Posted by: steveonfilm | November 22, 2010


One of the things I’ve found my self doing a lot with “The Dad Type” so far is experimenting. While I have a general concept of the story, and some of the main beats, a lot of the ins and outs are still very much up in the air. While I explore these areas of my script I’m looking at various techniques out there and screenplay methods to hopefully spur some of my creative juices.

I wrote a few days ago about Save The Cat, and some of the problems I’ve encountered with Blake Synder’s method. Some parts of his method have been hits, some parts have been misses, but overall it’s been a good experience and while his method isn’t working for me I’ve taken away some good concepts about writing I hadn’t thought about before.

Today I started farting around with Contour, developed by Mariner Software who also does the screenwriting software Montage. Contour follows Jeffrey Alan Schechter’s method for screenwriting. As with Synder’s method, not everything you might want to do will fit into the mold that Schechter is laying out. But I find the software easy to use, and the steps a little more flexible than what Snyder proposes. So far it’s been helpful for me to use to explore my story, though I’m not completely sold on Schechter’s method just as of yet. The software was on sale, and after giving the demo a whirl for a few hours today, I decided to pick it up.

The more I explore the various writing methods out there the more I realize none of these guys have all the answers. Their methods are starting points. Tools that new writers can use to start their journey as a writer. It’s up to the writer to take what they’ve been given and make it their own.

I still think all of this stuff just builds on the foundations that Syd Field laid out in “Screenplay” though. Call me crazy.

Until next time, keep writing!



  1. Hi Steve, I have been following you on YouTube for quite a while now and enjoyed what you had to say so I have finally decided to sign up to wordpress and follow your blogs, too!

    Have you ever read “The Coffee Break Screenwriter” by Pilar Alessandra? If not I do recommend it to help with getting those creative juices a-flowin’!

    • Hey Steph, thanks for stopping by. I haven’t read “The Coffee Break Screenwriter.” Give me a brief rundown on what it’s about.

      • It’s like Syd Field’s workbook but runs through all the processes of screenwriting in short chapters with a few ten minute excersises in each. Before you know where you are with it you’ve completed an outline, step by step beats and a first draft of a screenplay. Very helpful book. And I found it more helpful than Save the Cat.

        • That’s cool. All in all I’ve been really pleased with how I put together outlines for my scripts, but taking some time to learn about a few other methods out there has been very rewarding, even if I don’t follow them for my own projects. I’ll check out “The Coffee Break Screenwriter” if I can get a chance, sounds promising.

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