The Words on the Page

Exploring Psychological Dramas and Thrillers

August 1, 2017

Psychological dramas and thrillers have long fascinated me. Along with the normal requirements of a screenplay, these require even more twists and turns, including a mind-bending moment that changes everything that comes before. It's almost like the screenplay has to do double-duty and create two worlds: one for the person who doesn't yet know and one for the person who goes back and is viewing everything again through a different lens. This month I'll be exploring the screenplays for psychological dramas and thrillers.


After consulting several "top of the genre" lists, I've selected: Se7en, Sixth Sense, What Lies Beneath, Inception, and Black Swan. You're welcome to read along.

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Writing for film, television, and the stage is, in my opinion, one of the most difficult - and most rewarding - art forms. The language needs to be visual and evocative as each script must achieve two important tasks...
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