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Allen James Roughton is the Stage 32 Script Services Coordinator, a screenwriter, reader and development researcher who has consulted on over 100 projects, scripts, books, comics and films and conducted research on life stories, exposés, professions and locations for development at major production companies. Nick Assunto is part of the Stage 32 script services team and a repped screenwriter himself. He was previously a reader for the Austin Film Festival, a writer for the 2017 CBS Diversity Sketch Comedy Showcase, co-host of the Sunday show B.Y.O.T. at UCB, and dabbled in acting, having been featured on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, an eHarmony commercial directed by Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst (for real), and is infamously known as Tony, the annoying party member from the 'Four Friends' Elder Scrolls spots. Full Bio »
A great story starts with great characters and every great character starts with a great introduction. We challenged you to create or rewrite a scene where a major character is introduced.
This month, we challenged you to rewrite or polish a scene where a major character is introduced in one of your scripts. You had to think carefully about the characters actual description, what they do in the scene, how others react to them and their presence, their first few lines of dialogue, and anything else that impact their introduction.
We discussed character introductions on the last Breakdown webcast, so be sure to watch that if you want to see how produced screenplays achieve great character introductions, and always remember that what makes a character interesting is the subversion of expectations (creating a unique character) and giving them nuance (most great characters contain both good and bad, and have their reasons for both).
We broke down some of the best submissions received from our writers and discussed best practices on how to break through the sticking points associated with the challenge.
The Write Now Challenge
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For this challenge, members were asked to use The Breakdown Webcast: Writing Theme as a guide to look at one (or more) of their feature or television scripts and identify the themes. During the webcast, participants read their responses and discussed the ways in which they arrived at their themes. We also discussed ways in which they can do more to illuminate their themes.
In this challenge, members were asked to write a scene of conflict. Remember that "conflict" does not necessarily mean "a scene where two people fight"! It means a scene in which two characters with opposing points of view attempt to get what they want in the scene. So, what do they each want? What methods do they use in an attempt to get it? Seduction? Deceit? Force? Honesty? Are they successful in their attempts? The possibilities are endless!
Using Laurie Ashbourne's fantastic Breakdown Webcast as your guide, take a scene (up to 2 pages) - existing or new - and 1) show us the beats of rising action within the scene, 2) explain what happened in the scene before that caused this, and 3) what it will lead to in the next scene.
We are turning the spotlight - and the microphones - back over to you during the Write Now Challenge webcast!In this challenge, you were asked to write a scene (3 pages) in which a character anticipates the arrival of one character, but instead, an unexpected visitor shows up, and that visitor is the absolute most wrong person. Your main character then needs to come up with a creative lie to get rid of the unexpected visitor. Ask yourself, why is that person the most wrong person in that moment? What tactics does he or she use to try and get rid of the unexpected visitor? How does the tension escalate between characters? How are you conveying the differences in the characters' voices in your writing?
Can you tell your whole story in just six sentences? This month, we're challenging you to use Pixar's dead-simple approach to outlining to breakdown your story or help you come up with something completely new!
We're back in the Writers' Room this afternoon for the Write Now Challenge Webcast: Your Goals for the Remainder of 2021 For this challenge, using the Breakdown Webcast: Goal Setting Worksheet as your guide, write down three screenwriting goals you have for the remainder of 2021.