Screenplay Writing Group


A friend of mine frustrated with not being able to find a decent writers group specializing in screenplay writing decided to start he own group and made me coconspirator. We are calling it ‘Northeast Cincinnati Screenwriters Group’. So far we have a half dozen people interested and I hope we eventually get more.

When I first became interested in screenwriting, I did it just to see if I could. At the time I had no clue as to what I was doing other the what I read from the books in the library. Luckily I found a good teacher for as good as many books are, if you don’t have the latest copies you may be dealing with old and outdated information. Screenplay writing may appear to be simple, but there is a lot of nascence rules that if you don’t follow, your screenplay will most likely find itself round filed.

It’s sad to say but since there is so much competition when it comes to screenplays that the people who read them will find any excuse not to. In a way can’t blame them, If I had 2,000 + screenplays that I had to read through by the end of the week I would probably be doing the same thing, especially when I know that the amount is going to double tomorrow.

Only a person with a NAME can ever consider breaking the rules. Why? Because they’ve already proven themselves.

First rule of screenwriting is formatting and if you don’t have the screenwriting software, you’re already dead in the water.
Here are the names of some screenwriting software.
‘Script It’, ‘Final Draft‘, and ‘Fade In’
Many of these programs are expensive but if your serious about your writing your going to have pay. If you’re just beginning and not sure if you’re any good at writing you might be able to find a sample program for cheap or even free. This will be one without all the bells and whistles of the upgrade or it may have have other limitations.

I wont go into the rules in regulations in this post (I’ll do that later) but I will suggest books that may help.

1. The Foundation of Screenwriting by Syd Fields
2. How to write a movie in 21 days by Viki King’s
3. Gothan Writers Workshop– Writing Movies,
4. Straczynski’s Complete book of Screenwriting
5. Joe Eszterhas‘ The Devil’s Guide to Hollywood
5. Essentials of Screenwriting by Richard Walter
6. Save the Cat
7. Your Screenplay Sucks by William Akers
8. Power Screenwriting-the 12 stages of story development
9. The Screenwriter’s survival guide by Max Adams
10. The Screenwriter’s Bible: A Complete Guide to Writing, Formatting, and Selling Your Script by David Trottier


About Stacy Bender

Author of Ursa Kane and the Sav'ine series.
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5 Responses to Screenplay Writing Group

  1. N.G. Davis says:

    Hi, I just randomly happened across your blog while I was doing a bit of procrastinating. I don’t usually go promoting my own blog, but I thought you might find a series I did on screenwriting rules interesting, and even freeing. I’ve been doing this for a long time and wish I’d known earlier on how insignificant and unimportant those “rules” actually are. Anyway, if you like, feel free to take a look and comment with any questions/opinions of your own. Best of luck in your endeavors, and with your new group!

    • Stacy Bender says:

      I’m always happy to acquire useful information.
      Thank you very much.

      • N.G. Davis says:

        No problem. Not trying to push my thoughts on you — just thought you might find it helpful. Screenwriting is really such a distinct form of writing. I’m not sure how important formatting/structure rules are in novels (I know very little about writing them), but with a script, most are just not that big of a deal when it comes down to it.

      • Stacy Bender says:

        :-). No worries. In all honesty, I wanted to ask if you wouldn’t mind me reposting your series on my blog. (I’ll reference yours of course)

        I also wanted to ask you a question / your opinion,
        Jeri and I both have screenplays (obviously) I stick to Sci-Fi, while she likes YA & anima.
        I know that this question will come up in the group eventually and I would like to supply a second opinion.

        Where would you suggest that a new person submit their screenplays? (Any specific place?)

        And do you have any suggestions for them?

        Do you mind me picking your brain in the future? 🙂

      • N.G. Davis says:

        I’d love it if you’d repost that series. Thanks for the compliment! As to your question —

        Okay, so you’ve got the top contests like Nicholl, TrackingB, and Page. Unlike most contests, they actually break new writers with some level of consistency.

        The new Blacklist service is very cool. I’d say it has potential to create more success than even the Nicholl competition. That said, because it’s combined with feedback, it also has potential to be more disheartening. Most writers will need a thick skin if they’re going to use it.

        As for querying, I always recommend that you start with managers. I wrote up a long post on querying on my blog, but in short, you should spend some time researching managers online through blogs, the Blacklist, and tracking boards that list managers associated with recent successes and sales. Then, you can often pull their e-mail addresses from IMDBPro.

        Before any of those things, submit your work to other writers. Ideally, writers who are both better at their craft than you are and are willing to give you objective feedback. Use that feedback to improve.

        And yeah, feel free to pick my brain whenever. I can’t guarantee that my responses will be useful, but I’ll do my best!

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