screenwriter's toolkit creative screenwriting exercises (Get the book for all 101 exercises)

A Series of…

05.06.2005 · Posted in Characters

Want to understand your character’s life? Create a timeline that details the major events in it. The Exercise Pick a character from something you’re writing. How old are they now? Make a timeline that spans from birth to their current age. Notate major positive or negative impacting events in their life. Write a sentence or ...

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The Producer Calls

05.06.2005 · Posted in Timed Writing

A producer calls you. He wants to see you work on the fly. He wants to see how creative and sharp you can be. Your task: Come up with 25 original movie titles in 10 minutes. ...

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What If?

05.06.2005 · Posted in The Idea

It’s been said that a writers’ main tool is the question, “What if?” With this simple query, we can explore any ordinary event’s limitless plot possibilities. Your task: Get a copy of today’s newspaper. Read 5 articles with our question in mind. What if she stole the money? What if those soldiers were plotting something? ...

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10.19.2005 · Posted in Genre, Hal Ackerman

Written/Contributed by Hal Ackerman Two cars, a sports car and an SUV arrive at the same parking spot. Write the scene or sequence of scenes in a. A Romantic Comedy b. An Action Adventure c. A Film Noir mystery d. Science Fiction You may change the vehicles and characters inhabiting them as you please. ...

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They're After ME

01.23.2007 · Posted in Action

Go! The Exercise Pick two travel methods (boat, car, foot, helicopter or horse). Write a one-page chase scene. Switch the method of travel and write the scene again. ...

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How To Write A Scene

01.30.2007 · Posted in Scenes

One of the best ways to learn is to practice! Your Task: Read Screenwriter John August’s blog entry, “How To Write A Scene.” Following the instructions (minus step 11), grab an article from today’s news and write it into a movie scene. ...

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Beyond Google

01.29.2007 · Posted in Research

Google has become so popular as a search tool that it often becomes the only instrument used when doing internet research. Expanding our horizons gives us more information from a variety of sources. Your Task: Read “Conducting Research on the Internet.” Now, using 3 methods from this article, research a random subject to come up ...

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10.02.2005 · Posted in Place

Let’s change place around and see how it affects everything. The Exercise Write (or find) a two-page scene that takes place outside, in the sunshine. Rewrite it three times — once while it’s raining; once while it’s snowing; and once at night. ...

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05.13.2005 · Posted in Writing Dialogue

Expository dialogue builds our characters personality. It gives the audience a chance to learn more about who our character is. For example, in the movie “Adaptation,” much of the voice over that is used is built as an internal monologue that gives the audience an idea of the main character, Charlie’s intense inner critic. Your ...

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Plot Device

05.06.2005 · Posted in Plot

A plot device is a person or object in a story that is used to advance the plot. Your task: Identify the plot and at least one plot device in 5 movies. ...

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