24 Random Screenwriting Tips/Advice

February 22, 2018


When I first joined Instagram I posted a lot of memes and images with just words. One reason is because I didn't have that exciting of a life, so what am I going to take pictures of? Second, you can only take so many selfies (at least as a guy) before you start looking like a psychopath.


My life really hasn't gotten that much more exiting all of a sudden, but some of my hard work and lonely hours of writing has started to pay off. I've got a few projects releasing soon and a couple others just about to start production.


With this come all sorts of different things to post other than memes, which is a good thing.


Recently, I went back through all my uploads on Instagram and deleted those memes and other images. They never really got a lot of likes (I didn't have that many followers. Still don't, but the ones I have I love.) Plus those posts weren't fitting the brand I am now trying to build.


With that said, I did post a lot of my own screenwriting tips and advice and I didn't just want to lose them forever. Maybe they can help other fellow screenwriters.


Well, now that I have this website and blog, this seems like the perfect place to show them off again. Plus, for this week, I didn't have a Kohan's Screenwriting Lesson #3 idea, so I figured this would be a good substitute for this week's post. 




Below you'll find 24 tips and lines of advice from myself to you. It's more for entertainment than anything, but they can help too, possibly. They're in no particular order. I hope you enjoy. If you read one you enjoy, leave a comment and let me know which one.


P.S. You can follow me on Instagram here, or just hit the link at the top of the website.




1. To show your supporting female character is sexy, but smart, have her wear Daisy Dukes and thick black rimmed glasses.


2. Give your female character a topless scene just because. Give your male character a nude scene if you need some comic relief.


3. Follow a proven formula. Page Ten: Inciting Incident. Page thirty: End of act one. Page fifty: Getting off track. Page sixty-two: A completely tonal shift. Page eighty: Start of generic third act. Page ninety-five: Fade out on a story that doesn't need a sequel but ends setting one up anyway.


4. A bad plot, boring characters, and horrible story logic will be overlooked if you write your entire screenplay in Wingdings font.


5. Always write in the script whatever the story needs. Later, the producers will figure out how to get a thousand real people fighting in indivdual tanks, shooting pure gold bombs, on the surface of Mars, all under the predetermined budget.


6. Don't describe your female lead as sexy; tan; in shape. Tell us something about her personality. The way she sees the world. Casting already knows to find a sexy, tan, in shape actress to play the part.


7. If you get a script note saying, "make the action more exciting", do not panic. Simply edit your cover page to read: (Title) 3D.


8.  Int - This means an interior scene. Ext - This means an exterior scene. kdajfdhgdihgfoidjfj - This means you fell asleep on your keyboard.


9. One of the worst things a first-time writer can say to a potential script reader: "It's a space-musical with a page count of two hundred and thirty-six pages."


10. Wanna make your main character stick out in a scene? Then don't give him/her a camouflage outfit to wear.


11. Don't tell your script reader the genre of your script if it's a comedy. Wait for them to read it. If they laugh throughout, you can tell them it's a comedy. If they only laugh once or twice, tell them it's a Dramedy. If they don't laugh at all, it's a dark comedy.


12. Romantic Comedy Tip: Have your male lead tell the female lead a lie. Something very small. At the second act break have this lie come back into the story with your female lead saying this exact line, "You lied to me?". Before your male lead can simply explain (like any person in real life would) have the female lead storm out of the room. Cue the five minute, male lead's depressed montage.


13. To make your period piece more authentic make sure you do the following: 1. Write it with a feather pen on parchment. 2. Wear a corset and/or a white wig. 3. By candlelight. 4. While battling cholera. If you don't, the script reader will be able to tell.


14. Horror Tip: At some point in the script your "ghost" should open it's mouth extremely wide. Like impossibly wide. Unbelievably wide. Cause, you know, that's scary and original.


15. To make your script standout on an executive's desk, print it on paper the size of cue cards.


16. As a writer, you might have moments of self doubt. Just remember that even if the final product doesn't come out great, it's still going to be better than "Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2". Apologizes to the writers of Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2.


17. You should always write with your one-of-a-kind voice. If you suffer from multiple personality disorder, pick the most unique one.


18. Even though it might seem like there's no originality in the movie business anymore just remember, nobody's written a script via skywriting yet.


19. Sometimes you must write (if it's a hired job) with a particular rating in mind. Below is a reminder of what each rating means in film.


G - Very tame.

PG - Cartoon violence. Throw in some sexual innuendo.

PG-13 - One F word. Some nude butts. As much violence as you'd like, but no blood.

R - Do whatever you want with language and violence. Nudity and sex are fine. No penetration or visible male boners.

NC-17 - (Most of the time) Porn with good acting.

XXX - Porn with bad acting.


20. Writing a script is like being married. It takes effort, hard work, and persistence. Though, sometimes all that work doesn't matter and you just have to move on to a newer, sexier, younger script.


21. The only time you should feel like a script reader is laughing at you is when the script you give them to read is a comedy-self bio film.


22. If you're writing a fantasy-action-adventure script make sure you include the lines, "There's a war coming" and "blah blah blah prophecy" or you risk your film being original.


23. Since film is a visual medium and you should always show, not tell,  if you script is about a blind person, write it in braille.


24. Screenwriters never get to participate in talent shows. People want to see bands, stand-up comedians, jugglers. Not a man sitting at his computer for months struggling to write a compelling and coherent screenplay. So if you want to partisipate in a talent show, maybe screenwriting isn't for you.




 Click here to learn more about all the screenwriting services I provide, including prices and order form.



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© 2019 Screenwriter - Jon Kohan (Arthur Productions)