1st Edition

The Screenwriter’s Workshop Creative Exploration Through Meaningful Critique

By J. Mira Kopell Copyright 2024
    226 Pages
    by Routledge

    226 Pages
    by Routledge

    Through a series of carefully designed writing workshops, this book guides the screenwriter through the messy creativity of screenwriting.

    Drawing on over 20 years’ experience facilitating screenwriting workshops, author J. Mira Kopell provides readers with a path to screenwriting that makes space for reflection, critique, and exploration. Structured around five specific writing assignments, each assignment supports the writer forward incrementally by focusing on a specific set of craft elements needed to then move them on to the next. A key value of the assignments is that they are not exercises but steps in the development of the writer's own screenplay.

    By using this book, readers can both receive meaningful feedback on their own project and learn to give insightful, focused critiques of their fellow writer’s work. Rather than offering craft as a “to-do” list that promises successful scripts, this book reimagines craft as “tools not rules,” empowering a writer to let their unique story dictate choices in order to support their work and honor their own voice.

    This book is ideal for students and lecturers of screenwriting, groups of writers looking to form their own workshops, and aspiring professionals wanting to develop their craft.

    1. A Workshop Focused on Creative Development  2. Principles of an Effective Workshop  Session 1. The One-Pager: Connect to Key Elements of Your Story  Session 2. The Initial Outline: Find Your Story's Engine in Plot and Character  Session 3. The Structure-Focused Outline: Support Your Story  Session 4. The Opening: Transition From Outline to Script  Session 5. Scene Work: Listen to Your Muses  Epilogue  Appendix A: The Script Library  Appendix B: Examples of the One-Pager  Appendix C: Examples of the Three Page Outine


    J. Mira Kopell is an award-winning filmmaker and lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley. She has taught screenwriting and digital production for over 20 years, with many of her students establishing professional careers in screenwriting. Kopell has sold screenplays to HBO and independent film producers, and has been a script evaluator for the American Film Institute and the National Endowment for the Arts. She received her MFA in Film Production at New York University and is a member of the Writers Guild of America East.