Go On Your Own Quest — Week 4: Style

August 6th, 2013 by

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.

For those of you who plan to Go On Your Own Quest, we began our week-long discussion on Style yesterday asking this question: What is the key to understanding screenplay style? You can read that discussion here. Today another question:

* How have you learned screenplay style?

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.


3 thoughts on “Go On Your Own Quest — Week 4: Style

  1. Debbie Moon says:

    Any way I can, I think! Reading screenwriting books, reading scripts, watching movies…

  2. JoniB22 says:

    I think the better question is: “how are you learning…” because it feels like an ultra-marathon continual process.

    I reads LOTS of scripts — some several times over, some several times each year. I read certain scripts for certain reasons — whether that moment I’m trying to study brevity and economy; or adaptation of a novel; or great dialogue; or the “tone” and rhythm of a certain writer or within a certain genre; or the nuance of accepted subtext within narrative description, which is a rare and beautiful art form in and of itself.

    I love reading scripts where I can also see notes/commentary/interviews with the screenwriters or see their original notebooks and hand-scrawled notes. I have a bunch of Newmarket Press screenplays and several old Scenario magazines — both of which are great for that.

    But that’s “someone else’s style” — and I read others’ scripts for the appreciative moans and a-ha moments. Maybe a smattering of green-eyed envy.

    Learning my own style is a whole ‘nother beast, the result of scribbling and typing away and amassing piles of mostly-awful pages in order to find a few that “sing”. I tend to “write like I talk” — or at least, that’s what I try to do, if I had to describe my style. As tempting as it is sometimes to begin by typing “Once upon a time…”, I don’t. But I still feel like I work from that standpoint — of verbal storytelling. I pretend someone’s seated beside me or hunkered down over coffee across the table and I just “tell” a story .. and write down what I’m saying. It’s tough learning to write succinctly, but worth the toil!

    Haven’t mastered it!! But I’m learning…

  3. lisakothari42 says:

    Reading books, reading scripts, watching movies, classes, reading more scripts, watching more movies –

    Then, I try to make it my own – which is the most challenging and rewarding part. By writing spec after spec I am slowly learning my style. Also, receiving feedback from multiple people has also shown me my style – and whether or not I’m consistent with it. That is also helpful.

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