By The Lens - User Guide
What's on the site and how to find your way around.
Bythelens is a site for screenwriters, especially people who need help getting started with screenwriting. This purpose informs the way the site is structured so in this article I'm going to explain how to use the site.
Articles are, and this may seem a bit obvious, pieces of writing on how to construct and understand a screenplay. They cover anything from how to format the script professionally to how to structure the acts and how to write a heroic character. The articles page shows the latest 20 to be uploaded but the others can be found by searching in the search box on the hompepage or by following a track that includes the article in question.
One of the best ways to understand how to write a good screenplay is to read what others have done. In the examples section there are some sample screenplays with relevant notes for the screenwriter, there are also pages of analysis on the structure of specific films.
For your convenience certain articles and examples have been grouped together into tracks. A track is just a bundle of articles and examples in a specific grouping or order. There's a track for example screenplays, a track for act-breakdowns and, perhaps most usefully, a track for the fundamental skills of screenwriting, called Screenwriting 101.
The tools page is a list of useful things for the screenwriter. We've got film analysis sheets, character and location description sheets and there's more coming to the section such as a special tool called an interactive screenplay builder. For anyone starting out with screenwriting, I'd suggest that a visit here to view the Nicholl sample screenplay is a very rewarding diversion.
Now I'll be the first to admit that there's a lot of overlap between this section and the tools part. Here you'll find details of the workshops and any downloadable content associated with them. Essentially the reason these are separate is because they describe the services I offer, including script review and screenwriting assistance.
Links pages have fallen out of favour as the web has evolved, mostly because of the increasing sophistication of search engines. Despite this I've put a few basic links on a page and I'll try to remember to keep adding to them as I bump into new things I use online.