The Words on the Page

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. First, it must be an easy read. On paper, it should tell a compelling story and flow as easily as a novel as, if it doesn't past the first test of being read and enjoyed, it will never amount to anything more than a pile of pages in a drawer. But being an easy read isn't enough. Scripts also have to serve as a blueprint for the finished product and need to tell the story in a manner that allows the reader to picture it in his or her mind's eye. The characters need to be memorable and leap off the page; the story must come to life.


In addition to writing scripts of their own, I believe all writers can learn and benefit from studying scripts that have launched successful movies, television shows, and plays. For the next year, on each Tuesday, I'll be posting my thoughts on a piece.

January 2, 2018

Elf is a movie about the magic of Christmas and, right from the beginning, Berenbaum infuses magic into his script. Bookended by, well, a book, Berenbaum specifies that this book magically opens and closes itself. In a sense, no one is telling this story - it is just h...

November 1, 2017

There are many short play festivals across the world, and they are one of the ways many emerging writers are first produced. For years, The National Ten-Minute Play Contest through the Actors Theatre of Louisville was the most prominent short play festival in the US. I...

October 1, 2017

City Hospital, which first aired in 1951, is largely considered to be the first television medical drama. Ever since its appearance, it seems at least one new medical show airs each year. 

Medical dramas have a procedural nature and, as life and death is dealt with on a...

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 d...

July 1, 2017

In honor of Wonder Woman finally coming out this summer, I decided to look at adaptations with a strong, female protagonist this July.

June 1, 2017

Many writers work in multiple mediums, but there are differences in writing for film, television, and the theater. This month I decided to explore the work of two writers who have written for both the stage and screen and compare and contrast their work in the differen...

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