Feature Film Screenwriting: The First Ten Pages | Kevin Kawa | Skillshare

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Feature Film Screenwriting: The First Ten Pages

teacher avatar Kevin Kawa, Screenwriter and web designer

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Why the First Ten Pages?


    • 3.

      Establish the Genre


    • 4.

      Introduce the Main Character


    • 5.

      Clarify the World and the Status Quo


    • 6.

      Indicate the Theme


    • 7.

      Set Up the Dramatic Situation


    • 8.

      The Project Details


    • 9.

      Outlining Your Script


    • 10.

      Formatting Your Script


    • 11.

      Good Writing Habits


    • 12.

      Giving and Receiving Feedback


    • 13.

      Closing Thoughts


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About This Class

In a script, to actually get it read, your first ten pages have to be really stellar. No matter how great the rest of the script is (and it needs to be great), no matter how many amazing twists happen throughout the script, if a reader can't make it through those first ten pages without wanting more, then the script will quickly end up in the garage can, without an eleventh page read. Therefore, in those first ten pages, all of the important elements of the script must be present, and they must hook the reader.

This class will focus on what needs to go into those first ten pages, as students work collaboratively in a community-based environment, giving and receiving feedback as they work to complete their projects.

This class covers:

  • The essential elements of all screenplays
  • How and why to outline a script
  • Proper formatting for a screenplay
  • Why you should establish good writing habits
  • The importance of feedback to grow as a writer

How this class is taught:

  • A series of 12 pre-recorded videos that introduce the concepts of screenwriting
  • A number of contests will be offered to help students in working towards a deadline

What is expected of students:

  • To complete the first ten pages of a feature-length screenplay
  • To read classmates scripts and offer feedback
  • To help grow a community of screenwriters in a supportive environment

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Kevin Kawa

Screenwriter and web designer


Hello! I'm Kevin Kawa, a screenwriter, blogger, web designer and graphic artist from Syracuse, NY.

I earned a BA in Film and Media from Georgia State University, a MA in Cinema Studies from Emory University and a MEd in Secondary Education from Salem State University.

Before starting my career as a web designer 12 years ago, I taught film studies, filmmaking and photography to high school students in Boston and New York.

I am currently finishing my fourth feature-length screenplay, two of which that I am actively shopping, along with one that has been optioned. I love discussing and learning about film, filmmaking and screenwriting, and I am looking forward to sharing my knowledge of the subject with you while building a community of screenwriters at Skillshare.

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2. Why the First Ten Pages?: - Hi, - My name is Kevin Cava, - and I am the instructor for this class feature film Screenwriting The 1st 10 pages. - So the title of this class pretty much states what will be focusing on here the 1st 10 - pages of a feature length script. - But why the first time pages? - The answer is simple. - Time studio executives, - producers, - agents in readers are all pressed for time, - and none of them are going to devote 9200 and 20 minutes to a script. - They only end up passing on. - And because all of these people have read hundreds or thousands of scripts, - they know within those crucial 1st 10 pages if all the elements for a successful script or - president rejection is part of the industry, - a huge part of it. - But here's the thing. - Every single person in the industry that picks up your script wants it to be their next big - tent pole movie or Oscar winner or career maker. - But rejection is guaranteed if the writer fails to use the 1st 10 pages to draw the reader - in no matter how great the rest of the script is, - or how many amazing twists are presented later in the script add to the fact that all - executives read with a very specific intention in mind, - and they know exactly what they're looking for. - A mark ability, - cast ability, - genre and budget range with this in mind, - and this is especially true for new writers. - Executives don't need to read the whole script to know if it is for them or not. - So it's these 1st 10 pages that air the make it or break it for your script and getting - your reader to devote more time to it. - In orderto have your reader turn to Page 11. - Your 1st 10 pages need to be compelling, - interesting and have a hook you need to make sure your script starts at a precise moment is - one of the most common mistakes and new writer makes, - and setting up The story is letting the crucial 1st 10 pages go by, - filled with exposition and useless scenes. - So when a reader picks up your script, - your clock starts ticking. - Accept that fact. - So how do you go about making them concentrate on the words on the page instead of the - number in the upper right hand corner? - Accomplish the five major rules of the 1st 10 pages, - and you are already on your way. - These are established the genre of your film. - Introduce your main character and possibly most of your major characters clarify the world - of the story and the status quo. - Indicate the theme or message. - Set up the dramatic situation, - and the next five lessons will delve deeper into each of these rules before continuing on - to the project. - Details of the course is you work through the 1st 10 pages of your feature length script. 3. Establish the Genre: - establishing genre is probably the easiest of the five rules for the 1st 10 pages of a - script. - Well, - for many new writers, - doing so is one of the most overlooked steps in the early part of the script. - So it is very important to be very clear about what genre the script falls into, - and not on Lee with the visual world of your stories. - Genre understanding, - film, - genres and sub genres is important simply because screenwriting is not about reinventing - the wheel. - It is about meeting audience expectations. - The guy gets the girl in the romcom. - The action hero saves the day. - The killer in a slasher movie mysteriously vanishes after presumably dying. - They're seven major genres and film, - a number of minor genres and a whole host of sub genres that fall within these two. - The major genres include action and adventure, - comedy, - drama, - horror, - mystery and suspense, - romance in science fiction and fantasy. - Overall, - most spec scripts over the last few years have fallen into the action and adventure genre, - followed closely by comedy drama in the mystery and suspense and horror. - Few respects are written in the romance in science fiction and fantasy genres at the same - time industry interest in scripts over index and the action and adventure, - drama mystery and suspense and science fiction of fantasy genres. - But under index in the rest. - Now this doesn't mean to go on right your 1st 10 pages in an unfamiliar genre just because - it's hot in there. - Fewer scripts out there in that genre always write what you know, - but I referenced this to show you that genres and interest in them goes in cycles. - So maybe that psychological sci fi script that you wrote years ago got no interest in and - stuck in a drawer. - Now could garner some interest with a polish free right, - but only after you write your first time pages for this course. - So in closing about genre, - I can't stay how important it is to make sure the Jonrowe of your script is obvious within - your 1st 10 pages and at the same time to know the conventions of your genre both of visual - and story elements. - And it always helps toe love. - Whatever, - John, - are you writing it that write what you know. - He readers expecting certain points to be hit within that genre. - And if you don't understand the conventions of the genre. - You'll turn your reader off, - and this is also something that will happen if your readers confused by which John or your - skip falls into because you are not clear within those 1st 10 pages. 4. Introduce the Main Character: - without question, - the most important character in your screenplay is your main character, - your protagonist. - Without him or her, - there is no story. - But here's the problem that many new writers face from writing a screenplay. - The protagonists they create is boring static on interesting, - non compelling, - a passive protagonist instead of an active one. - So what is an active protagonist? - An active protagonists is one who has a goal here she wants to achieve and then works to do - so and along the way of achieving that goal runs into obstacles that they need to overcome - changing strategy as necessary and ultimately getting the opportunity to achieve their goal - in a climatic situation. - Create a protagonist that meets this definition, - and the story will actively and fold because of them and their actions, - and not because something is happening to them. - This makes them an active part of the story instead of standing on the outside of it - passively. - But having an active protagonist is only half the battle. - Your protagonists has to be active, - but he or she to make your story stand out and to make those a list actors fight over your - script also has to be an unforgettable character. - Here's some tips to help in doing just that as you work to not only introduce your main - character in those 1st 10 pages, - but to think about them as they work their way through the rest of your script. - Create a character that the reader truly cares about, - someone that they hope obtains their goal but also fears that they may fall short. - Create a character that the reader feels at least empathetic for and a bass sympathetic for - not every character deserves sympathy. - An anti heroes, - an example. - But the reader must be empathetic to your main character and his or her plight. - Know everything about your main character. - The more you understand about what your character wants both internally and externally, - the easier your reader will be able to relate to them and their cause. - Your main character cannot exist without conflict, - so make sure that there is enough conflict for them to overcome once again, - both internally and externally, - on their way to their goal. - Create weaknesses in your main character so that the reader will fear the Mangold might not - be achieved because of their weaknesses. - It's even better when your main characters. - Either Bolivia's to these weaknesses or in denial about them. - The weaknesses and flaws of your main character need to be evident within the 1st 10 pages - any later, - and you start to undermine your ability to emotionally engage the reader, - poke your character at their weakest points, - which will force them to reveal things that they're normally unwilling to share. - It's in moments of conflict where the truly great characters will shy. - Don't allow your main character to see the full breath off the theme at the beginning of - the story, - which allows them to to easily connect the dots to their final goal. - The theme and its implications should be revealed as your protagonist moves towards their - goal. - Make sure your characters, - all of them but especially your protagonist changes and our grows as they work towards - their goal. - This is the all important character arc. - Your character needs to either grow through the knowledge they received over the course of - your script and or change as a result of acting on that knowledge. - Use these tips in your well on your way to creating a memorable protagonist 5. Clarify the World and the Status Quo: - the 1st 10 pages of a script need to give your reader taste of the world they're about to - be plunged into and shows what makes it special. - Even if the world of your story is the present day, - you must know the world that you're creating the rules of it, - even if you don't include much of it in your story. - It is the details of your world that will not only suck the reader in and make them believe - that this world actually exists. - But it's also what's going to show off your voice, - your creativity and your originality. - Your 1st 10 pages should give the reader just enough detail about your world to make us - feel like it is something special, - visual and most important cinematic As you create your world. - It is also important to know exactly how your character fits into this world, - what their places in the world and how they affect it, - and how the world effects that as they move towards their goal. - The status quo was set up in these 1st 10 pages, - along with the Rules for your world. - And although the status quo changes as the story moves along, - the rules for your world never should, - which could lead to elements of your story feeling out of place and random When you are - building your world, - ask questions such as, - Where is my story said, - And what is the time period? - Think about the culture and demographics of your story. - As you drill further down, - your world should become more nuanced, - which highlights your unique voice in transmitting the tone mood. - Feel an emotional landscapes present in your world. - Hand in hand with building your world status. - Quote of the world as it relates to your character needs to be stated. - It is in the disruption of the status quo that the character and the world inhabited by - them begins to change. - And what, - in essence, - start your story. - Build your world, - even if only bits and pieces air viewed in the 1st 10 pages and establish the status quo - for your character within that world. - Make your world of living breathing entity because if it is not to you and your character, - it certainly won't be the A reader 6. Indicate the Theme: - theme is crucial to your screenplay. - It's the root of everything from the moment you type fade in theme is what your script is - about, - not the actual plot, - but the reason behind the plot. - The reason that you are writing a screenplay in the first place and in the same way that we - don't look to reinvent the wheel. - When it comes to genre, - screenwriters go back to the well when it comes to themes. - The most common themes and screenplay, - which in turn serve as a staple to the underlying plots of most films, - are good versus evil. - Love conquers all triumph over adversity individual versus society. - The battle death is part of life. - Revenge, - loss of innocence, - man versus himself, - man versus nature. - Now all met. - It's a little depressing to see most movies boiled down to one of 10 or so themes. - But just because so many movies are about the same thing doesn't mean they're the same - movie. - It's the way the story is told, - not the actual theme behind it. - But even so, - it is absolutely imperative toe lay out your theme in those 1st 10 pages because once you - start thinking about theme is the driving element of your screenplay. - You will make better decisions throughout your script when thinking about theme. - Remember these three key points? - One. - Why do you want to tell this story? - This is the most important question. - Ask yourself. - It will be the guiding factor behind What is your theme? - Two. - Exploration of the characters crucial. - The theme, - as it is in the character that the screenwriter finds a conflict for the script, - is the most common themes show theme and conflict are absolutely linked. - Three. - The screenwriter can show theme through his or her characters in a number of different ways - , - but the theme always springs from the characters. - Main goal. - Remember, - each script has to be about something to tackle some great human struggle. - No matter what genre, - you find yourself writing it. 7. Set Up the Dramatic Situation: - by page 10 it is essential that your reader generally knows what your story is about and - where it's headed. - Genre year World Your characters in your theme, - all working, - setting up your story, - the what you are writing about. - And it is around page 10 where your main characters world is turned upside out through the - inciting incident. - The inciting incident is the main complication or problem. - Your protagonist is going to be facing the event that pushes the protagonists out of the - status quo of his or her own world and instantly creates conflict intention. - This immediate source of conflict should make your protagonist want to take action, - transitioning your protagonists from need to desire. - Your protagonist then should attempt to satisfy his or her desire. - But of course, - this action is futile first, - and is he or she continues on their quest to satisfy this desire. - More and more obstacles are presented by you is a screenwriter blocking their need to - satisfaction? - A good rule of thumb when figuring out where your inciting incident should appear is around - the 10% mark of your script, - as most scripts average about 100 pages with all spec scripts needing to fall within 9200 - and 20 page limit. - This inciting incident is usually somewhere around the magical 10th page. - Any earlier in your character and his or her world might not have been fully developed any - later in what came before, - it might have been a little too meandering and thus has already turned your reader off. - Think about the inciting incident, - at least for this project is sort of a cliffhanger. - And believe me, - the battery or inciting incident is the more your reader want to know what happens on that - next page. - So give your inciting incident deep conscious thought and know that the batter you know, - your protagonist in his or her world, - the batter you're inciting incident will be. - This wraps up the what and the why of your 1st 10 pages of your script, - and the next lesson we're gonna move on to the actual project. - Details for feature films Screen writing the 1st 10 pages 8. The Project Details: - So now that we have an idea about what should be in those 1st 10 pages, - let's talk a little bit about the project. - Details for this project number one right between one and three log lines. - This I hope that you do before you start writing your 1st 10 pages for a couple of reasons - . - One, - I hope to get some of your classmates participation in helping you peck kind of what your - 1st 10 pages air gonna be about what that script's gonna be about? - Um, - maybe, - you know right away what, - you want your screenplay to bay. - Then write your one logline and post it. - Maybe you have no idea. - Maybe of a bunch of ideas and you're had, - um about what you want to write in that case right out three different log lines and post - him and get feedback from about those and kind of move forward from that. - Now, - say you don't have any idea what you want to write about. - Uh, - I'm gonna help and right three generic log lines myself in post those so that if you don't - have an idea what you want to write, - you can pick one of those and mold it to your own story. - Choose your own genre. - Choose your own character. - Choose your own time, - period your own theme around that logline that you peck of mine number two for this project - , - right? - The 1st 10 pages of your script based on your logline. - So that's pretty much the easiest thing to do in at least when it comes to the project. - Details in number three. - And this is one of the more important things, - as far as I'm concerned, - give feedback to at least five other projects. - So choose out five projects that your classmates post so there their 1st 10 pages of their - script and give good feedback. - We're going to talk a little bit more about giving feedback and what that entails. - But first we're going to talk about writing that logline. - So what is the Logline? - Logline is a one or two sentence summary of your film that not only conveys the premise but - also gives the reader emotional insight into the story. - As a whole. - Log lines originally used back in the early Hollywood days, - people would write their log line on the side of the script, - the binding of the script so that producers could easily look through the hundreds of - thousands of scripts that they they had on their desk on their shelves and kind of pull one - out that they might be interested in doing and pass over the ones that they wouldn't. - And still, - nowadays, - that logline is used in that same way, - they effectively serve that purpose, - which is to efficiently represent the story and get the potential reader interested. - While it's critical to have a good logline so that you can concise explain your felt film - on paper, - it works just as well verbally. - So someone says, - Well, - what your script about you given that one or two sentences and you should be able to convey - what your whole script is about that quickly. - But what is a good logline and what's the proper form formula? - Let's look quickly at some of the most important components of a logline. - Ultimately, - you need to get across the following information in your logline. - The protagonist, - in my opinion, - don't use their name, - just a description, - some log lines. - You do see that the logline, - the other logline, - uses the character's name, - but most and what is most generally accepted is not using their name but using a - description off them. - You also need the goal of the protagonist. - This is usually in line with your second act turning point. - So even though you might not know, - even though you might not, - might not be that far ahead, - because we are only talking about the 1st 10 pages. - You should know, - of course, - where your story begins, - where your script begins and you should know the ending of your script. - Ah, - script is different from a novel. - You you in a novel, - you can see where your character takes you. - You have unlimited amount of pages. - In a screenplay, - you have maximum for a spec script 120 pages. - So you know what? - What your end point is, - and you need to know where your character what What is the endgame for your character and - and what is on that final page? - Everything in between that your fear filling in your filling in to get them from that - beginning. - Get them from that status quo to have them achieving their goal. - So you do need to know the beginning in the end, - and you should be able to at least plot out your script, - even though you're only writing the 1st 10 pages. - So the third thing you need the antagonised or the obstacle of the antagonist in your - logline. - So you build those three pieces together. - So thinking about some of the more famous or more famous movies or log lines and just - goingto say a couple of them and you can see not only those three pieces within the logline - , - but you can also see the themes. - You can see the theme of the movie that we discussed earlier presented in this logline. - Here's the 1st 1 When a gigantic great white shark begins to menace the small island - community of amity, - a police chief, - a marine scientist and grizzled fisherman set out to stop it. - Of course, - that's the logline for Jaws presents all those all those three important pieces within that - one sentence logline. - Here's another four unfortunate men from different parts of the globe agreed to risk their - lives transporting gallons of nitroglycerin across a dangerous South American jungle. - That's from the movie source, - er, - the same thing. - It's presenting the in this case, - the protagonist, - four unfortunate men and what they're what they're journey is and what they're what the a - tag honest is the antagonist in this case is gallons of nitroglycerin and the dangerous - South American jungle. - And finally, - a younger crude in Vietnam faces a moral crisis when confronted with the horrors of war and - the duality of man. - That's from platoon, - Um, - the same thing. - You can see the protagonist right off the bat, - young recruits. - And especially in that logline, - you can really see those themes that we earlier discussed the horrors of war. - So the battle in the duality of mad man versus man, - their various ways to structure your logline. - So we're gonna go through those When the inciting incident occurs, - a your protagonist must objective or else the stakes. - So when this is the kind of the most common commonly used structure for a logline, - So when inciting, - incident occurs comma a, - your protagonist Maust objective comma or else stakes. - So once we've once you are through your logline either writing one of your own or three or - using one of mind Next you want to write that the first time pages of your script we went - over though we went over some of the things that should go in that 1st 10 pages in the - earlier lessons. - Finally, - and this is the last part of the project. - Details give good and valid feedback. - Like I said in upcoming lesson, - we're going to go through what exactly that means. 9. Outlining Your Script: - never write without a plan. - That's a recipe for writing disaster. - An outline gets you thinking, - but it also keeps you focused and on track. - Unlike the earlier lessons where the content that I was presenting was a lot more - structured. - This contact now that I'm presenting is a little bit more free form you might be able to - see. - But I still did outline what I was going to say in these in these lessons, - and the same principle applies no matter what you're going to write or in this case, - Sigh. - So how you outline different authors. - Different writers do it different ways. - Some some writers will outline every single scene, - every single thing that happens in that scene, - all their lines of dialogue, - so that when they're actually writing the screenplay, - when they actually get to the point of writing that screenplay and they're done outlining, - they're basically just transferring their outline into screenplay form. - Some other writers just break down the broad strokes of the eight sequences and make sure - that there is a clear central obstacle with within each sequence is enough. - But still others simply clarify the five major plot points before we get to those. - My personal style for outlining is I carry everywhere with me index cards and on these - index cards, - I will write the When I'm working on a script, - I'll write my slugline for each individual scene and then anything that I think is - important within that it might be a line of dialogue that I think of that would for - perfectly fit in that scene or some action. - Or maybe a character is introduced. - And that's the point that I want that character to be introduced our item into that scene. - This makes it easy for me after I have all my cards, - because then I can move those pieces around. - Ah, - seen that I might have thought would happen later in the movie while I'm while I'm writing - the script and might might make sense for it to be earlier so I could just pick those up - and shuffle my cards around. - I always have these cards on me, - even when I'm not specifically writing something, - because I might hear some some person say something that I find really interesting and that - I might want to use, - and I'll just write it down on a card and save it for later. - I might come across a very interesting person and write down their name and some features - that might end up being used by me later in a script. - So in a way, - I'm kind of always outlining. - And, - um, - I'm not saying for you to do that, - but it is a good way to build up kind of a vocabulary of film and be being ableto basically - have a role. - It acts of characters or of dialogue, - of interesting things or places that you see. - Um, - so that's how I outlined. - And like I said, - you can do it anyway. - But I would I would strongly advise before you sit down to write your screen played right - those 1st 10 pages to outline what you're going to write about. - Like I like, - I just said, - talking about the eight sequences that are in a film on these on. - Some writers will make sure to outline these. - So in Act one the of sequence one which is the status quo in the inciting incident and of - course, - this is what we're working towards In this class are 1st 10 pages establish that status quo - established that world and move towards that inciting incident. - So you have that, - you know, - right around that 10 pages, - that sort of cliffhanger, - and that is the end of the first sequence. - So staying in Act one sequence to is the predicament and lock it an act to we move on to - act to Sequence three is the first obstacle in raising the stakes act to sequence for the - first culmination and the midpoint and then sequence five also enact to the subplot and - rising action sequence sex. - You're talking about the main culmination and the end of Act two, - so we've moved through six sequences. - You move through the 1st 2 acts of your three act script in Act three e sequence. - Seven New tension and a twist and then sequence ate the resolution. - So at that point, - your your movie and your script is over. - Like I said, - they some writers will Onley outline the five major plot points instead of the 88 sequences - . - So those five major pop points are the inciting incident that we're working towards block - in the first culmination, - the main culmination in the third act twist. - So I would advise outlining outlining either based on those the eight sequences or those - five steps within a script. - So how do I outlined? - Um, - you need to sit down and you need Teoh. - You need to figure out those steps in your hide the steps that your character will take. - Ah, - good way in a way that I heard, - if you're not used to outlining, - is to sit down and watch a movie that doesn't need to be your favorite movie doesn't need - to be some great movie. - It doesn't even need need to be a long movie. - Sit down with, - say, - those carts every scene that goes by right the scene heading and then write three or four - important things that happened in that scene, - whether it be dialogue, - whether it be action, - whether it be an introduction of a character, - whatever. - As you work through that as you posit scene and write those things out as you work through - that, - you'll see the outline for that movie you're watching formally, - right in front of you is your. - You are writing down what's happening in that movie, - so figure out how best to go about for you to outline a script because it will make your - job easier. - Even within those 1st 10 pages, - it's It might seem like a lot of work you might seem like. - Oh, - I can just wing this and just get these 10 pages out. - But out Gary into you. - If you think before you write, - if you outline before you write your job in those 1st 10 pages will be a lot easier. 10. Formatting Your Script: - right away. - It's easy to see if writers familiar with standard screenplay for Matic proper sizing, - spacing, - sluglines, - scene and character headings. - Well, - having your script properly formatted doesn't mean the script is gonna work. - If it's not, - it certainly is a possible sign that the writer might not be familiar with other elements - of screenwriting that a script needs to be successful. - Of course, - talking about formatting is is ah, - lot harder than showing it, - Um, - so I have put together a a pdf off proper formatting. - So everything that a script includes needs include, - um, - where things need to go and why, - UM, - the when you are formatting, - the easiest way to do that is not to do it in a program like word, - it's to buy final draft to use, - um, - a free screenwriting formatting program. - If you want to go with something that won't cost you anything, - The reason why this is is because if you're if you're trying to format and word your your - writing in your your thinking about while this needs toe, - this needs to be indented. - This amount of space is, - and this needs to be centered and you're not focusing on the writing, - you're focusing on the formatting. - A something like final draft does that for you, - so you can sit down. - You can just right. - You don't need toe wonder where things are going and wonder if you're doing it right. - The other thing with formatting And this has more to do with, - especially in something like this class, - is where one of your assignments is to give five other scripts and five other classmates. - Feedback is formatting just doesn't mean the placement of slugline. - It also does mean errors. - It doesn't mean dramatic clears. - It doesn't mean spelling errors means punctuation errors. - When I write a script more than anything, - I want to make sure that when it comes to those things, - my script is bulletproof as it can be. - I want to read reader even in early draft, - to sit down and be able to read through my script and not be not come to a halt because I - missed a period or because I misspelled a word or because I'm the My sentences aren't - structured properly. - It's a very easy way to take your reader out of the world that you're trying to create and - throw them off, - And so I can't stress enough when you're writing, - and even before you get that initial feedback, - it's It's very easy to hope that someone is gonna come along and, - like at it, - your script. - They're going to tell you you spelled their incorrectly. - There should be not th er but th e i r. - Um, - but that's not really what you should be looking for. - To get feedback from. - You should be hoping that your feedback comes in in your story and how your structuring - your story, - your characters and your dialogue and your action, - not someone picking out all of your misspellings. - So I would really stressed t to do that, - to make sure your script is bulletproof when it comes to things like that, - so that they can focus on your actual script. - Not on, - you know, - a few errors that you might have made 11. Good Writing Habits: - Now I know I name this lesson very presumptuously titled Life Lessons. - And I'm not here to give you any life life lessons per se, - but to relay some of the things that I've learned as I've gone through writing scripts and - exploring, - Ah, - the writing community and what makes a successful writer and what makes both giving and - receiving feedback successful for both parties. - So when it comes to good writing habits, - let's explore some of the realities of screenwriting success by looking at what successful - screenwriters do on a daily basis. - So this is, - you know, - these air things to think about that will hopefully make you better writer, - no matter what the lessons earlier I tried teaching. - I think that kind of the most important thing, - because everybody has a different learning style everybody has a different teaching style - is to take away things that from this that make you a better writer, - not particularly from anything that I might have said, - or I might have taught, - but by kind of looking at the community of writers around you through skill share. - It's a great opportunity to learn kind of what works and what doesn't work and adjust it - for yourself. - So highly successful screenwriters have a driving reason to write. - This could be anything you could love to write. - Hopefully, - most screenwriters and most successful screenwriters do just love to write, - and it's kind of what they were made to do. - But to be honest, - it's if you're driving. - Reason is to gains fame and success as long as that gets you going and get your right, - and there's nothing wrong with that. - You have to have a reason why you love to write why you want to get up and right, - even if it is something like making money on that obviously doesn't sound like the kind of - the best way to go about things. - But for some screenwriters, - that is true. - So as long as you do have that driving reason is that designers you do have the driving - force, - you're going to get up and you're going to write highly successful screenwriter set a High - standard of excellence. - This means that they've really spent a lot of time learning their craft and understanding - how to write and knowing the difference between good screenwriting and bad screenwriting on - That isn't that isn't to say that you'll get a lesson in that here through this class. - But by reading other people's work, - you do learn a lot. - You learn a lot, - how to make your work better. - You you know, - you end up learning a lot more about what works and what doesn't work and screenplays and - the more time you spend in a writing community, - it's very easy as a writer to close yourself off from everything and to Onley seek out - positive feedback. - But the more you open yourself up to the community of writers, - the the memorial master your craft. - It's very important, - and that that does help. - Screenwriting is a craft. - It is something that you can learn. - You do have stories inside of you. - Everybody does. - Getting them down on the down on papers is difficult. - That kind of leads into the excellent, - highly successful screenwriters right regularly and sat writing goals. - This is something I do when I'm writing a screenplay. - I will sit down and say, - I'm going to write 2000 words or 1000 words. - I'm gonna write five scenes every day until I'm done with that screenplay. - You get up and you do that. - You don't take a break and you don't take a vacation. - Sometimes the writing will be great. - You'll sit down and it will just come out in. - Those 1000 words will just be great. - You'll be so happy, - and sometimes it's completely terrible to be honest, - steal, - you'll write something and you'll know it's bad. - But you still have to get through that. - Get through that because you're not. - You're not ever going to sell your first draft. - So to get it out and to get your screenplay out in a time period and not to keep putting it - off, - not to keep going and saying, - Well, - I'll finish it toe are are you know tomorrow instead of writing five scenes? - Because I'm not gonna do that today, - all right. - 10 scenes tomorrow. - That's an easy way to fall behind. - That's an easy way to give up on your goals. - So set those goals, - whatever works for you and get up and do it. - You'll find that time everybody has, - you know, - even if it's 15 minutes that you're going to sit down every single day at a certain time to - write do it. - Highly successful screenwriters evoke emotions in the reader. - This is probably one of the most important lessons, - huh? - Beginning screenwriters sometimes don't know how to do this. - Every single scene, - every single page, - every single word that you're writing. - You should be thinking about that emotional response from your reader from your audience. - If you are able to do that, - you're able to draw your reader and you're able to, - you know, - evoke those emotions in them, - and your script will be that much stronger. - Otherwise, - your script, - it's just surface level. - But if you can really dig deep inside your reader and get them to to to express emotion, - get them involved in your script, - it's only gonna make your script that much better. 12. Giving and Receiving Feedback: - the best thing. - The best take away about this whole project, - in my opinion, - is the opportunity to get really feedback from multiple people spread not Onley across the - United States but the world. - This should really not be overlooked or under appreciated to receive feedback from other - screenwriters, - establish an up and coming writers know how difficult it is to get someone, - anyone to read what you wrote and then to give it really venue. - Give real feedback to your writing, - the good and the bad. - In this, - the bad can sometimes be difficult to take, - especially when you know how much work you've put in your script. - Hearing this doesn't work, - or maybe you should go in. - This direction does not mean that a reader doesn't like what you wrote, - even though they might not. - But it especially doesn't mean that they don't like you. - This is something that that can sometimes be difficult to separate these two very different - things from each other for new writers and Morrell experience writers, - too. - So feedback you as part of the class. - I'm expecting you to give it, - um, - and also toe take feedback to knock it upset to not think someone is personally attacking - because they might not like your story. - Um, - it's not. - They don't like you when you're also receiving feedback. - Kind of pick and choose what? - Um what What Your takeaways are from that feedback. - Not every single piece of feedback is valid. - Not every single piece of feedback needs to be valid toward towards you. - Pick, - pick, - and choose what you think works. - What you think will help your script be better. - Not everybody understands your genre or not. - Everybody understands you know how you're trying to present your story. - However, - if you do see a lot of feedback coming back about the same thing over and over, - then that is something that you really should look at in your script. - There might be an issue there. - You might not think there is one, - but there might be so understand that this is the most invaluable thing about joining this - class in this opportunity. - To potentially have all of these readers is something that any screenwriter, - especially new screenwriter, - will never be able to replicate and understand that although your feelings may be hurt - reading some of the more negative feedback about your script, - your readers air giving you this feedback to help you make a become a better writer. - So treat your readers and their comments with respect and repair, - reading a feedback with a reciprocal read of your own and also know that you don't have to - rewrite your script based solely on your readers feedback. - Like I said, - pick and choose what works for you. - What? - What they have helped you to see as possible weaknesses of your script. - But don't get discouraged, - right? - Digest your feedback in your own feedback. - As you read through your own script and rewrite, - you're never gonna get it right the first time no script is has ever been produced on a - first draft, - especially were writing a spec script here. - Um, - so I can't reiterate enough to, - um, - give good feedback? - Not just, - you know, - tell Tell, - uh, - another student You didn't spell this crackly. - Um, - you know, - your grammars off here really digest their story and try to help them out the best that you - can help them out by giving good feedback and the same thing when you get feedback, - respond to it when somebody gives you great feedback, - whether be great what a great job or great. - Here's a lot of things that I think you should work on, - respond to them and thank them. - And when you work through those changes, - if you do work through those changes, - let that person know you know I took Took what you said to heart. - Um, - I've applied some of what you've said to my script, - and I'd love you know, - if you have a chance, - could could you re read it? - It's difficult sometimes, - especially when you get feedback feedback to go right away and to change all these things - and then to go back. - And I've just made all these changes. - Can everybody read my script again? - It's difficult for people to do so. - Don't go back to that well too many times. - Get your script as strong as you can after you get that initial feedback. - After you get some good feedback, - go back kind of isolate yourself. - Do your rewrite. - Read it over yourself, - do another rewrite, - and then when you're satisfied when you think it's the best that it can be, - then come back and, - you know, - contact those people who really helped you and let them know. - Hey, - you really help me in and it be great if you could check out my script again. - So feedback. - Important part of this class. - I hope that everyone takes it to heart. - You're not going to get another chance. - Toe. - Have so many eyes on a script that aren't close friends or relatives that are people who - are on the other side of a computer who can actually, - if they want, - feel OK about hurting your feelings, - and that's okay, - they're not attacking you. - There's wiping issue with this with your script that they're looking at, - but hopefully everybody does a great job. - Uh, - we produce a lot of excellent 10 page, - first time pages of the script, - and we're getting some good and giving some good feedback out there. 13. Closing Thoughts: - So in closing, - I really want to thank you for taking time out to take my class and to, - ah, - join me and any other classmates on this journey. - As we work towards completing the 1st 10 pages of a feature length script, - everybody learns differently. - Everybody writes differently, - so I hope that the lessons that I've presented previously help you in some way. - I'm not expecting anybody is gonna follow anything that I say to the word, - but hopefully you do find some nugget of knowledge and something that I've said throughout - these lessons. - So once again, - I really appreciate your time. - Know that anyone who has already taken a class with me knows that I'm very active. - And even though I'm the instructor in this class, - I'm going to be as active as I possibly can. - You can promise that I will read every single completed script. - I will give feedback on log lines for people who are stuck and looking for help. - So I'm here to help. - Don't be afraid to contact me either on the discussion boards here or off site on Twitter - Facebook O r. - Through my email here to help you because you've taken the time out to to join me, - and I really appreciate it. - Thank you.