Screenwriting FAQ files
Although FAQ stands for Frequently Asked Questions, the typical "FAQ file" actually contains answers along with the questions. I am the volunteer editor ("maintainer") of the FAQ file for the misc.writing.screenplays newsgroup, a discussion group that is part of Usenet. The original FAQ is still available, while work continues on a much larger and more complex revised version. Parts of the new (2.0) version have been completed and posted here. Other sections will be added as they become available.
You'll also find a "Mini-FAQ" contributed by m.w.s. user Chris Owen, that covers a few topics of interest to film and TV writers and includes useful links to other resources; a growing collection of unique information contributed by users of the m.w.s. group; and a link to the SCRNWRiT listserv FAQ.
Internet etiquette (READ THIS): if you have specific questions about screenwriting, start by looking for answers in these files. If you have read everything in them and have other questions, return to this page and press the left arrow below. It will take you to many more screenplay-related links in my Film Writing pages, each loaded with information. Only after you have put in some effort to inform yourself should you go to a newsgroup like m.w.s. and ask questions. Although people are usually happy to help, you'll find that they are more cordial if you show that you have already done your homework.
Current Revised Version 2.0 (work in progress)
Legacy FAQ version 1.0 This file has not changed in some time, and is partially outdated, but still contains some good information. To save time, you can Download it as a plain text zip file (16K) and read it later (recommended!). If you Read It Online, note that it is a 40K file. Either way, please note that this file is not public domain, and that it is not to be posted, published, or distributed without authorization.
If you wish to participate in any Usenet newsgroup, ask your Internet Service Provider (ISP) about Usenet, and get their help in subscribing to the group. Depending on your installation, with some browsers and some ISPs, you can go directly to the m.w.s. newsgroup from here. (NOTE: there is a pretty high chance of getting an error message with that link. I can't help you if that happens.) Also, more Internet etiquette: Once you join, if you post a public message to a Usenet group, plan to go back soon afterward (within a day or two) to see the replies before they scroll off your news server.