Blog Notice to Horror Socials

Blog Notice to Horror Socials

Troll Notice

Troll Notice

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Screenwriting: What is Wrong with these Kids Today?





Honestly, it is royally painful for me to see what crap in independent horror ends up getting distribution and what doesn’t. Mostly what I see is the filmmakers seem to act like the script is an afterthought. So many times I’ve ended up wasting my time watching stories full of stereotype characters, cookie cutter plots, and just plain boring and uninspired storylines. Even the supposedly SUPERIOR horror socials tend to push their own egos over substance, emotion strength, and backstory.

Since 1983 when I worked on Star Trek II and III with Harve Bennett and also wrote the Camp Crystal Lake novels I’ve have had a slew of budding writers and screenwriters come to me for advice and to learn the craft, and I do say CRAFT, of writing both books and screenplays. This craft is nothing to take lightly and is something that takes work to develop. It is through ignorance and a lack of understanding that bad books and films with weak plots and characters are put out on the market and cause the fans to waste money and time on lack luster stories, with lack luster characters, that tank.

Below is a list that every aspiring screenwriter needs to burn into their brains.

This list comes from experience of what doesn’t work. If certain people would get this stuff into their shallow ego case brains, I’d have nothing to say against them other than they are jokes when it comes to being human beings….LOL.

But check this out:

This list comes from Joe Berkowitz, a professional script reader. I know this myself and beat it into the minds of any budding script writer who comes to me for help.



1.The story begins too late in the script

2.The scenes are void of meaningful conflict

3.The script has a by-the-numbers execution

4.The story is too thin

5.The villains are cartoonish, evil-for-the-sake-of-evil

6.The character logic is muddy

7.The female part is underwritten

8.The narrative falls into a repetitive pattern

9.The conflict is inconsequential, flash-in-the-pan

10.The protagonist is a standard issue hero

11.The script favors style over substance

12.The ending is completely anti-climactic

13.The characters are all stereotypes

14.The script suffers from arbitrary complexity

15.The script goes off the rails in the third act

16.The script’s questions are left unanswered

17.The story is a string of unrelated vignettes

18.The plot unravels through convenience/contrivance

19.The script is tonally confused

20The protagonist is not as strong as need be

21.The premise is a transparent excuse for action

22.The character backstories are irrelevant/useless

23.Supernatural element is too undefined

24.The plot is dragged down by disruptive lulls

25.The ending is a case of deus ex machina

26.The characters are indistinguishable from each other

27.The story is one big shrug

28.The dialogue is cheesy, pulpy, action movie cliches

29.The script is a potboiler

30.The drama/conflict is told but not shown

31.The great setting isn’t utilized

32.The emotional element is exaggerated

33.The dialogue is stilted and unnecessarily verbose

34.The emotional element is neglected

35.The script is a writer ego trip

36.The script makes a reference, but not a joke

37.The message overshadows the story



You see, if Jen and Sylvia Soska understood this American Mary would not have tanked at the end or been a convoluted mess. But that is my over three decades of experience and as a writer and screenwriter talking….

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