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  • Seminar
  • Online: Zoom
  • Adult (18+)

Screenwriting Tricks for Fiction Writers

No Longer Enrolling

  • $75.00 Non-Member
  • $65.00 Member

Class Description

The most important element of a novel is a good story. No matter how gorgeous the prose or likeable the protagonist, without a good story, readers will stop turning pages. But story is hard. If a brilliantly shaped narrative arc doesn’t flow intuitively onto the page, writers often kick and scream. Plot and structure are considered by many to be dirty words. Luckily, these elements can be learned, and screenwriting is a good place to start. While novels have the luxury of hundreds of pages, a film’s story is generally told in a taut 90 minutes. Quickly, a story grabs and holds you. Because film is such a compressed and precise medium, its bones are a blueprint for story. There are precise beats audiences expect, having experienced them in stories from the Greek myths to Jane Austen to Hollywood superhero epics.

Whether you’re starting your first draft or revising it, this class will show how the basics of screenwriting structure can help you move forward. Inspired by the book Save the Cat! Writes a Novel and using film clips, readings and in-class exercises, Andrea will provide tools to brainstorm, structure, flesh out and pitch your story, addressing such precise story-building blocks as creating a sympathetic yet flawed hero with a desire and a need; building tension and pacing; and beating out a narrative arc that ensures character transformation.

Class Format

This class will take place using Zoom videoconferencing. About 15 minutes before your class is scheduled to begin, you'll receive an email from your instructor with a link to join the class meeting!

Scholarship Information

Thanks to the excellent literary citizenship of our donors, scholarships are available for all GrubStreet classes. To apply, click the gray "APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP" button. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your application at least one week before the start date of a class. Please await our scholarship committee's decision before registering for the class. We cannot hold spots in classes, so the sooner you apply, the better. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.

For more more detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.

Scholarships Format/Location

Thanks to the excellent literary citizenship of our donors, scholarships are available for all GrubStreet classes. To apply, click the gray "APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP" button. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your application at least one week before the start date of a class. Please await our scholarship committee's decision before registering for the class. We cannot hold spots in classes, so the sooner you apply, the better. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.

For more detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.

This class will take place using Zoom videoconferencing. Please visit the Resources tab to access the video-conference link.

Zoom Participation:

Students are not required to turn their camera on, but are encouraged to participate any way they feel comfortable through functions such as the live chat, emoji reactions, and unmuting the microphone. Learn more about using Zoom here.

Zoom Accessibility:

We ask that instructors enable closed captioning and send a transcript of the session after class. You can also enable closed captioning at any time during the meeting. If your instructor forgets to send the transcript, just send ’em an email!