Countdown to “The Quest”: Day 7

July 9th, 2012 by

A week from today, “The Quest” begins [for background, go here]. What that means has evolved in the 7 weeks since I launched the initiative.

What I intended was to create an opportunity for four writers to participate — for free — in a 24-week intensive screenwriting workshop I offer through Screenwriting Master Class [you can read about The Quest here]. Literally thousands of entries and loglines later, I am just now working my way through phone calls with all of the finalists. I will be sending out notifications about what I’ve decided no later than Thursday. I will announce the names of the participants in the inaugural edition of “Go Into The Story: The Quest” on Friday.

Here’s how things have changed.

First I may increase the number of participants to five, maybe even six. That depends upon several factors, but the main thing is to extend this opportunity to as many qualified writers as possible while creating the best possible group for a workshop environment.

In addition, it is likely I will take on at least one and maybe more in a private version of The Quest, also for free. Why? Again several reasons which I will explain on Friday, but the main thing is this: This process has surfaced some terrific people from all around the world. Talented, passionate about writing, deep love for movies, great personalities, and working with a strong story concept. Depending if I choose to take my life-schedule from pretty insane to totally insane, I may expand into some private versions of The Quest with members of this inaugural group.

In fact, I will be exploring other ways I may support the creative efforts of those who do not get selected for “The Quest”. As I have been telling this group in our teleconferences, this is the beginning of an ongoing conversation, irrespective of what plays out regarding “The Quest.”

So “Go Into The Story: The Quest” has evolved and likely will continue to do so through the end of the year.

However the biggest possibility to emerge during this process has been something that the GITS community inspired: Go On Your Own Quest [GOYOQ], the opportunity for anybody to use the structure of “The Quest” to explore screenwriting theory, prep an original story, then write the first draft of a script, all in the same 24-week time-frame.

Which means that starting next Monday, you can begin your own version of “The Quest”!

I will announce more details about that this week, but let’s start here. Every day at 6PM Eastern / 3PM Pacific [U.S.], I will post Countdown to “The Quest”. Here are the subjects of those posts:

Day 7 [July 9]: Overview

Day 6 [July 10]: Story Ideas

Day 5 [July 11]: Screenwriting Theory

Day 4 [July 12]: Screenwriting Practice

Day 3 [July 13]: What are my strengths as a writer?

Day 2 [July 14]: What are my weaknesses as a writer?

Day 1 [July 15]: What are my “Quest” goals?

In effect, what I envision with this series is a chance for you to prepare yourself to Go On Your Own Quest. The first eight weeks, we will focus on eight essential screenwriting principles, mirroring the content of what the participants in “The Quest” will be learning. The content I present publicly won’t be nearly as in-depth as that in “The Quest” proper, but the subjects and some of the ideas will be the same. What I’m hoping is that each week as we work through these eight subject areas — Plot, Concept, Character, Style, Dialogue, Scene, Theme, Time — the GITS community will engage in a wide-ranging conversation that will deepen and perhaps even change your understanding of screenwriting theory.

During this phase, I will be challenging you to do two things: (1) Generate story concepts with the goal of coming up with a killer idea for you to write as you Go On Your Own Quest. You may think you have a good idea now. Fine. Use these next eight weeks to come up with a better one. (2) Read scripts and watch movies that are similar but different to the story you want to write. This is not only about research, it’s also about priming your creative juices and centering your energy in that specific story area.

Here is the schedule for the first eight weeks of Go On Your Own Quest:

July 16-22: Plot

July 23-29: Concept

July 30-August 5: Character

August 6-August 12: Style

August 13-August 19: Dialogue

August 20-August 26: Scene

August 27-September 2: Theme

September 3-September 9: Time

Then on September 10, you can move into the next phase of Go On Your Own Quest, where you spend six weeks prepping your story.

And on October 22, you can type FADE IN, then over a ten week period write your first draft.

For the Prep and Pages part of the process, I am working to create public message boards here on GITS where you can discuss how things are going with other GOYOQ participants. I am also exploring private forums where people can post pages for peer review. More on that soon.

What does all this mean? Simply this: You have a tremendous opportunity to learn more about the craft of screenwriting and use that knowledge to write a new script, all with the support and involvement of participants from within the GITS community. And of course, I’ll be hanging around as well to chime in with my thoughts and observations as well.

How does that sound?

Onward and upward!

9 thoughts on “Countdown to “The Quest”: Day 7

  1. That sounds fan-fucking-tastic. Work schedule permitting, I will go on my own quest, Rango-style, following my shadow through the desert.

  2. George Speed says:

    Thank you for GOYOQ. I’m completing 2 projects and this is powerful, timely and synchronistic….
    You Rock Scott

  3. Natespeare says:

    This is really great, Scott. Thanks for the opportunity and guidance.

  4. Shaula Evans says:

    You beat me to it, Teddy.

    Most of all, I’m delighted that the Quest mega-project is already exceeding your initial expectations, Scott.

  5. Judy Potocki says:

    I’ll be trekking the GOYOQ with vigor and passion!

  6. Scott, this is amazing. Thank you so much for the time and commitment you’re putting into this. I plan to take full advantage of the opportunity.

  7. Bill Bullock says:

    Scott, thank you for this opportunity. I look forward to following along, and taking advantage of your expertise. I need to get this story out of my head and down on script pages……

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