Inclusive Screenwriting for Film and Television  book cover
1st Edition

Inclusive Screenwriting for Film and Television

ISBN 9780367772185
Published May 17, 2022 by Routledge
162 Pages

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USD $39.95

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Book Description

Breaking down the traditional structures of screenplays in an innovative and progressive way, while also investigating the ways in which screenplays have been traditionally told, this book interrogates how screenplays can be written to reflect the diverse life experiences of real people.

Author Jess King explores how existing paradigms of screenplays often exclude the very people watching films and TV today. Taking aspects such as characterization, screenplay structure, and world-building, King offers ways to ensure your screenplays are inclusive and allow for every person’s story to be heard. In addition to examples ranging from Sorry to Bother You to Portrait of a Lady on Fire, four case studies on Killing Eve, Sense8, I May Destroy You, and Vida ground the theoretical work in practical application. The book highlights the ways in which screenplays can authentically represent and uplift the lived experiences of those so often left out of the narrative, such as the LGBTQIA+ community, women, and people of color. The book addresses a current demand for more inclusive and progressive representation in film and TV and equips screenwriters with the tools to ensure their screenplays tell authentic stories, offering innovative ways to reimagine current screenwriting practice towards radical equity and inclusion.

This is a timely and necessary book that brings the critical lenses of gender studies, queer theory, and critical race studies to bear on the practice of screenwriting, ideal for students of screenwriting, aspiring screenwriters, and industry professionals alike.

Table of Contents



Part One: Towards a Critique of Screenwriting

Chapter One: Screenplay Manuals and the Homogenization of the Imagination

Chapter Two: Reimagining Character

Chapter Three: Rethinking the Role of Conflict

Chapter Four: Changing the Narrative (Structure)

Chapter Five: On World-building

Part Two: Towards an Inclusive and Intersectional Practice of Screenwriting

Chapter Six: From Killing Eve to an Eve Who Kills

Chapter Seven: Queer and Trans World-Building in Sense8

Chapter Eight: The Explicit and Specific Politics of Vida

Chapter Nine: The Generative Power of Paradigm Destruction in I May Destroy You

Conclusion: A Way Forward


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Jess King is an Instructor of Screenwriting and Cinema Production at DePaul University, USA. Jess is an educator, scholar, and interdisciplinary filmmaker, teaching courses in screenwriting, independent television, and film analysis. King’s creative scholarship revolves around frameworks for reimagining screenwriting for inclusion and social justice.


'King’s book is a revolutionary cry to dismantle the screenwriting patriarchy and decolonialize the craft of the screenplay once and for all. None of the old gurus are spared as King meticulously demonstrates how the rarely-contradicted rules of professional screenwriting are ideologically rooted in the oppression of historically excluded voices.'
Andrew Gay, Southern Oregon University