Another Evening Screenwriting Workshop! So What!

Another screenwriting workshop? Maybe you’re thinking, “I’ve read Syd Fields’ book, I know about the hero’s journey, I’ve listened to McKee sing. What’s different about this one?”

Here’s what’s different:

I don’t want you to give up your creative power to a template or a formula.

I will show you how you can make your story the master and your structure the servant.

I’ll show you ways to come up with fresh ideas upon demand, using methods you’ve probably never heard of, at least not in the context of writing screenplays. They come from the worlds of advertising, therapy, hypnosis, Neuro Linguistic Programming, the visual arts, instructional design, and more.

When the workshops are done I hope you will feel like Stephen King, who said recently that he doesn’t feel like he invents stories, he feels like he discovers them.

When the workshops are done you’ll know what William Goldman meant when he said there’s a difference between a selling script and a shooting script, and you’ll know which one to write.

If you’re making the film and putting up all the money for it yourself, write a shooting script.

If you want somebody else to buy it or to invest in you, write a selling script.

By the way, a selling script breaks a lot of the “rules” you may have picked up about screenwriting along the way. I’ll show you what they are and how to break them.

Let’s talk about characters.

The writers I admire for the characters they created are kind of old.

Actually, dead.

I’m talking about Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Jane Austen. My new book, Your Creative Writing Masterclass collects their advice about a lot of aspects of writing. I’ll show you how you can apply their methods to screenplay writing and if you sign up for the first workshop you also get a copy of that book for free.

Let me tell you a little secret.

It’s not a lack of knowledge that stops most people from finish writing a screenplay. It’s not really lack of time, either, although that’s an issue.

It’s the harsh inner critic we all carry around with us. It whispers—or sometimes shouts—that actually our idea is crap, nobody will want it, we’re making fools of ourselves, and on and on.

If you have some half-finished scripts or a bunch of ideas for scripts in your drawer or on your computer and you take a  close look at your excuses for not finishing them…a deep, brave loo. I think you’ll find that inner critic is the real reason. I’ll show you how to change that in our session on confidence and time management.

It takes practice but you can do it, and I can show you how.

And yes, time is an issue.

You may be working at a regular job, you may have a family, you have other stuff you need to do, not to mention sleeping and eating. If you’ve looked at the usual time management methods, probably you found them so dry and boring that you didn’t try them, or you tried them and they didn’t work.

Why?  Because most of them are written by people are naturally good at managing their time. Left-brainers. They also get their taxes done on time and they organise their DVDs alphabetically. That’s not me, and I have a feeling that’s not you.

That’s why I’ve spent a lot of time researching and developing time management methods that work for right-brain people. (And yes, I know right-brain and left-brain is an oversimplification but it’s good for making the point.) I’ll share these with you—things like the alter ego strategy, the idea of Time Pods, and a lot more, including a way to get all that other stuff out of your head so you can sit down and start writing. And I’ll give you a copy of another one of my books, which is called “Focus: use the power of targeted thinking to get more done.”

Last but definitely not least is a session I call Guerrilla Warfare for the Writer. Have you noticed that you are not the only person writing screenplays? That it’s hard to get an agent or a producer to read your script.

Here’s an idea: approach it exactly the same way that everybody else does. Write a typical query letter or email and let it pile up with all the others just like it.

Oh. Yeah. You’re right. That’s probably not going to work, is it?

You need to do something different.

I’ll show you a few examples and then how to use your new-found ability to generate a never-ending flow of ideas to come up with your own.

That’s the overview.

Oh, there’s a bonus.

I do these crazy things called Massive Action Days. It all takes place online, starting at 9am on a weekend day. You use the MAD chat window to declare your goal for the day. Over the course of the day you take massive action. Every hour you go back online for a few minutes to give us an update on your progress. I do a live video broadcast for five minutes every hour to answer questions and give tips.

This goes on for 15 hours. Now you see why I call it MAD. But that way people from most of the time zones can take part. We’ve had people from Peru, Bali, Afghanistan, Russia, India, and more.

It may sound like a paradox—be social in order to get more done. It works. It works more powerfully than I ever thought possible.

Normally there’s a charge of £10 for each of the monthly MADS. If you sign up now, you get the June and July MADs free.

The June MAD is on Saturday,  June 16. July’s MAD is on Saturday, July 21.

So if you sign up now you get a bonus worth £20 and if you work on your script during those days I’ll be happy to help you if you have any questions or need feedback on something. You can email me and I’ll answer either during the course of the day or within a couple of days after.

So…that’s the SO WHAT?

If that makes sense to you, if you believe, as I do, that learning the things I’ve talked about could lead you to write a breakthrough script, sign up and let’s do it.



Jurgen Wolff is a writer, teacher, and creativity consultant. In the United States, he wrote for sitcoms including Benson and Family Ties. He wrote the feature film, The Real Howard Spitz, starring Kelsey Grammer and directed by Vadim Jean. He was a script doctor on the hit film, Mannequin and others starring Michael Caine, Walter Matthau, and Eddie Murphy. For Germany, he co-created the comedy series, Lukas, which ran for 65 episodes, and an original comedy series called Krista. He also wrote nine episodes of the series, Relic Hunter. He wrote two TV movies for the Olsen Twins, and several the German TV movies including, On Top of the Volcano, starring Maria Schrader and Sebastian Koch (2007). His play, Killing Mother, was produced at the Gorky Theatre in Berlin, and he’s also had plays produced in New York, Los Angeles, and London.

As a writing and creativity teacher, his courses include Beyond Brainstorming, Create Your Future, The Creative Breakthrough Workshop and the ground-breaking Script Coach Series developed exclusively for Raindance. He has presented his courses at the University of Southern California, the University of Barcelona, the Skyros Institute, many films schools, and groups and organisations including The Academy for Chief Executives, Egmont, Grundy-UFA, and Columbia-Tri-Star. For eight years he was a visiting lecturer for the Pilots Program in Sitges.

His books include Your Writing Coach and Your Creative Writing Masterclass (Nicholas Brealey Publishing), Creativity Now (Pearson), Do Something Different (Virgin Business Books), Successful Scriptwriting (Writers Digest Press), Top Secrets: Screenwriting (Lone Eagle Press), and Successful Sitcom Writing (St. Martin’s Press).

He has written for many publications including the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Broadcast Magazine, and he is the editor of Brainstorm, the creativity ebulletin.