The 2013 version of The Quest starts Week 4 today. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by because you can Go On Your Own Quest by following the structure of The Quest to dig into screenwriting theory [Core – 8 weeks], figure out your story [Prep – 6 weeks], and write a first draft [Pages – 10 weeks]. It’s a 24-week immersion in the screenwriting process and you can do it here – for free!
Plus you can join The Black Board, the Official Online Writing Community of the Black List and Go Into The Story, another free resource to help keep you inspired and on target at you Go On Your Own Quest from FADE IN to FADE OUT on the first draft of your original screenplay.
This week, we are reflecting on the subject of Style, mirroring the content the Questers are engaged with in Core IV: Style, working through six lectures I have written building off the 4th Essential Screenwriting Principle: Style = Voice. The lectures cover Elements of Screenplay Style, Narrative Voice, Psychological Writing, Imagematic Writing, and Action Writing.
As you would I expect, I view screenwriting style through the lens of character. Indeed the very idea of Narrative Voice is that it represents an invisible character in your script: the Narrator, the figure represented in your approach to scene description, scene construction and placement, transitions, pace, atmosphere, and dialogue. All of that combines to convey your script’s voice, or more specifically its Narrative Voice.
Ask any professional who reads scripts for a living and they will tell you how important a script’s voice is as represented in its approach to style.
For those of you who plan to Go On Your Own Quest, let’s begin this week long conversation about screenplay style with this question:
* What is the key to understanding screenplay style?
Why not use the structure of this 24-week workshop to Go On Your Own Quest? That was an idea that gathered energy among many members of the GITS community which I described here:
The first eight weeks, we will focus on eight essential screenwriting principles, reflecting 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 15-21: Plot
July 22-28: Concept
July 29-August 4: Character
August 5-August 11: Style
August 12-August 18: Dialogue
August 19-August 25: Scene
August 26-September 1: Theme
September 2-September 8: Time
Then on September 19, you can move into the next phase of Go On Your Own Quest, where you spend six weeks prepping your story.
And on October 21, you can type FADE IN, then over a ten week period write your first draft.
Again all of this is free.
If you plan to participate in the Go On Your Own Quest challenge, you have 5 weeks before we move into the Prep part of the process. In that time, I challenge you to get to know your Narrative Voice, the approach you will take to your screenplay style for this story.
If you’d like to access the same Core content as the writers participating in The Quest, I will be teaching Core IV: Style starting Monday, September 16. More information on that 1-week online class here.
Why wait? You can have immediate access to the content of all eight Core classes by signing up for The Core Package. This enables you to go through all of the Core lectures (48 total, each written by me), tips, techniques and optional writing exercises on a self-paced basis as well as take any of the 1-week classes as I offer them. Plus The Core Package offers a nearly 50% savings compared to if you took each Core class separately. For more information on this unique offer, go here.
Meanwhile I encourage you to head to comments to discuss today’s questions. And for a related discussion on The Black Board, check out these topics:
For more information on Go On Your Own Quest, go here.