I write action and thrillers instead of comedy, my scene ideas are usually cool, different, interesting bits in an action scene or suspense scene. The detail ideas that make the scene. I may take a sheet of lined paper and jot down as many ideas for that scene as I can... and not stop until that page is filled. I would rather have so many great scene ideas that I have to leave some out, than have a scene that is generic or has slow spots or isn't the best it can be.

And that's the problem with SEMI-PRO... there aren't enough good funny ideas in the film to sustain it. There are maybe a handful of funny ideas at most... a comedy shortage and an idea shortage. The big problem is not enough jokes and gags - you hardly ever laugh in this film. And they *contrive* gags - like the 70's hairdos - and those look contrived and just fall flat. The best comedy films are the ones you have to see more than once, because you were laughing at one joke and missed the next. So you have to pay another $11 and hope you don't laugh at the same gags you laughed at last time. A great comedy you may have to see a bunch of times, then buy on DVD when it comes out so that you can catch the lines where everyone in the audience laughed. Even after seeing AIRPLANE a million times, I still catch some gag I missed. That film is overflowing with jokes! Though I'm sure SEMI-PRO is renting okay on DVD, I can't imagine someone needing to add it to their DVD collection. I don't ever need to see it again, but there may be some Ferrell fans who will add it to their collection when it hits the $4 bin at Walmart.


American Beauty DVD - Buy it!

SEMI-PRO is about a second string basket ball team in the American League that has to start winning games and drawing fans so they can be one of the 4 teams that gets folded into the NBA. Now, that's not a bad idea... but there's nothing inherently funny about it.

So they graft on a bunch of things from the outside - they make Will Ferrell into a musician who was a one hit wonder, they give everyone a funny haircut, they throw in Woody Harrelson as a failed basketball player (and this isn't a funny idea like the prissy French Formula One driver in TALADEGA NIGHTS), and they give Woody an ex-girlfriend to win back (also not a funny idea), and Ferrell gets to do all kinds of wacky stunts to bring in an audience (which usually have nothing at all to do with basketball - like wrestling a bear). It ends up being a grab bag of unrelated plot threads and elements - nothing that has to do with the sport of basketball... and nothing that is particularly funny. Instead of digging into the concept or the characters involved in the sport of basketball to find their gags, they paste on a bunch of gags that have nothing to do with basketball (the concept). You want all of your sub-ideas to come from the main idea - and that means digging deeper into the concept. Using the story as the idea source rather than just coming up with unrelated funny stuff and forcing it into the script.

With all of these cool little ideas or jokes, remember the focus of the script is the Big Idea, the concept. You don't want to confuse the audience with a bunch of ideas that have nothing to do with the story you are trying to tell.. Make sure your hundreds of fresh small ideas are somehow related to that Big Idea. All of the Small Ideas should share your Big Idea's DNA... the central conflict that fuels the story. They should *support* your main idea, not distract from it. Show me the connection between wrestling a bear and basketball! Show me how Woody Harrelson's story thread is part of winning games or attracting an audience. Show me how being a 1970s One Hit Wonder is connected to basketball. None of these things are organic to the main story idea - they are from other stories and forced into SEMI-PRO so that it can have a laugh every ten minutes (instead of a laugh a minute). The result is a film that isn't funny, and doesn't even work as a story.


American Beauty DVD - Buy it!

Another big problem is Will Ferrell's character is just not someone we can like - he's a buffoon, and self centered, and you end up almost rooting against him. He's not a nice guy, so why should we want him to achieve his goal? They needed a scene somewhere in here that showed us a softer side of him, and allowed us a possibility to care about him. But even when we get a scene with his dead mother, we don't care about him. It's a crap scene that is grafted on from the outside instead of finding an organic scene that belongs in *this* film. Part of this problem might be Ferrell himself - his humor comes from acting like an idiot. We laugh *at* him, not with him. But even an idiot can have an emotional moment early enough in the movie that we care about him for the rest of the film. ZOHAN has the same problem - Sandler never allows us inside the character. No scenes where we see the character as a human being - someone that we can care about. Ferrell and Sandler *always* do their shtick and keep the walls up around their characters so that we can not care about them. No matter how silly your movie, we need to find a doorway into the protagonist so that the audience can identify with them and care about them. They can still be idiots, but they have to be idiots with heart. If we don't care about the character, we can't care about the story... and the story fails. It becomes only surface - like Sandler and Ferrell's characters.

The basic concept, the losing team that must start winning again and attracting a crowd or else it's going to fold, has been used *successfully* in the MAJOR LEAGUE series, and that's what this film could have been. If you look at the tone of MAJOR LEAGUE, it's not a farce - it's a "serious comedy" that takes place in a reality-based world. Instead of fighting a bear, they hire colorful players and encourage them to be their wacky selves in order to attract fans. This makes the comedy *character based* and keeps it on the baseball field instead on in some cage with a bear. (By the way, the bear running gag ends up getting the most laughs in the film - maybe the movie should have been about a Jack Hanna-like zoo guy.) MAJOR LEAGUE manages to have wacky humor - from reality based characters - and work as a sports movie (you really cheer) and has some real emotions (instead of crappy pasted on subplots with ex-girlfriends) and was funny enough to be a huge hit and spawn a bunch of sequels. Basically, the same idea done right.

And I wonder if SEMI-PRO began more like MAJOR LEAGUE and less like... well, whatever it is? Because the Woody ex-girlfriend stuff seems more reality based than the rest of the film - though they graft on some stupid gags with her current live-in boyfriend as Woody's #1 fan who cheers them on when they make love in front of him. And there is a *great* moment in the film with Andre 3000 that seems like it belongs in another movie - something more serious like MAJOR LEAGUE. Things like that make me wonder if this began as a more serious kind of comedy and was screwed-up to become this awful Will Ferrell film. And if that's what happened - somebody needs to be kicked out of Hollywood.

And Will Ferrell needs to take a break and only make a film if it has enough jokes to sustain the running time. Maybe he's spreading himself too thin? Maybe all of these ho-hum comedies like GET SMART and ZOHAN and SEMI-PRO seem like filmed first drafts because they *are* filmed first drafts? Maybe they needed more fine tuning, focus, and rewrites before they put them into production?

Whether you are writing a comedy or a thriller or an action film or any other genre, you need to make sure your main idea is the very best idea there is, and then the best version of that idea possible... then you need to come up with hundreds of other ideas to flesh out your script. Make sure all of those great small ideas are somehow related to the Big Idea and not pasted on from the outside. If you are writing a comedy, you need as many great organic jokes as you can come up with. Never underestimate the importance of jokes in a comedy!

More on this in the Ideas Blue Book!


How Do I do That?



New to screenwriting? You probably have questions! How do I get an Agent? How do I write a phone conversation? Do I need a Mentor? What’s does VO and OC and OS mean? What is proper screenplay format? Should I use a pen name? Do I need to movie to Hollywood? What’s the difference between a Producer and a Production Manager, and which should I sell my script to? How do I write a Text Message? Should I Copyright or WGA register my script? Can I Direct or Star? How do I write an Improvised scene? Overcoming Writer’s Block? How do I write a Sex Scene? And many many more! This book has the answers to the 101 Most Asked Questions from new screenwriters! Plus a Glossary of terms so that you can sound like a pro! Everything you need to know to begin writing your screenplay!

All of the answers you need to know, from a working professional screenwriter with 20 produced films and a new movie made for a major streaming service in 2023! 

Only $4.99


Want To Look Like An Expert?



Does this gun fire 6 shots or only 5? In all of the excitement of writing your action scene, you might not have done the research... and your hero could be out of ammo! Whether you are writing a novel or screenplay, you can save your hero, and your story, by doing a little research first! This book looks at Why you should research, Whether you should research First or Later, PLUS the importance of World Building in Science Fiction, Fantasy... and the worlds you explore in every other genre. Movies like JOHN WICK and THE GODFATHER take place in their own unique worlds... and writers must create them! YOU are the technical advisor on your Screenplay or Novel.

Using movie examples like TOP GUN, HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER, BLUE CRUSH, ADVENTURE LAND, several of my produced films, JOHN WICK, the novels of Donald E. Westlake and Thomas B. Dewey, SPY KIDS, the LORD OF THE RINGS movies, SOYLENT GREEN (which takes place in the far off future of 2022), and many others we will look at researching stories and creating worlds. The 8 Types Of Research, the 10 Types Of Information To Look For, 12 Important Elements Of World Building. Plus chapters on How To Rob A Bank and Commit Murder And Get Away With It for those of you interested in crime fiction, and Researching The Future for those writing science fiction, and Levels Of Reality if you are writing about a version of the real world.

No matter what you are writing, this book will help you find the facts... or make them up in a convincing way!

Only $4.99

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


All About Rewrites!



Rewriting In Waves?

When You Finish Your Screenplay Or Novel...
The Rewrites Begin!

The end is just the beginning! You’ve finished your story, but now the rewriting begins! This 405 page book shows you how to rewrite your screenplay or novel to perfection. Everything from Character Consistency to Shoeboxing to How To Give And Receive Notes to 15 Solutions If Your Script’s Too Long! and 15 Solutions If Your Script’s Too Short! to Finding The Cause Of A Story Problem to Good Notes Vs. Bad Notes to Finding Beta Readers to Avoiding Predictability to Learning To Be Objective About Your Work to Script Killer Notes and Notes From Idiots to Production Rewrites and What The Page Colors Mean? and a Complete Rewrite Checklist! The complete book on Rewriting Your Story!

Only $4.99


All About Endings!



The Perfect Ending For Your Story!

The First Ten Pages Of Your Screenplay Are Critical,
But What About The Last 10 Pages?

Creating the perfect ending to your story! This 100,000 word book shows you how to end your story with a bang, rather than a whimper. Everything from Resolution Order to Act Three Tools to Happy or Sad Endings? to How The Beginning Of Your Story Has Clues To The Ending (in case you were having trouble figuring out how the story should end) to Falling Action to How To Avoid Bad Endings to Writing The Perfect Twist Ending to Setting Up Sequels & Series to Emotional Resolutions to How To Write Post Credit Sequences to Avoiding Deus Ex Machinas, to 20 Different Types Of Ends (and how to write them) and much more! Everything about endings for your screenplay or novel!

Only: $4.99

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





Distilling Your Screenplay!

Loglines, Treatments, Pitching, Look Books, Pitch Decks, One Pagers, Rip-O-Matics?

You have written a brilliant 110 page screenplay, but how do you get anyone to read it? You need to distill it down into some form of verbal moonshine or story rocket fuel that will ignite that bored development executive or manager or agent and get them to request your screenplay. But how do you shrink those 110 pages into a 25 word logline or a 2 minute elevator pitch or a one page synopsis or a short paragraph? This 100,000 word book shows you how! Everything you need to know! From common logline mistakes (and how to solve them) to how your pitch can reveal story problems to the 4 types of pitches!

272 Pages - ONLY $4.99!

NEW in 2020!

Making Your Own Movie?


Making Your Own Movie?
Writing An Indie Film?
Writing A Low Budget Genre Script To Sell?
Writing A Made For TV Holiday Movie?

You will be writing for BUDGET. On a standard spec screenplay, you don’t have to think about budget, but these types of screenplays writing with budget in mind is critical!

If you are making your own movie, budget, is even more important - and you need to think about budget *before* you write your screenplay... or you will end up with a script that you can’t afford to make (or is a struggle to make). Everyone is making their own films these days, and even if you have done it before there are lots of great techniques in this book to get more money on screen - for less money! You can make a film that looks like it cost millions for pocket change.

344 Pages - ONLY: $7.99!





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!




"The Presidential Suite of the Hollywood Hoover Hotel looked like a bloody battlefield: bodies everywhere, furniture broken, red liquid dripping from the walls, dead soldiers littering the elegant Berber rug as clouds of smoke overhead bounced between two air conditioning vents.

Mitch Robertson stepped over the body of an ex-child star turned sex tape star turned pop star and entered the room, spotted a gun on the floor and picked it up... careful not to spill his coffee with three pumps of mocha syrup from Penny’s Coffee Shop. That coffee was gold, the only thing keeping him going in this dazed state of wakefulness. The gun felt light. Holding it, he saw the silhouette of an 80s action star sitting sideways on a tipped over chair. Motionless. Was he dead? Mitch was still hung over from the Awards Party the night before, and wondered whether this was all some sort of crazy nightmare that he would wake up from... but when he tripped over the brown legs of a bottomless Superhero, flaccid junk encased in a condom but still wearing his mask, and hit the edge of the sofa, gun skittering and coffee spilling, he realized that it was all very real. What the hell had happened here?"

Short Novel. Only 99 cents! - and no postage!

Tips FAQ

My New Script Secrets Newsletter!




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


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!





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.

Only $4.99 - and no postage!



*** 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!



*** 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!



*** 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!

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





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!



*** 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!





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 and no postage!



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


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 175 pages!

Only $4.99 - and no postage!



*** 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!



*** 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!



*** 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 well over 200 pages!

ONLY $4.99 - and no postage!



*** 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!




NEW: Updates On Films 7 & 8 Casting!

All Six Movies analyzed! All of the mission tapes, all of the “that’s impossible!” set pieces and stunts, the cons and capers - and how these scenes work, the twists and double crosses, the tension and suspense (and how to generate it), the concept of each film as a stand alone with a different director calling the shots (broken in the sixth film), the gadgets, the masks, the stories, the co-stars and team members (one team member has been in every film), the stunts Tom Cruise actually did (and the ones he didn’t), and so much more! Over 120,000 words of fun info!

THE MISSION IMPOSSIBLE MOVIES - 347 Pages - Only $3.99 !




NEW: Updates on TREADSTONE TV show!

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!


Over 240 pages!

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

He's back! The release of "Terminator: Dark Fate" is set to begin a new trilogy in the Terminator story... 35 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!



Strange Structures!



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"?

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!



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

The new  MP3s are available now!


NOIR & MYSTERY80 minute MP3 packed with information on writing Film Noir and Mystery scripts. Using examples from CHINATOWN to OUT OF THE PAST to DOUBLE INDEMNITY you'll learn how to create stories in this dark, twisted genre. How to plant clues, red herrings, suspects, victims, spider women, fallen heroes, the funhouse mirror world of noir supporting characters... and the origins of Film Noir in literature Noir dialogue and how noir endings are different than any other genre. All of the critical elements necessary to write in this critically popular genre.
The Noir & Mystery Class is only $15 (plus $5 S&H). First 20 on Limited Black Disk!


IDEAS AND CREATIVITY - 80 minute MP3 packed with information. Tools to find ideas that are both personal *and* commercial. Hollywood wants scripts with High Concept stories... but not stupid scripts. Developing *intelligent* high concept ideas. How to turn your personal story into a blockbuster - or find your personal story in a high concept idea. Brainstorming and being creative. Ideas and Creativity is $10.00 (plus $5 S&H)

WRITING INDIES - Writing an Indie film? This class covers everything you need to know - from Central Locations to Confined Cameos. Using examples from SWINGERS, THE COOLER, STATION AGENT and others, this 80 minute MP3 is packed with information. How Indoe films challenge the audience (while mainstream films reassure the audience). Structures, using BOYS DON'T CRY, RUN LOLA RUN, HILARY & JACKIE, and others as example. Writing for a budget, writing for non-actors, getting the most production value out of your budget. Writing Indies is $10.00 (plus $5 S&H)

WRITING HORROR - The essentials of a horror screenplay - what do ROSEMARY'S BABY, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, THE EXORCIST, BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, THE OTHERS and OPEN WATER have in common? This class will tell you! All of the critical elements necessary to write a script that scares the pants off the audience. Writing Horror is $10.00 (plus $5 S&H).

Click here for more information on CLASS MP3s!



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 2024 by William C. Martell

eXTReMe Tracker

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.

Furious Action Class

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

Producing my own scripts, investment possibilities, pipe dreams.


Naked Class The NAKED SCREENWRITING CLASS ON MP3! The 2001 London Class on 8 MP3s! Recorded *live* the morning after the Raindance Film Festival wrapped. The two day class on 8 MP3s, plus a workbook, plus a bonus MP3 with PDFs.
The 2 Day Class on MP3!


A Whole Week Of Programming!
(no actual sex is involved)
From Trailer Tuesday to Film Courage Plus to THRILLER Thursday to Fridays With Hitchcock and more! My blog has all kinds of great stuff! Check it out! Lots of cool stuff every day!


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 The Best Nuts & Bolts Screenwriting Book On The Market!


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

Available Scripts


Take classes on MP3!