Thursday, April 21, 2016

Script Writing Cheatsheet

Sorry I haven't been posted on my blog for quite some time. SO much has happened, but I'm not going to get into that right now. Today's post is for up-and-coming screenwriters. Here is a cheatsheet I have assembled throughout my schooling and real world experience. Follow these simple rules and you'll be out to a great start!

GOLDEN RULE:  If it can’t be filmed, you cannot write it!!!!

The No-No List
The types of words to look for and avoid in your script

1.     Is
2.     Telling
3.     Asking
4.     Explaining
5.     Thinks
6.     Feels
7.     Love (you cannot show emotions on film, but you can describe it so that others can act it)
8.     Realizes
9.     Believes
10.  Desires
11.  Forgot
12.  Noticed
13.  Past tense words (i.e. picked, kicked, splashed, created, etc. ** Basically anything with ‘ed at the end should be looked at carefully!)
14.  Decides
15.  Wishes
16.  Hopes
17.  Doing
18.  Future tense words (i.e. will do, is going to, plans to, wants to, etc.)

These are the biggest No-No’s in a script.  In dialogue it’s different because the characters can break these rules, however, in the action scene you cannot use them!

The purple words are the most commonly used words and should be avoided!

PS: This list will also be on my website.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

RIP, Ali…

Is what would have been said about me 12 years ago.

Sorry to sound ominous or misleading, but I’ll get to that story in a moment. Just to let you know, this generally isn’t something I like to share with people. In fact, only a handful knows about this – until now.

Twelve years ago, I was hospitalized for appendicitis. What was meant to be a simple outpatient procedure turned out to be a nightmare for my family and everyone involved. Long story short, eight hours after surgery, I went into cardiac arrest. For those of you who don’t know what cardiac arrest is, it’s where your heart stops beating and pumping blood to the rest of your body. It’s synonymous (having the same or nearly the same meaning as another word or phrase in the same language, or closely associated) with clinical death. In other words, I had died. I know what you must be thinking, if I had really died, I wouldn’t be posting this today. This kind of death can be reversible if caught soon enough, don’t believe me? Look it up. Anyway, I will share my experience with you someday, but not in this post. If it brings you comfort, the answer to your question is yes. If I need to explain this then you need not know, but if you know, you need not ask.

For years I questioned why I came back. So many people in my life had perished, yet I came back. It just didn’t seem fair. Did I come back for a reason? Did I have a greater purpose to fulfill? My questions were answered the day I first held my baby girl. I understood that there was no greater purpose in life than to be a mother. This year, I was given the gift of a second child. While the pregnancy was brutal on my body and I almost died (again) from it, I couldn’t be happier. I have two exceedingly beautiful children and a loving and fine-looking husband.

Had I not come back the first time, I would have never met my husband, had kids, or experienced life. I know I haven’t impacted anyone’s life or left my mark on the world, except for my husband and kids, but it’d be difficult to say for sure until after my passing.
All I know is that without my husband, I wouldn’t have been blessed with gorgeous children, and there’s no telling where he’d be now. As for my parents and brothers, this year would have marked the 12th year anniversary of my death.

So, in the spirit of the holiday, what I’m trying to say is that I am thankful. I know it’s a roundabout way to say it, but I am truly thankful for being alive. What I am most thankful for is to have had the opportunity to be a wife and mother, for there has been no greater joy for me in life.

What are you thankful for?