An overlooked piece of information for developing the right character for your plot

Image by hansiline from Pixabay

Years ago, my screenwriting group and I wrote a comedy show for Turkish TV. It had a rich premise with amazing potential. We felt confident that it was going to be a big success.

We were interviewing one of the most talented comedians in the country. Or rather, he was…


We love being fooled, but your actors don't

The Usual Suspects (1995) Gramercy Productions

It took me ages to analyze the structure of The Usual Suspects. After writing a few thousand words, I almost gave up because I couldn't make up my mind about significant aspects.

It's a tough one. The movie has multiple layers, and there are several possible explanations about how the…

Your story says something; you should know what it is

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Our screenwriting group had mapped out the whole season of our TV show. Yet, we needed fresh ideas each week to move the story from point A to point B. We couldn't just put it on a train! …

Here is why the film gives me hope about humanity

Jacques Cousteau wearing his Aqua-Lung, with his team mate helping him
Le Monde Du Silence (1956) Image: Rank Organisation

My ex-boyfriend and I had a thing about Palme d'Or winning films. One time he brought Jacques Cousteau and Louis Malle's Le Silence Du Monde (1956). I didn't know about the film then, but I discovered that it had also won an Oscar. I loved Cousteau and his ship Calypso…

Again, it boils down to character

Better Call Saul (Image: Sony Pictures Television)

I wrote TV shows with my screenwriting group for fifteen years. We also planned and plotted a few movie scripts over the years but never actually wrote them. For two reasons: First of all, we almost always had a highly demanding TV project that paid the bills. …

Your job is to guide the cooking step by step

Photo by Klaus Nielsen from Pexels

“How do you think the director will shoot this?” my friends from my screenwriting group would ask me.

I was a novice screenwriter. I had tons of creative ideas, a passion for telling stories, but my words on the page were “unshootable.”

Not all words, obviously. But I got frequent…


Storytelling is not narrating some guy’s adventures; it is designing a user experience

Memento (2000), Newmarket Films LLC

(*) “Gimmick or really dull movie? You decide.”

Blake Snyder, about Memento, in Save the Cat!

This story contains spoilers about Christopher Nolan’s movie Memento (2000). I will tell you the ending — no wait, I mean the beginning! If you haven’t seen Memento, I recommend you watch it first…

Until I didn’t

Image by Sarah Richter from Pixabay

“Don’t put your hands between your legs at night,” my mother used to say to me, “otherwise they will chop up your hands.” I would visualize a plate of chopped-up meat but for some reason, I didn’t freak out. …

Have we been doing it all wrong?

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

My son hated school from day one. Taking him to school was one of the most challenging things I did. Every morning I begged, preached, bribed, took away privileges, manipulated, and tried all the cold war methods to persuade him to go to school. …

You might save thousands of dollars (and the environment) by using this well-known trick

Photo by Jimmy Conover on Unsplash

“Why would I want to wash shitty nappies? Are you insane?!”

I couldn’t believe my ears when my Kiwi partner first suggested using cloth nappies for our soon-to-be-born baby. It was the 21st century, dammit!

I am from the third world. When I was growing, disposable nappies either weren’t around…

Nihan Kucukural

Turkish screenwriter and storyteller. I analyze Story Bones on The Writing Cooperative.

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