12 Useful Tools To Help Beginning Screenwriters Write A Better Screenplay by CSUN Professor Eric Edson

Watch the video interview on Youtube here

Eric Edson:  These comments that flow into things…actually I think it was on one of your clips [via Youtube] and somebody down there [commenting below the video] was saying “I Hate Plot!”…you know…”I Want Story!” and that poor person is obviously not educated about these things because plot and story are the same bloody thing.  The story is plot.  Plot is story.  Maybe we can get there in a minute or two.  But make those mistakes and that’s just ignorance. You can get educated. You can learn the tools and how to use them.

To be out there and say “I’m going to create this beautiful, big, intricate thing”  and not know the pieces of it is like saying “I’m going to create this big, beautiful house and I know absolutely nothing about cement, electrical cabling, roofing shingles, glass”…you’ve got to know all of these things before you can build a house and I believe the same is true for really good screenwriting.

For instance…I’ll throw out some of the silly but useful stuff.  Did you know (for instance) that there are only 4 viable goals in all of narrative screenwriting?

Film Courage:  And those goals are?

Eric Edson:  Win, stop, escape and retrieve! So okay…you’ve got an idea for a character, your hero or heroine.  Great!  You’ve got an idea and now what is it that you want?  They’ve got to have a goal to pursue.  Well it has to fall into the category of win, stop, escape or retrieve!  Now these are big categories and there are many versions of each one.  Many permutations of each one.  So it’s not like it’s that cut and dry.  But it will appear to a lot of people like “It’s too cut and dry for me!” (Watch the video here on Youtube here)

Watch the video interview on Youtube here

 

 

 

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About Professor Eric Edson:

Eric Edson has written seventeen feature screenplays on assignment. His produced script credits include PASSION’S WEB for Showtime, and he co-wrote and co-executive produced the NBC Movie of the Week LETHAL VOWS starring John Ritter and Marg Helgenberger. Other films include THE ROSE AND THE JACKAL starring Christopher Reeve, THE SOGGY BOTTOM GANG starring Don Johnson, and DIVING IN starring Kristy Swanson. Eric has also written for episodic television.

Professor Edson’s new book “THE STORY SOLUTION: 23 Actions All Great Heroes Must Take,” published by Michael Wiese Productions, uncovers for the first time the 23 Hero Goal Sequences® used in every successful motion picture to create dynamic, three dimensional heroes and link together all plot development from first page to last (Read more here).

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Available now on Google Play here

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Available June 15, 2017 on Vimeo here

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