This is the third article in a series discussing the mistakes commonly made by beginning screenwriters, even if they have experience as novelists. If you haven’t read the previous two articles, this one can stand alone. Here are some more screenwriting errors to avoid:
TOO MUCH INFO TOO SOON – One common mistake is starting the screenplay with an excessive amount of background information. While this might work in a novel, it is fatal and boring in a screenplay. Provide just enough information to pique our interest and to understand what is happening. Then reveal more information as the story An Artist Portrait (Part Two) - This is the Part Two (and final part) of the true life story as artist written by Frank V. Cahoj for our Weblog. (Part One) An Artist Portrait (Part Two) I give an unbelievable amount of credence to these two early periods in my life: one of everlasting creation, one of analysis and disillusionment. The… unfolds and as we need to know it. Skilled screenwriters often find ways to tantalize the reader, making them eager to learn more, which keeps them engaged and turning the pages.
LONG SCENES – Scenes in modern movies need to be concise, typically lasting 2 to 4 pages, although key scenes can and often should be longer. The preference for shorter scenes is influenced in part by the impact of music videos with their quick-cut visuals and shorter time frames.
ON-THE-NOSE – This term describes dialogue that is overly obvious and lacks creativity An Artist Portrait (Part One) - This is a fantastic article written exclusively for my Weblog by Frank V. Cahoj. Please feel free to comment here or send him emails. He'll be happy of this. An Artist Portrait (Part One) My name is Frank Cahoj and I have been an artist since I was born. I can say this in confidence without… . For example, saying “She looks like a hooker” is on-the-nose. A better approach would be: “She has the appearance of someone who should be standing on a street corner, leaning into car windows.”
LOSING TRACK OF THE HERO – Also known as the Protagonist, some beginning screenwriters have a tendency to start the story with one main character and then shift focus Having a Goal in Life and Why Music is a Harmonious Objective - Having a goal in life is essential for many reasons. It provides a sense of direction, drives motivation, enhances focus, and contributes to personal satisfaction. An aim or target in life helps one to streamline their energy, thoughts, and efforts towards achieving something specific. Without an objective, life can feel aimless and unsatisfying, and individuals… to another character. This can be confusing and dilute the impact of the story. I once read a screenplay where the hero wandered off before the climactic battle scene, and some minor characters took over the fight. I’m not making this up.
TOO MANY CHARACTERS – Most films run between 90 minutes to 2 hours. That’s not a lot of time for the audience to connect with and root for a large number of characters. If your story has many characters, you may need to eliminate some of them in the screenplay. Another solution is to combine two or more characters into composite characters who serve multiple purposes. While there have been successful “ensemble” movies, they are challenging to write and are best left to experienced screenwriters.
Manuel Marino is a seasoned Senior Producer, Music Composer, and Artist with over a decade of experience. He specializes in branded entertainment across various mediums, including video games, films, and advertising campaigns. With 20+ years as a game music composer, Manuel has worked on numerous platforms, creating diverse orchestral soundtracks. HIRE ME