Thursday, August 11, 2016

10 Screenwriting Tips From Billy Wilder

So I know a lot of people have already seen this list from Cameron Crowe's Conversations With Wilder, but I'm posting it here mostly as a reminder to myself. No matter how advanced your writing or your writing career, it's always great practice to reinforce the basics. This is top shelf advice from a master storyteller, and it should be seared into every brain engaged in storycraft.

1: The audience is fickle.

2: Grab ’em by the throat and never let ’em go.

3: Develop a clean line of action for your leading character.

4: Know where you’re going.

5: The more subtle and elegant you are in hiding your plot points, the better you are as a writer.

6: If you have a problem with the third act, the real problem is in the first act.

7: A tip from Lubitsch: Let the audience add up two plus two. They’ll love you forever.

8: In doing voice-overs, be careful not to describe what the audience already sees. Add to what they’re seeing.

9: The event that occurs at the second act curtain triggers the end of the movie.

10: The third act must build, build, build in tempo and action until the last event, and then — that’s it. Don’t hang around.

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