THE THREE MONTH SCRIPTA Story in Three Acts
How to get started in the first place … the practical details …
and a guide through the trickiest bits till you reach the finish!
And then where to take it once it’s complete.
The basic architecture of any story is the concept of Beginning, Middle and End. In film terms, this is most often referred to as the Three Act Structure, and so that is how I’ve divided up my three workshop modules. Act One is about laying the groundwork, Act Two is the scene-by-scene creation of the script itself, and Act Three is where you bring it all together.
Act One is all about preparation, before you launch into the script itself.
You’ll start researching and shaping the world of your story, and begin exploring your characters and giving them definition. You’ll work on the structure of the story itself, and then test it out with a fully-developed treatment.
There’s also some practical advice on planning the time in which to write, and how to make it a priority in a busy, crowded life …
Act Two is where you get into the nitty gritty of actually writing the script.
Writing strong dialogue, making your script visual and creating effective scenes and sequences. All that, and practicalities like formatting it so it looks professional, how to deal with stumbling blocks in the story, and help when you’re stuck or procrastinating.
By the end of Act Two, you’ll have a finished draft. You’ll have typed ‘FADE OUT’ on your final scene. Print it out and watch those pages stack up!
Reaching Act Three means wow, you’re almost there!
You’ve got a completed first draft script, and the hardest part is done. Now it’s time to start editing, get some feedback, revisit your earlier treatment and see what’s changed, and start honing it to make it as good as it can get.
Then it’s all about getting it out there: agents, competitions, broadcasters, producers – who are you going to send it to, and how?
Act One includes modules on:
Planning and Goal Setting
Creating a Visual Reference Board
Writing a Treatment
By the time you’ve completed this act, your story will be laid out in front of you and you’ll have everything in place – including a full treatment – to enable you to start writing the script itself.
Once you’ve signed up, you’ll have access to the Facebook scriptwriters’ group where you can share thoughts and ideas, as well as ask any questions you might have at any stage of the process.
In Act Two you’ll find modules on:
Making Your Script Visual
Dealing with Blocks
This is probably the element of the course that will take the longest – but if you’ve put in all the groundwork in Act One, it will all be a lot easier than you might have thought. And it’s also the best bit! Actually getting to spend time with your story and characters, taking them in new directions and exploring different paths. And if you get stuck, there’s plenty of help at hand – so even if you do hit a rocky patch, the modules will guide you through.
The final Act includes:
The First Ten Pages
Sending It Out
Dealing with Rejection
Moving on with your Writing
Ernest Hemingway said that ‘The only kind of writing is rewriting.’ He also said ‘The first draft of anything is shit’, which is a bit harsh, but it’s true that your first attempt will need revisiting. But the hardest part – getting it down in the first place – is done, and now it’s about moving forwards from that. Again, this might involve some insecurity around the risk of rejection or judgement, and Act Three is full of support and encouragement, all the way down this path.
In each Act you’ll find practical guides, advice and worksheets to download and work through. You’ll also become a member of a dedicated Facebook Scriptwriters’ group where you can share thoughts and ideas with other writers, and ask me any questions you have, as you work through the course.
There will also be a wealth of support materials: regular writing exercises, prompts to spark new ideas, story clinics, masterclasses and a whole load of other creative goodies to get your inner writer feeling inspired and adventurous!
Sometimes it can be hard to hold onto the belief that we can write, especially when it’s all feeling a bit overwhelming, confusing (or both). By joining the Facebook group you need never feel alone in this process – whether your plot’s completely unravelled, or you’ve decided you hate your main character and want to throw the whole thing on the fire … or if it’s one of those days when NO WORDS ARE COMING and you feel generally hopeless – that’s when you can wander into the Scriptwriting group and find someone to talk to.
You might find a solution to your story problem.
Or a new direction to take that character in. Or maybe just have a virtual coffee and talk about your stories and dreams …
Come on in, the door is always open.
Where will your story take you?
Boy am I glad I stumbled across Abigail’s scriptwriting course! She took me from a total beginner in this scriptwriting world to working on my first screenplay, and with so many other ideas in my book that I can’t wait to work on. The course material is simple, incredibly written, full of value and she sprinkles some humour in too so it makes for such a fun experience to go through! To top it all off, she is an amazing woman, easy to talk to, kind and helpful, and always willing to help out every step of the way. You rock, Abbie!Bosibori Mainye
I highly recommend this course! Abigail is so friendly and approachable; there is no fear of any question being too stupid to ask, and her teaching experience is very evident throughout. I loved the clear explanations, encouragement and guidance, and appreciated the down-to-earth explanations of industry jargon and formatting for people like me who have no education in this field and are just learning as they write. I feel I now have a great foundation to move forward with confidence in my writing.Wendy Hartley
Where will your story take you?