Screenwriting Lessons From Stephen King

17 Must Read Screenwriting Lessons From Stephen King

Top horror writer Stephen King knows a few tricks in the trade. Let’s take advantage of him and benefit from his experience by reading 17 Must Read Screenwriting Lessons From Stephen King.

Two samples here:  

About Pacing And Killing Darlings

Mostly when I think of pacing, I go back to Elmore Leonard, who explained it so perfectly by saying he just left out the boring parts. This suggests cutting to speed the pace and that’s what most of us end up having to do (kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.).

About Researching

If you do need to do research because parts of your story deal with things about which you know little or nothing, remember that word back. That’s where research belongs: as far in the background and the back story as you can get it. You may be entranced with what you’re learning about the flesh-eating bacteria, the sewer system of New York, or the I.Q. potential of collie pups, but your readers are probably going to care a lot more about your characters and your story.”

It’s great if you’ve done your research. It’s even wonderful if you have a pre-existing knowledge base as a doctor as you write that medical drama. That research or knowledge base, however, needs to be kept in the background. It needs to pepper the story, not over-salt it. Nobody is going to care if your script showcases excellent research or the fact that you may know exactly what happens in a certain medical situation. Just tell an interesting and engaging story. Use that research or knowledge base to simply enhance your story and characters.

More about screenwriting in Ten Amazing Discussions On Screenwriting And Filmmaking From The Masters Of CinemaSave the Movie! The 2005 Screenwriting Book That’s Taken Over Hollywood — And Made Every Movie Feel The SameBest Scriptwriting Books Ever: Egri’s The Art of Dramatic Writing and Best Screenwriting Books Ever: Edward Dmytryk’s On Screenwriting , amongst many other posts!

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