Tips for using fewer words for greater impact I am not against adjectives or adverbs. They can help emphasize a point. Add cadence and flow. Even create a poetic feel to dialogue and narrative. However, sometimes adjectives and adverbs can do the opposite. They can bog a story down, hinder the flow of a sentence, … Continue reading Writing Without Adjectives and Adverbs
I find it incredibly helpful to ask myself: "What happens in this scene that causes the next scene to take place?" For me, this is a pretty quick way to figure out if the pacing of the story is as tight as it can be, and if the plot and characters are moving the story … Continue reading Writing Tip: Cause and Effect
At one point in my writing journey I was working on a story and simply couldn't get the plot to... well, work. My Mom made the comment that I had to get to the point where I loved my characters, wanted to spend time with them, and cared about them. I knew this, of course, … Continue reading Do You Care About Your Characters?
By Ann Marie Williams © 2019 Many of the major screenwriting competitions begin releasing their written critiques to entrants around this time of year. So, I thought it might be helpful to post (or re-post) some tips for dealing with those critiques. However, these tips can be just as helpful for whatever format you're writing: … Continue reading Tips for Dealing with Feedback of your Story: Identify the True Source of the Problem
© 2021 by Ann Marie Williams Concept gets them in the door... Story gets them to stay... Characters get them to come back... Yes, it's a super broad generalization. But I think this general idea is worth considering... Concept Gets Them in the Door A potential audience will be drawn to a project (a book, … Continue reading Concept. Story. Character.
by Ann Marie Williams © 2021 Writing takes time. Simple, I know. But I didn't realize I hadn't fully accepted this until last year when I quit agonizing over how long it was taking to fix aspects of my story. Once I accepted that it would take a while, I started making breakthroughs far quicker … Continue reading Writing Takes Time
by Ann Marie Williams © 2021 As mentioned in my previous post, after finishing another season of screenplay competition judging, I'm taking a look at some of the more common issues I saw among submitted scripts. However, today's topic applies as much to novels as it does to scripts. That's because today I'm look at: … Continue reading Conveying Exposition Through Dialogue
After finishing another season of screenplay competition judging (something I always enjoy, and always learn from) I thought I’d focus my next posts on some of the more common issues I see among submitted scripts. First up: Script versus Story Something that stood out to me this past year was that nearly every script I … Continue reading Common Script Concerns: Script vs Story
Two "Simple" Questions to Ask Yourself by Ann Marie Williams © 2020 Some problems a story faces are easy to fix. But, sometimes I'll find myself deep into my work in progress, struggling to fix a fairly massive issue (or, at least, it sure feels massive when I can't find the solution). I don't mind … Continue reading When You’re Stuck on a Problem in Your Story…
by Ann Marie Williams, © 2020 One of the biggest roadblocks to my writing doesn’t stem from plot holes, character arcs, or finding ways to hide exposition. It’s that little voice that whispers, “There might not be a solution to this.” I firmly believe there is a solution for every problem a story encounters. That … Continue reading A Solution Exists
Think through your script: is there a moment where the audience would say, “Now’s a good moment to get more snacks”? If so, probably a good idea to revise (or delete) that part of the script.
by Ann Marie Williams For the majority of a story, scenes should fall into each other like dominos. In other words, each scene should be the catalyst for the next. One domino (scene) causes the next to fall — a scene unable to play out without the one before it. This applies to the story … Continue reading Scenes are like Dominos…
by Ann Marie Williams Proper screenplay formatting requires that a certain amount of white space (a mix of description and dialogue) should appear on nearly every page of a script. Not only does this standard help measure the number of minutes the story will be once filmed, but it is also an accurate way to … Continue reading QUICK TIP: WHY SCREENPLAY DESCRIPTIONS NEED TO BE SHORT
by Ann Marie Williams © 2020 Each day this week I'm discussing one of the following writing terms: concept, plot, structure, format, and theme. I'll give my explanation of the terms, their role in storytelling, and how they interrelate with each other since, even though each term represents a different attribute of story, they do … Continue reading WRITING TIPS: WHAT IS FORMAT?