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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
Flashbacks Make sure your flashback scenes drive the plot forward, are not more dramatic than the present, reveal information about your character or situation, have a specific point of view.
In this challenge, members were asked to pick their favorite antagonist or villain from film, television or literature and in - ONLY ONE PAGE - write a monologue from his or her point of view. The participants could frame this as an interrogation, a negotiation, a confession, or a conspiratorial conversation. Most importantly, writers has to make sure the scene had conflict, and the character's point of view in his or her voice. During the webcast we heard from some of our favorite protagonists, including Loki from the Marvel Universe, Terence Fletcher of Whiplash, Commodus from Gladiator, Jack Bynes of Meet the Parents, and Lex Luther of Superman among many others.
Using the Breakdown Webcast: Well This is Awkward as your guide, craft your own 3-5 page scene that gets awkward for one (or more) characters. By the end of the scene we should know the relationship between your characters, the source of conflict, the tactics each character uses to get what they want, and the outcome. Is it a victory? A defeat? What are the results and repercussions?
We're back in the Writers' Room this afternoon for the Write Now Challenge Webcast: First Impressions. For this challenge, using the Breakdown Webcast: Character Introductions as your guide, rewrite at least 3 character introductions using the principles learned during the webcast.
Welcome to the final Writers' Room webcast of 2019! The last broadcast of the year was the Write Now Challenge: Plot Twists! This month you were challenged to write a scene in 3-5 pages that tells a story with a major plot twist. This is no easy feat and perhaps the most difficult challenge we have faced to date! There is also a special question and answer session during the broadcast, where members asked me anything about the industry, the craft, the business, your screenwriting career or any other burning questions you may have!
For this challenge, using the Breakdown Webcast: Why Can't We Be Friends as your guide, craft a 1-3 page scene of conflict amongst allies.