Story structure

Juno Ellen Page Chair Pipe

The ending of Juno’s screenplay is much more powerful the film – and it holds a valuable dramatic lesson for screenwriters.

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Miles (Paul Giamatti) drinking from the spitoon in Sideways

The Hero’s Journey transformed my storytelling but I fundamentally disagree with Chris Vogler on character arc.

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The Social Network Movie Poster

The Social Network breaks a bunch of screenwriting “rules” but gets away with it. How?

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The Town Movie Poster Ben Affleck

The Town is an intelligent heist flick but the ending is disappointing – and instructive for students of screenwriting.

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Ryan Reynolds in Buried movie poster

How can you make a movie about a guy stuck in a coffin? Here’s how Buried screenwriter Chris Sparling pulled it off and the screenwriting lessons we can all learn from it.

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Easy A Movie Poster Emma Stone Olive Penderghast

I loved the lead character and adored Emma Stone but the story fails to capitalise on these extraordinary elements.

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Brokeback Mountain Heath Ledger Jake Gyllenhall Fight

If all you do at the midpoint is raise the stakes your script has little chance of packing much emotional punch at the climax. Here are the 2 things you should be focussed on delivering around the middle of Act 2.

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Rocket Science movie Anna Kendrick Reece Thompson School Bus

The Herald raved about this indie charmer and it is fabulous in parts. But ultimately it didn’t satisfy my own personal definition of a good story.

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Animal Kingdom movie poster

Local critics are raving and David’s Michod’s crime family drama has some exceptional elements but here I try to balance the hyperbole with a little critique.

{ 22 comments }

Number 4

There are 4 questions every screenplay should be able to answer. Yet 9 out of 10 scripts don’t. What are the 4 basic questions for dramatic storytelling?

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