Screenwriting Articles

Welcome to our archive of screenwriting articles, written by BlueCat founder and judge Gordy Hoffman.

We hope they shed light on possible solutions to the challenges you might face as a screenwriter.

Please contact us if you have any comments or questions. Do you have an idea of a future screenwriting article? Let us know.


The Baby Still Lacks A Name: Picking The Title of Your Script

Why are you reading this? Most likely because you don’t like what you’re calling your screenplay. What’s it called? Do you have a title or a working title? A working title is a title that sucks that you put on the file of your script, right? I’m writing something right now that doesn’t have a […]

7 Steps to Writing Your Screenplay

1. Choosing a Story Most professional writers I know have a surplus of ideas. Because of this they tend to think little of them. But choosing a good concept is, in many ways, the most important step of all, assuming you follow through on all the others. You want a concept which, when described, suggests […]

5 Storytelling Flaws in The Great Gatsby

I haven’t read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby since I was in the ninth grade, twenty years ago now, but I do remember it being a quick read; at fifty thousand words, an average reader can go cover to cover in little more than four hours. Watching the most recent film adaptation takes about […]

Top 5 Silent Sequences in Film #BlueCatBlog

Theater has dialogue, novels have the internal lives of characters, and movies have dynamic visuals. There is, of course, overlap. Many films are driven by dialogue, as are many novels, and the visuals in a Robert Wilson operetta are more important than mere words. But film is, as the cliché goes, a visual medium, and […]

Four Screenwriting Lessons We Can Learn from Iron Man 3

I don’t usually like to go to movies on their opening weekend—crowds of more than twenty tend to make me nervous—but it can occasionally be fun to see a big movie in a packed house. You get caught up in the atmosphere of the whole affair and have a better time than you would were […]

How To Win BlueCat by Gordy Hoffman

  Are you preparing to send in your screenplay to the BlueCat Screenplay Competition before the deadline? What can you do before you enter to increase your chances of advancing, placing and perhaps winning BlueCat? The first thing you should know is BlueCat is very hard to win. Our readers are incredibly tough on our […]

Kubrick’s Boxes

I watched a movie on Kubrick’s boxes last night. The master would prepare so completely and with such great detail, he left behind thousands of boxes of photographs, notes, memos, fan letters and blank stationary, all collected and stored meticulously in service of the development of his work, produced and very much unproduced. To some, […]

You’re an Idiot: Making Value from Reaction to your Screenwriting

If you’re like me, if someone doesn’t like something about my screenplay, my very first reaction is always the same. You’re not as smart as me. If you knew what I knew, you would understand what I wrote. And you don’t understand what I wrote, because you don’t know as much as I do. About […]

The Rogue Knight of Cinema: Why Screenplay Contests Matter

Screenplay contests are changing cinema. Coming from a person who runs one, your first reaction to this statement is most likely, “The only reason you’re saying that is you want me to enter yours.” Or more frankly, “You just want my money.” Well, coming from one who runs one, I’ll say you’re right. Sorta. I […]

You are the Box Office Smash: The Personal Screenplay

Right this very second, in the heart of every struggling, undiscovered screenwriter, in the dark, hidden corner deep within, there is a voice, a clear whisper, saying one thing: You’re never gonna figure this out. And this is not referring to the story with its gaping hole, the finale missing a payoff, the hit and […]

Naming Your Baby: How to Find a Great Title to your Screenplay

How exactly does one work on the title of their screenplay? I recently came up with such a wonderful idea for a movie, one of those miraculous moments, like finding money on the sidewalk. I told somebody, and they said, “Great. What’s the title?” Suddenly, and rather horrifyingly, my beauty of an idea is crippled. […]

The Heart and Soul of Screenwriting: Writing good dialogue and description

Writing dialogue and description is writing a screenplay. You can argue about format and tab margins and what to capitalize and what not. I won’t. Dialogue and description is where the experience of screenplay for your reader lives. We write screenplays to make movies. They are not literature. They are directions for people to make […]

Discovering the Great Movie Idea for Your Next Screenplay

I am lucky. I have no problems coming up with very good ideas for movies. If I never had another idea for the rest of my life, I would not make a sizable dent in the ones I already have. Screenwriters who struggle with coming up with an idea tend to be visibly annoyed when […]

Screenwriting Tips from a Screenplay Contest Judge

After cracking hundreds of screenplays sent into the BlueCat Screenplay Competition, the same problems in the execution of the story and script continue to emerge. Here is a general overview of these persistent issues. Do you realize what you’re saying?? In the theatre, they read plays aloud over and over in the process of script […]

How to Start a Screenplay: Treatment or Free Fall?

Starting a screenplay can sometimes be as hard as finishing one. Impatient to pull up to the front door of a classic motion picture, I want to get everything right so quickly. This impatience challenges my trust in the work, the creative process of screenwriting. What exactly does trust mean? If I don’t trust my […]

Writing the Classic Movie Ending (How to Finish your Screenplay!)

I’ve only finished so many screenplays in my life. Writing a script all the way to the very last page is always an extremely significant, personal achievement for me. A large part of its significance is the reality that I actually wrote an ending, or, at the very least, typed “THE END.” Trying to finish […]

Rewriting your Screenplay: The Road to your Audience

    The promise of the rewrite is very sweet. I have collected evidence that the more authentic the labor put into rewriting your screenplay, the greater the reward, and the reward is high, for whatever lovely, wonderful moments you might have discovered in the frightening process of plowing through the first draft, those moments, […]