Posted by: steveonfilm | April 26, 2011

Screenwriting Tips… You Hack

I recently was turned on to the FANTASTIC mini blog “Screenwriting Tips… You Hack.”

The blog offers sage pieces of advice such as:

Screenwriting Tip #607
Your characters should never ‘start’ to do anything, e.g. ‘He starts running’, ‘She starts to LAUGH’, etc. Action is immediate; they either do something or they don’t.

And advice like this:

Screenwriting Tip #577
Stop telling us what we already know. If you told us three pages ago that Blake is Sarah’s partner, don’t write ‘Sarah’s partner Blake…’. If your scene heading is ‘EXT. IDYLLIC COTTAGE – DAWN’, god help you if your first line is ’Dawn breaks above an idyllic cottage’.

And one of my favorites:

Screenwriting Tip #530
Fight the urge to tell everybody you see about your latest story breakthrough or page milestone. It’s fascinating to you, and possibly to other writers, but for everybody else you may as well be describing the details of your tax return.

I think we’re all a little guilty of this last one. Hell, you could say that my entire blog is one big example of saying shit that’s fascinating to me, but boring to everyone else. Actually, it’s one of the reasons I’ve shifted away from the day to day writing aspects, and broadened the blog to include more random bits around writing, LA, and entertainment in general

I’ve got several of the tips from “Screenwriting Tips… You Hack” on sticky notes around my monitor. If I see one I know I’m guilty of, I put it up, because the best kind of reminders are the constant ones.

If you haven’t yet, do yourself a favor and check the blog out.

Until next time, keep writing!



  1. In the same vein, my favorite screenwriting book is How Not to Write a Screenplay. A must-read for new writers, and ones that want a refresher course.

  2. I’ve got it in my personal collection and have actually recommended it on the blog a few times. I’d have to agree that it’s a GREAT book to flip through at least once a year simply as a refresher.

    • Ah, that’s what I get for only being a reader here for the last month.

      Stay safe through these tornadoes, man.

      • We’ve dodged all tornados by about 15 miles so far.

        Fingers crossed that keeps up.

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