HOW TO FORMAT DIALOGUE IN A SCREENPLAY

A new look at an old basic, from our buds at ScriptReaderPro:

How to Format Dialogue in a Screenplay: Top 8 Dialogue Format “Errors”
via Script Reader Pro

Peppering a spec script with dialogue format errors may not completely derail the reader’s experience, but they definitely don’t help.

This is because they tell the reader one of two things:

1. You’re not a very experienced writer and are unaware of how dialogue should be formatted.

2. Or that you are aware but don’t care enough about the script (or the craft of screenwriting) to change it.

Mistakes Are Obvious

While it’s true there are no definitive rules on how to format dialogue, dialogue format mistakes are guaranteed to stand out. Which is not a good thing when you want them to be completely immersed in your story and characters.

In this post, we’ve collected together the top eight dialogue format mistakes we see writers make. These are the top eight that should be avoided if you don’t want to give the reader a bad first impression.

So, let’s dive right on in.

Dialogue Format Quirk #1: Interchanging Character Names

You’d be surprised how often we see writers jump back and forth between character names.

It may sound obvious but the most important thing to remember when it comes to character names is to keep them consistent throughout the script.

If you introduce a character as ELIZABETH she should appear throughout the script as ELIZABETH. Rather than switch to LIZ or LIZZY. Or worse yet, alternate between all three.

Likewise, if you introduce a character as CAPTAIN LYNCH he should stay as CAPTAIN LYNCH. Rather than alternate between CAPTAIN JAMES LYNCH, CAPT. LYNCH or just LYNCH.

All of the above names are acceptable, but the key is consistency.

Numbered Minor Characters  

Similarly, make sure all minor characters with numbers instead of names stick to the same format. Try to avoid the following:

Read it all at scriptreaderpro.com

‘Morgan’s Organs’ Kickstarter is Funded!

Just last week we brought you the news of a new Kickstarter campaign for a new season (#3) of web comic book Morgan’s Organs, and wouldn’t you know it – today we’re breaking the news that after only 6 days on line the show is fully funded.

Here’s the announcement we received from the Morgan’s Organs gang:

We’re excited to announce the Morgan’s Organs Kickstarter is already funded in 6 days! But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, we need all the support we can get to continue the comic book series and hopefully, one day, become a television show!

Please do check out the Kickstarter campaign and consider showing your support. We’ll be announcing our stretch goals shortly.

But if you need a reason to support the series, I’ll give you three!

  1. Book 3 will be told in a narrative style completely unconventional to comics. Similar in style to the Christopher Nolan movie, Memento, the story will switch back-and-forth between the “Night Before” and “Morning After”, and the mystery will only come together when the timeline connects at the end of the book.
  2. There are so many fantastic details in the pages. While our books are already long for comics at 40 pages, there are so many great Easter Eggs and details to keep you coming back for more. Take a look at this amazingly detailed panel that will be in Book 3, drawn by series artist Robert Jennex.
  3. We have really fun rewards available – like signed print books, exclusive collector’s sleeves, enamel pins, figurines, or even plush toys of the characters.

Click here to visit the Kickstarter page!

Thank you for helping us bring Morgan’s Organs to life!

~ Dan, Rob & Tyler

Best wishes from TVWriter™ to everybody involved!

 

Looks Like Winter Has Come for Rightscorp

Those who live as dragons die as dragons. Case in point:

Rightscorp Done Anti-Pirating? Stock Worthless, Website Gone
by Andy (via Torrentfreak)

For many years, anti-piracy outfit Rightscorp has been on a mission to turn piracy into profit.

The company monitors BitTorrent networks, captures IP addresses, then asks ISPs to forward cash settlement demands to its subscribers.

While some companies in the same niche have “gone big” by demanding hundreds or even thousands of dollars for each alleged infringement, Rightscorp deployed a “speeding fine” model. To make Rightscorp go away, the company regularly demanded settlements of between $20 and $30, shared with rightsholders 50/50.

These, of course, mounted up. According to a set of financial results covering the three months ended September 30, 2017, Rightscorp had closed more than 230,000 alleged cases of infringement.

What happened after that is unclear, as the company opted not to report any further financial details in public. If it had, they probably wouldn’t have made pretty reading.

During the nine months ended September 30, 2017, Rightscorp recorded a net loss of $1,448,899. During the same period a year earlier, it lost $1,380,698. As a result, the company had just $3,147 left in cash at the end of September 2017.

Against the odds, however, Rightscorp appears to have kept going, although what that means on an operational level is anyone’s guess. Now, however, the writing appears to be on the wall.

A cursory visit to Rightscorp’s website today doesn’t yield any detailed information. Or, indeed, any information at all….

Read it all at torrentfreak.com

Larry Brody: Live! From Paradise! #46 – “Why We Barbecue”

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THE USUAL NOTE FROM LB: From the summer of 2002 to  the spring of 2010, Gwen the Beautiful and I were the proud and often exhausted owners of a beautiful Ozarks property we called Cloud Creek Ranch.

In many ways, the ranch was paradise. But it was a paradise with a price that started going up before we even knew it existed. Here’s another Monday musing about our adventure and the lessons we learned.

Oh, and if y’all detect any irony, please believe me when I say it comes straight from the universe and not your kindly Uncle Larry B.

by Larry Brody

I have seen the future, and it is the past.

Last Saturday, Gwen the Beautiful and I went to a barbecue at the home of Doug the Dog Breeder and his wife Anita. About two dozen people attended this gathering, and it turned out that all of them were fellow congregants at the same church. That’s how they became friends in the first place.

For the most part, the men and women partied separately. Children under the age of six stayed with their mothers. Boys over six hung with the men. Most of us male types gathered around the smoker, and Doug was the perfect host, introducing me to everyone there and making me feel at home.

Much of the conversation was about hunting. The only thing that generated more excitement than a great story about the one that didn’t get away was talk about a gun show being held in a neighboring county and what was for sale there.

My contribution to the talk was mostly questions about any interesting places along the road our ranch is on. Turns out there are a ton of them. Half a dozen large caverns. An old Confederate silver mine. Ruins of a prehistoric Indian village.

Doug’s best friend Harry and the rest of the boys were eager to take me to see everything because, Harry told me, this is the perfect time of year. “You don’t want to go in the heat of summer,” he said, “because the woods’ll be overrun by copperheads then.”

“Copperheads won’t kill you,” another barbecue guest said. “Just make you wish you were dead.”

Harry shook his head knowingly. “You get bit by a dozen of ‘em at once and you’ll be dead enough.”

While everyone feasted on wild turkey, Doug showed me his property and explained that he’d invited Gwen and me so we’d get a better sense of the community of which we’re now a part. He went down the list of party-goers, letting me know that because we’re all neighbors anything I wanted that anyone here could provide, they would provide.

“If you ever need wood siding, talk to Amos. Bobby S has the biggest pawnshop in the county. Harry knows more about fixing transmissions than GM. All anybody asks in return for helping you is that you be a friend and say, ‘Howdy’ when you meet up with them in town. And if somebody who’s helped you needs something you can provide, you give it just the way they did.”

“I’m not exactly a helpful kinda guy, Doug,” I pointed out. “All I can do is tell stories.”

“But you know helpful guys. You can put people together.” Doug smiled. “Besides, a lot of folks not only like stories we need ’em.”

For a time, years ago, I lived in New Mexico, on the Santa Clara Indian Pueblo. Surprisingly, my friends there were very much like the friends I’m making here, Brothers-In-Earthiness, men whose view of life often came down to something I heard from a tribal elder:

“Everything in this world is a trade-off. Sometimes you seek out the trade, and sometimes the trade seeks out you.”

The good old boys who were at Doug’s party aren’t politicians. They’re not barons of Agri-business. They’re traders who understand the value of working together for the common good—not so they can get rich but so they can help each other survive. They’ve joined their church both to celebrate their Lord in heaven and create needed alliances here on earth.

During our talk, Doug’s words reminded me of my father, whose life was closely connected to what he called “do-bills.”

“I do a favor for somebody, and he owes me the same kind of favor,” my father used to say. “And vice versa, of course. It’s how business works.”

The more I think about this, the more it seems to me to be about something larger than business. I think we’re talking about the basic fabric of civilization. A ritual of mutual obligation from which everything else has grown. A situation that, in spite of the abuses we all probably can come up with, never has been, and in all likelihood, never will be, replaced.

Now I know why there are so many congregations and clubs.

Why political parties inevitably spring up the minute a new country is born.

And why there are so many great home barbecues.

They’re our way of belonging to the tribe.

Big Wheel Keeps on Turnin’, WGA-ATA Keep on Churnin’

by Larry Brody

Welcome to the Battle of the Showbiz Behemoths Volume HolyCrapIt’sBeenGoingOnThisLong? Congratulations to everybody involved because guess what? Last week we saw some very important movement on the front lines.

From the WGAW:

Dear Members,

Today the WGA and Verve reached a negotiated franchise agreement with a three-year term. Therefore, effective immediately, Verve joins the list of agencies that can represent members for writing services.

WGA and Verve representatives first met face-to-face on April 30th, and thereafter exchanged counterproposals. The back-and-forth with Verve was the most substantive negotiation with an agency we’ve had to date.  Verve was willing to make an agreement that aligns their agents’ interests with their writer clients’ interests.  And the Guild was willing to modify the Code, while maintaining the fundamental principle that agencies should neither own production companies nor accept fees from the employers of writers.

The WGA-Verve agreement, like the Code of Conduct:

  • Bans packaging fees and agency-affiliated production companies.
  • Requires agency to provide writers’ contracts, invoices and deal memos to the WGA and allows auditing.
  • Requires agency to enforce Guild contracts and zealously advocate for writers’ best interests re: free work, late pay, abusive hiring practices, etc.
  • Allows agency to accept fees for feature film financing and sales services, subject to disclosure and writer approval, for films with less than $20 million budget, and with Guild consent for films with budgets higher than $20 million.
  • Contains a streamlined arbitration agreement.
  • Requires agency to provide an annual report on its diversity and inclusion efforts.
  • Contains a most favored nations’ clause if another agency reaches terms with the Guild more favorable than in this agreement.

The agreement includes some adjustments from the April 13, 2019 Code of Conduct, including:

  • Gives either party to the agreement the right to re-open the agreement with at least 90 days’ notice prior to its termination date; if no notice is given, the agreement will be extended for additional one year periods.
  • Clarifies that agency can represent producers that do not employ writers.
  • Allows agency to provide notice of commencement or anything else triggering compensation by copying the WGA on invoices.
  • Allows agency to provide list of films on which it is providing financing or sales services semi-annually rather than quarterly.

This agreement is an important step forward in our efforts to realign agency incentives and eliminate the conflicts of interest that have undermined representation of writers.

In Solidarity,

WGA-Agency Agreement Negotiating Committee

More about this delightful (well, at least meaningful) turn of events here:

Verve Signs WGA’s Code Of Conduct, A First Crack In Agencies’ Solidarity

In Wake of Verve Signing, ATA Says Again That WGA’s Code Of Conduct “Hurts Agencies And Writers”

WGA Says 75% Of Projects At Agency-Affiliated Production Companies Are Written By Agencies’ Own Clients

For those of you who are members, this super top secret video from the Writers Guild of America itself also has a hell of a lot to say:

In Solidarity!