Screenwriting tips/quotes from Richard Walter


Richard Walter, “Essentials of Screenwriting: The Art, Craft, and Business of Film and Television Writing.”

  • Self-revelations lies, after all, at the center of not screenwriting alone but all creative expression. How can self-protection — that is, avoiding what is personal — serve any purpose other than to suppress, stifle, and suffocate the emotion that resides at the center of all worthy art?
  • If teachers cannot provide talent, neither can they take talent away
  • A good place to start is the beginning. In my experience reading thousands of screenplays by amateurs and professionals alike, perhaps the single most common error is screenwriters’ failure to begin at the beginning. All too typically screenplays commence not at but before the beginning.
  • The clearer the protagonist, the stronger the film.
  • The word ‘drama’ derives from the Greek term meaning ‘to do; to act.’ Drama is not a bunch of characters sitting around talking, twiddling their thumbs, flapping their jaws, doing nothing. Screenwriters are required, therefore, to determine for each scene the action that most effectively advances the story and expands the characters and also to craft the ideal setting for that action

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