I came to realize that the only things that really mattered in a screenplay were momentum and clarity. . . .  Subtlety was too much like vagueness, and in a script nothing vague can survive.

You had to search and search until you found a story’s irreducible thread: a man on the run from a killer, a young girl growing into a woman, a victim seeking revenge. If the movie was about one thing, it could be about many things. But if you started out determined to make it about many things, it would be about nothing.


TV writer Stephen Harrigan in a recent article on Slate