A new character-driven Hero’s Journey

April 4, 2011
The Kings Speech Bertie Colin Firth Empire Games Humiliation Wembley Big Microphone

In my last post, I revealed where I diverge from Vogler on Character Arc. Here I outline a new Hero’s Journey that focuses on the protagonist’s emotional journey.

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Why Juno the screenplay is more moving than Juno the film

March 15, 2011
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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Where I disagree with the Hero’s Journey

February 20, 2011
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 one subplot you really need

January 30, 2011
The Social Network Opening Scene Mark Zuckerberg Erica Allbright Jesse Eisenberge Rooney Mara

Here I unveil a very special type of subplot – one that can help you deliver an emotionally powerful ending.

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The secret to subplots

January 26, 2011
When Harry Met Sally Jess and Marie both on the phone in bed

There’s one critical thing your subplots should do if you want your screenplay to work.

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The 6 most common logline weaknesses

January 11, 2011
40 year old virgin movie poster Steve Carell

If you liked my earlier article on how to write a logline, here’s a follow-up piece on the most common weaknesses I see.

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How to read between the lines of the 2011 Golden Globe nominations

December 21, 2010
Golden Globe nominations under the magnifying glass

By analysing the categories in which films have (and have not) been nominated, you can tell what worked – and didn’t work – in this year’s crop of screenplays.

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Why The Social Network shouldn’t work (and why it does)

December 11, 2010
The Social Network Movie Poster

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

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Ben Affleck’s The Town – where it lost its way

October 23, 2010
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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Screenwriting secrets found Buried in a box

October 23, 2010
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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