Should You Take A Screenwriting Course To Help You Become A Better Writer?

By Glenn Benest “Secrets of Screenwriting” (click here to find more information on Glenn’s awesome classes!) (also join Glenn’s facebook group by clicking here!)

Hello, everyone. Should you take a screenwriting course to help you become a better writer? Well, you can follow these posts and you’ll learn a great deal.

So now that we’re deeply into what we want from coverage and notes and how we attack our rewrite, what is the one area that is most vital to explore when doing your rewrite?

From looking at many, many scripts over the years – the one area I see that is most overlooked are the opportunities for strong emotional moments between your characters.

Strangely enough, many writers seem to shy away from strong emotional conflict and scenes. Maybe there’s a tendency in all of us to avoid emotionally upsetting incidents and experiences in real life so we avoid them as well in our writing.

So in a script when an opportunity presents itself for characters to confront one another or bare their feelings – especially beginning writers tend to back away from these opportunities.

This is exactly the opposite of what you should be doing. You should look for every possible interaction where strong emotions can be elicited by your characters. Or find places where your characters do have emotionally rich moments and make them even deeper.

And that is what’s so challenging for writers – that we want to have these great emotional moments and yet we don’t want to be on-the-nose about it. Characters need to express the really deep stuff that’s going on inside without spilling their guts, saying exactly what they’re feeling.

The reason on-the-nose dialogue is avoided is because the reader or audience member doesn’t get to participate in the scene – you’re telling them exactly what the character is feeling, rather then letting your reader figure out what’s happening. We all express our feelings during the day, but we’re not usually all that direct about it, we hide what we’re feeling because we don’t want to be too vulnerable.

There is one exception to this: At the end of the movie when you have the big obligatory scene where the character can finally express the very thing they’ve been unable to express the entire movie: Like in Golden Pond where Jane Fonda tells her real father (and movie father) Henry Fonda how badly she needs him to tell her he loves her, that he cares about her – then in these particular moments the character can certainly be on-the-nose.

It’s usually this one very important scene in the movie and then that rule about not being on-the-nose is thrown out the window. These on-the-nose moments happen in real life and they happen in movies as well and the audiences won’t blame you for being very direct and simple in these climactic scenes.

So when you’re doing your rewrite, ask yourself how you can explore deeper emotional moments between your characters. Are there opportunities you’ve already set up you’re not paying off as deeply or emotionally as you could? Where is the true heart of your film? Where will the audience feel the most about your characters? Can you enrich those moments?

Creating deep emotional moments between your characters is what great art is all about. Having enough skill to accomplish this is what makes a great artist.

We’ll talk more about what you should be looking for when you do your rewrite.

Until then – KEEP WRITING!

Click here to read Glenn’s full article!

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  1. Profile photo of normanwilliam
    October 30, 2012, 2:48 am

    I took an amazing course with a produced and award winning writer. It cost a lot but was worth every cent!

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