Week 10 of Zachary Rowell’s 90-Day Screenplay Challenge: Light at the End of the Tunnel

Week 10 of Zachary Rowell’s 90-Day Screenplay Challenge: Light at the End of the Tunnel
Well, screenwriters, Zachary Rowell has a big announcement this week! In case you’ve just started in on these weekly updates, here’s a quick recap: Zachary won SoCreate’s “So, Write Your Bills Away” Sweepstakes, which kicked off three months of paid time off to write a feature-length screenplay. To receive his cash, he must turn in 30 pages to us every 30 days as proof that he’s putting in the work. At the end of the 90 days, you, too, will get to read his screenplay! Each week, he’s updating u… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease: How Persistence and Discipline is Paying Off for Screenwriter Kaylord Hill

The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease: How Persistence and Discipline is Paying Off for Screenwriter Kaylord Hill
I first took notice of Kaylord Hill on Twitter, where he was encouraging other screenwriters to apply for SoCreate’s “So, Write Your Bills Away” Sweepstakes. Encouraging is probably the wrong word. He was maniacally tweeting about SoCreate sometimes up to 30 times per day! And you know what, we took notice.   Kaylord gained bonus entries into our sweepstakes through his tweets and shares and eventually was drawn as one of our top 25 semi-finalists. I knew this man was determined to be a succe… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

2 Ways to Write a Montage in a Traditional Screenplay

2 Ways to Write a Montage in a Traditional Screenplay
Montages. We all know them when we see them, but what exactly is going on there? How do I format a montage in my screenplay? What if my montage is happening in more than one location? Here are some tips and advice about writing montages that have helped me in my writing. What is a montage exactly? A montage is a collection of short scenes or brief moments that are lumped together to quickly show a passage of time. There’s usually no, or very little dialogue in a montage. A montage can be us… Read this article »
Victoria Lucia

Week 9 of Zachary Rowell’s 90-Day Screenplay Challenge: Maybe All You Need is a Cookie

Week 9 of Zachary Rowell’s 90-Day Screenplay Challenge: Maybe All You Need is a Cookie
Screenwriter Zachary Rowell has come a long way since he first started his 90-day screenplay Challenge on October 1. He has three and a half weeks left to finish his feature-length script, and he’s more than halfway there. Zachary won SoCreate’s “So, Write Your Bills Away” Sweepstakes, which awards him $3,000 per month for three months, as long as he writes 30 pages every 30 days. Last week, he shared 60 pages of “Still Water Runs Deep” with us, and we’re happy to report, it is a great script,… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

Week 8 of Zachary Rowell’s 90-Day Screenplay Challenge: Don’t Look Backward … Yet

Week 8 of Zachary Rowell’s 90-Day Screenplay Challenge: Don’t Look Backward … Yet
This week, screenwriter Zachary Rowell told us he’s thankful for SoCreate this Thanksgiving. Aw! We’re thankful we get to help writers like him, and that we’ll be helping tens of thousands more once we launch the SoCreate Screenwriting Platform. Of course, we are also thankful for Zachary being so vulnerable and open to sharing during his 90-day screenplay challenge. We hope you’re learning as much from him as we are. Zachary is eight weeks into the challenge, and he’s nearing the end of his sc… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

For Screenwriter Ed Robinson, Storytelling and a DIY Approach Make a Perfect Pairing

For Screenwriter Ed Robinson, Storytelling and a DIY Approach Make a Perfect Pairing
Is there something holding you back from becoming the creator you want to be, or is that all in your head? Screenwriter Ed Robinson makes me believe it’s the latter. With three kids under the age of four all living under one roof (and no daycare), Ed still makes time for creating. He’s not waiting around for anyone, and you know what? It makes his stories richer, more vibrant, and more believable, in my opinion, because they come from the heart. Take Ed’s award-winning web series “Pairings,”… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

Breaking Down 3 Act and 5 Act Structures in a Traditional Screenplay

Breaking Down 3 Act and 5 Act Structures in a Traditional Screenplay
So you have a story, and you love it! You’ve got characters that are just like real people, you know all the beats and plot points inside and out, and you’ve got a distinct mood and tone in mind. Now how do you structure the dang thing? Well, sometimes I find myself wondering that too! How many acts should my script be? What are the merits of using one structure versus another? Here are some things I consider when I want to decide between a three-act versus a five-act structure for a screenplay… Read this article »
Victoria Lucia

Full-Time Life, Part-Time Passion: Screenwriter Nora B. Anderson Won’t Ever Give Up on What Fulfills Her

Full-Time Life, Part-Time Passion: Screenwriter Nora B. Anderson Won’t Ever Give Up on What Fulfills Her
It’s been more than 30 years since Nora B. Anderson decided she wanted to write screenplays. She took an internship with an independent producer in the 80s, and when he asked her if she wanted to intern in directing, producing, or writing, she didn’t hesitate. “I had always enjoyed writing and had really enjoyed turning a John Updike short story into a script while I was in college, so I think that direct question cemented it for me,” she told us. The producer told her to read Syd Field’s “S… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

Going Back in Time: How to Write a Flashback in a Traditional Screenplay

Going Back in Time: How to Write a Flashback in a Traditional Screenplay
When I hear the term “flashback” my mind immediately goes to “Wayne’s World,” where Wayne and Garth wiggle their fingers and go, “diddle-iddle-um, diddle-iddle-um” and we dissolve into the past. If only all flashbacks could be that easy and fun! If you’ve been wondering about how to write flashbacks in a traditional screenplay, both in terms of format, and how to introduce them, then here are some tips I’ve come across that might help! Make sure your flashback has a purpose Flashbacks should… Read this article »
Victoria Lucia

Week 7 of Zachary Rowell’s 90-Day Screenplay Challenge: How to Take Good and Bad Feedback and Use it to Write the Best Screenplay Possible

Week 7 of Zachary Rowell’s 90-Day Screenplay Challenge: How to Take Good and Bad Feedback and Use it to Write the Best Screenplay Possible
Well, writers, we’ve reached the halfway point in screenwriter Zachary Rowell’s 90-day screenplay challenge. He has just a month and a half left to complete a feature-length script, or risk forfeiting a month of paid bills! When he won SoCreate’s “So, Write Your Bills Away” Sweepstakes, we made a deal: we’ll pay his bills for three months, but he must use those three months to write a complete screenplay. Zachary admits that time is flying by. And now comes the hard part. He’s sharing snippets… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

Screenwriter She’Ra Hagans is a Lifelong Learner and Creator

Screenwriter She’Ra Hagans is a Lifelong Learner and Creator
Some people were born to make something, and SoCreate is here for that! We want to be the go-to tool for creators who need to tell their story, express themselves, and share their unique angles. We want to be the go-to tool for creators like She’Ra Hagans. I first met She’Ra through our “So, Write Your Bills Away” Sweepstakes. She entered for a shot at winning three months of paid bills so she could focus on writing. But like many writers, she has several outlets for her creativity, not just… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

How to Write Scene Description in a Traditional Screenplay

How to Write Scene Description in a Traditional Screenplay
Ideally, I want to write scene descriptions that are engaging, clear, and conjure visuals from the page. I want the reader to breeze through my script, and have the scene descriptions subtly work to pique their interest, bringing them deeper and deeper into the world of my story. These are the qualities I want my scene descriptions to have, but alas, I am a wordy gal. I am, can’t help it. My first drafts are often plagued with long descriptions, and my scene descriptions are no exception. Here… Read this article »
Victoria Lucia

Screenwriting Goes Green: How Screenwriter Morgan Lariah Puts Her Passion for Environment on the Pages of her Sci-Fi Scripts

Screenwriting Goes Green: How Screenwriter Morgan Lariah Puts Her Passion for Environment on the Pages of her Sci-Fi Scripts
If you want something done you’ve gotta do it yourself. Screenwriter Morgan Lariah is wasting no time in fulfilling her filmmaking dreams, and she’s doing it with passion and purpose. An avid environmentalist, Morgan has been busy honing her screenwriting craft to include strong “green” messages with a sci-fi twist, and we are here for it! We first met Morgan when we randomly selected her to our top 25 semi-finalists in our “So, Write Your Bills Away” Sweepstakes. Her angle is fascinating an… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

Week 6 of Zachary Rowell’s 90-Day Screenplay Challenge: How to Stay in Love with Screenwriting

Week 6 of Zachary Rowell’s 90-Day Screenplay Challenge: How to Stay in Love with Screenwriting
Zachary Rowell, the winner of SoCreate’s “So, Write Your Bills Away” Sweepstakes, has been given the chance of a lifetime. We are paying his bills for three months, so all he must do is focus on writing a feature-length script! No big deal (wink, wink). While the final script belongs entirely to him at the end of the 90 days, the setup is a bit like a job: Zachary has to prove he’s written at least 30 pages a month to get his monthly paycheck. Luckily, he’s ahead of schedule, because he admitted… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

What is an Intercut and How Do You Use It in a Traditional Screenplay?

What is an Intercut and How Do You Use It in a Traditional Screenplay?
Being economical in screenwriting is key. You want your script to read easy and speedy. Have you ever been writing and thought to yourself, “there has to be an easier way to format this?” Well, allow me to introduce a handy device known as the intercut! Intercuts can be used to play two scenes out parallel without all the slug-lines. It’s saving you space and time, allowing you to skip writing a new scene heading when you’re bouncing back and forth between locations. An intercut could be use… Read this article »
Victoria Lucia

How to Find a Writing Mentor to Help You Hone Your Craft

How to Find a Writing Mentor to Help You Hone Your Craft
I didn’t discover the value of mentors until later in life, and I wish I would have sooner. Mentors can help you avoid mistakes in your career (and life) because they’ve already made them and learned from them. They can give you honest advice, and support if you’re down. They can help you make connections and find jobs. I never knew how to find a mentor and was lucky enough to have mine find me. If you’re in the market for a screenwriting mentor, there are some easy ways to find someone willing… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

Week 5 of Zachary Rowell’s 90-Day Screenplay Challenge: The Backward Way to Approach Rewrites, and How to Stay Positive When the Process Gets You Down

Week 5 of Zachary Rowell’s 90-Day Screenplay Challenge: The Backward Way to Approach Rewrites, and How to Stay Positive When the Process Gets You Down
We’ve been following screenwriter Zachary Rowell on his screenwriting journey for nearly five weeks now, and I love how he is sharing his experience authentically and transparently. Zachary won our “So, Write Your Bills Away” Sweepstakes. The prize? We’re paying his bills for three months so he can focus on writing a feature-length script. The catch? He must share the experience with all of you! We wanted to give one screenwriter a hand while also helping other writers learn through the process.… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

New York Times Bestseller Jonathan Maberry Tells You How to Write the Perfect First Page

New York Times Bestseller Jonathan Maberry Tells You How to Write the Perfect First Page
Sometimes the thought of writing something terrible prevents me from writing anything at all. But the feeling doesn’t last, A) because I’ve trained myself to break through that barrier, and B) because I don’t get paid if I don’t write! The latter is very motivating, but not something that most screenwriters can rely on regularly. No, your inspiration must come from yourself. So, what do you do when you can’t seem to get past page one? New York Times Bestseller Jonathan Maberry has some advice to… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

This Month in Movie History - October Roundup

This Month in Movie History - October Roundup
The Twilight Zone – October 2, 1959“The Twilight Zone,” created by Rod Serling, ran for five seasons and 156 episodes. Serling wrote or co-wrote 92 of the stories in the anthology, in all of which the protagonist faced some bizarre or fantastical situation with climactic twists. He also narrated the series. Still today, we say we’re in “The Twilight Zone” if something strange is happening to us. WGA ranked the show number three on its list of Best Written TV Series of all time, and it got a… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

Week 4 of Zachary Rowell’s 90-Day Screenplay Challenge: Finding an Apartment, Finding an Ending, and Why Zachary Says if He Can Do This, So Can You

Week 4 of Zachary Rowell’s 90-Day Screenplay Challenge: Finding an Apartment, Finding an Ending, and Why Zachary Says if He Can Do This, So Can You
In this week’s vlog from Zachary Rowell, the winner of SoCreate’s “So, Write Your Bills Away Sweepstakes,” he’s laying down some truths about leaving Dallas and “making it” in L.A. It’s all part of the journey, after all, to become a working screenwriter. While you don’t have to move to Hollywood in this age of easy communication, it certainly helps. Zachary made the move a couple of years ago, and he’s got some advice for screenwriters who are considering a move themselves. Plus, he’s telling… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich