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Author: Mike Boas

Raise The Stakes

Raise The Stakes

There’s a great article from Gideon’s Screenwriting Tips called “25 Ways to Raise the Stakes in Your Script.” See the full article here:
https://gideonsway.wordpress.com/2017/03/07/25-ways-to-raise-the-stakes-in-your-script-writing-you-need-to-use/

Writers must explain how not achieving their goals will affect the characters, not only physically, but emotionally and spiritually too. It needs to be deeply personal.Some ways to raise the stakes for your main characters by examining the repercussions if they fail:

  1. They lose the respect of their close family and friends
  2. They lose respect for themselves
  3. They lose the respect of those who depend on them
  4. They damage a professional relationship that relies on the success of the mission
  5. They will lose a bet
  6. An embarrassing misunderstanding will occur
  7. Deep emotional pain and turmoil will result
  8. They will be forced to confront their biggest fear
  9. Their belief sand moral compass are challenged
  10. A meeting or deeply wanted connection will be missed
  11. A closely-held secret is revealed
  12. A lie will prevail while the truth will be hidden
  13. A war or deep conflict will start
  14. Someone will die or be seriously injured
  15. They must sacrifice an innocent person
  16. They cause harm to somebody else
  17. They will be banished from their homeland
  18. They are forced to give up something valuable
  19. They underestimate the cost of their goal
  20. They take an unnecessary risk
  21. They are forced to change their plan or their goal
  22. A meeting or deeply wanted connection will be missed
  23. Their plan will be severely set back
  24. A villain will escape or be be set free
  25. Justice will be miscarried

BONUS LINK! Another good article on raising stakes here:
https://writersedit.com/fiction-writing/5-surefire-ways-raise-stakes-story/

Just when you think you know first acts…

Just when you think you know first acts…

Personally, I believe the second act is the hardest part of a screenplay to write. So when a listener wrote in to Scriptnotes asking about his troubles with first acts, I was a bit perplexed. What’s the big deal?

Then John and Craig went on to lay out what the first act can and should accomplish. Wow! Now I need to reevaluate some of what I’ve written. I have a new appreciation for screenplay structure after listening.

Check out THE END OF THE BEGINNING episode of Scriptnotes at https://johnaugust.com/2018/the-end-of-the-beginning

Legal Agreements

Legal Agreements

Since we were discussing contracts at last meeting, there’s a good overview at LA Screenwriter.

Why is it a good idea to be comfortable with contracts? As Ken Aguado says…

  • Filmmaking is a business, and businesses run on contractual agreements.
  • Contractual agreements help define the business relationship between people and/or companies.
  • If you don’t define the business relationship with your collaborators or employers, they may not be your collaborators or employers for long.

See the whole article at:

5 Legal Agreements Every Screenwriter Must Know.