The Screenwriter’s Roadmap: 21 Ways to Jumpstart Your Story, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

The Screenwriter’s Roadmap

21 Ways to Jumpstart Your Story, 1st Edition

By Neil Landau


204 pages

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pub: 2012-10-04
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Finally, a GPS system for screenwriters!

The potentially long and arduous journey of writing a screenplay was just made easier to navigate with The Screenwriter's Roadmap. Avoid the wrong turns, dead ends, gaping p(l)otholes, and other obstacles that result in frustration , wasted time, and wasted energy. The Screenwriter's Roadmap keeps you on track and helps you reach your destination- a finished, professional quality screenplay.

Neil Landau, a successful Hollywood screenwriter and script doctor with over 2 decades of experience, provides you with 21 Guideposts, that if implemented, will help you nail down your screenplay's story structure, deepen its character arcs, bolster stakes, heighten suspense, and diagnose and repair its potential weaknesses. These Guideposts are based on field-tested, in-the-trenches experiences that have been proven to work.

The Guideposts are augmented by interactive exercises, end of chapter "homework" assignments, examples from the latest blockbusters, as well as over 20 interviews with some of Hollywood's most successful screenwriters and directors, including David S. Goyer (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Man of Steel), David Koepp (Jurassic Park, Mission: Impossible, Spider-Man, Panic Room, War of the Worlds, Angels & Demons), Melissa Rosenberg (The Twilight Saga: Twilight, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2, Dexter (TV)), and Eric Roth (Forrest Gump, The Insider, Munich, The Good Shepherd, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close).


Table of Contents

GuidePost 1: Clarify the Central Conflict of Your Premise

GuidePost 2: Think of Setting and Time Period as Another Character

GuidePost 3: Create an Iconic Protagonist with a Core Contradiction

GuidePost 4: Give Your Protagonist Something to Win and Something to Lose

GuidePost 5: Determine Your Protagonist's Most Significant Weakness and how they'll overcome it

GuidePost 6: Drafting the Architectural Foundation

GuidePost 7: Hook Your Audience into the Plight of Your Protagonist by Page 10

GuidePost 8: Inject a Potent Antagonistic Force to Obstruct the Goals of Your Protagonist

GuidePost 9: Plunge Your Protagonist into Crisis at the End of Act One (no later than page 25)

GuidePost 10: Fuelling and Consistently Stoking the Dramatic Fire

GuidePost 11: Infuse Your Story with a Central Mystery

GuidePost 12: The Center Can Hold: Ratcheting up the Stakes at the Midpoint of Act 2

GuidePost 13: Thicken the Plot with a Pivotal Character

GuidePost 14: Compel your Protagonist into Epiphany in Act 3

GuidePost 15: Situate Your Protagonist at a Crossroads at the End of Act 2

GuidePost 16: Set the Clock Ticking

GuidePost 17: Heighten the Climax

Guidepost 18: Pay-off the Setups

GuidePost 19: Crafting the Inevitable Conclusion

GuidePost 20: Illuminate the Central Thematic Question

GuidePost 21: Rewrites: Reconnecting to the Emotional Core of Your Screenplay

About the Author

Neil Landau is the author of 101 Things I Learned in Film School (Grand Central Publishing, 2010). Neil's numerous TV and movie screenwriting credits include the cult hit "Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead? (1991, and slated for remake by the Mark Gordon Company); the forthcoming 3D animated feature? "Tad Jones? (from El Toro Pictures/Warner Bros., 2012). His new screenplay is being developed for Goldmann Pictures ("300?). Landau is also Executive Producing "The Last Days of Superman? (NOT a superhero movie) for Menshikov Films (2011). His TV credits include the original "Melrose Place" (1997), "The Magnificent Seven" (1998), "Doogie Howser, M.D." (1990), "The Secret World of Alex Mack" (1994), "Twice in a Lifetime? (2001), and MTV's "Undressed? (1999), plus TV pilots for CBS, ABC, Lifetime, and Freemantle. As a Script Consultant, Neil worked for Sony Pictures (2005-2008), and most recently for El Toro Pictures on "Lope? (Warner Bros., 2010) and "Bruc? (Universal, 2010). He served as Vice-President of Scripted Development for Amedia Film Group in Moscow, Russia (2007-08). He currently teaches in the MFA in Screenwriting and Producing Programs at both UCLA School of Film & Television and USC School of Cinematic Arts, and is a faculty advisor in the MFA in Writing Program at Goddard College. Neil graduated from UCLA's School of Film & Television, B.A., 1985.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / General