How To Write A Story That Sells

The 7 Key Fundamental Story Components That Take Your Script from Good to Great
Hosted by Jen Grisanti

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Jen Grisanti

Webinar hosted by: Jen Grisanti

Story/Career Consultant, Writing Instructor at Writers on the Verge at NBC

International speaker Jen Grisanti is an acclaimed Story/Career Consultant at Jen Grisanti Consultancy Inc., Writing Instructor for Writers on the Verge at NBC, former 12-year studio executive, including VP of Current Programming at CBS/Paramount, blogger for The Huffington Post and author of the books, Story Line: Finding Gold In Your Life Story and TV Writing Tool Kit: How To Write a Script That Sells and her new book, Change Your Story, Change Your Life: A Path To Your Success. Grisanti started her career in 1992 as an assistant to Aaron Spelling, who served as her mentor for 12 years, and she quickly climbed the ranks and eventually ran Current Programs at Spelling Television Inc., covering all of Spelling’s shows including Beverly Hills, 90210, Melrose Place and Charmed. In 2004, Grisanti was promoted to Vice President of Current Programs at CBS/Paramount where she covered numerous shows, including Medium, Numbers, NCIS, 4400 and Girlfriends. In January 2008, Grisanti launched Jen Grisanti Consultancy Inc., a highly successful consulting firm dedicated to helping talented writers break into the industry. Since launching the consulting firm, Grisanti has worked with over 700 writers specializing in television, features and novels.Due to her expertise and mentorship, sixty-five of her writers have staffed on television shows and thirty-two have sold pilots, five that that went to series. Grisanti attended USC where she received a B.A. in Communications. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

Learn directly from Jen Grisanti, acclaimed Story/Career Consultant, Writing Instructor for Writers on the Verge at NBC, and a former 12-year studio executive, including VP of Current Programming at CBS/ Paramount and Spelling Television!

Many writers wonder what it’s going to take to get them from being a non-working writer to a working writer. You’ve written great scripts. You’ve entered competitions and writing programs. You may have placed, been a finalist, or even won. However, you’re still waiting for your professional career to start.

What is it that makes a TV pilot or screenplay hit it out of the ballpark and get sold? What can you do to your writing to make it more sellable?

In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, your host Jen Grisanti will teach you the 7 Pillars of Story. What exactly is that? It's the fundamental story components necessary to take your script from good to great. Jen will teach you from the studio executive/analyst perspective how to see your story differently and identify what is currently missing in your script. Jen herself has gone through analyzing countless Oscar and Emmy award-winning scripts and has applied that to her writer's techniques. This has led to over 30 of her clients selling pilots, five of which went to series. After being mentored by Aaron Spelling for 12 years, Jen has emerged as a pro in breaking down story and helping you, as a writer, get the most out of your script.

Plus, for Stage 32 members, she will provide case studies for you to learn from! She will be using examples from her clients’ work and how they successfully implemented the 7 pillars to get their scripts sold. Under the guidance of Jen, you will leave this webinar fully prepared to write a marketable story that can help you go from good to great and make the move from non-working to working writer!

What You'll Learn

  • Understanding your “why” for telling the story that you are telling.
  • Understanding the “why” of your central character.
  • The 7 Pillars of Story
    • Trigger Incident
      • How to craft an incident that pushes your central character into a powerful dilemma.
    • Dilemma
      • How to create a dilemma where neither choice is an easy choice.
      • Why the choice that the central character makes as a result of the dilemma will define the external goal for the story.
      • How to write a dilemma that will create empathy and a rooting factor for your central character.
    • Pursuit/Goal
      • Why your goal/pursuit needs to be clearly defined by the end of Act 1.
      • How to make obstacles, escalating obstacles and the "all is lost" moment link back to your goal.
    • Actions Taken
      • Why in every act, your central character should take action toward the goal, hit an obstacle and have a reminder of the the stakes.
      • Mistakes many writers make in regard to actions taken.
      • How to make your central character take action rather than react.
    • Obstacles Hit
      • How to create an obstacle that is big enough to elevate the stakes you've set up.
      • How to create an obstacle that represents a strong barrier to the achievement of the goal.
    • Stakes
      • How to establish external and internal stakes in Act 1 so you can elevate them throughout your story.
      • How to use stakes to make your act break stronger.
      • How to create a clear understanding of what is the worst that can happen if the goal is not achieved.
      • Crafting the "all is lost" moment at the end of the second to last act and creating the "aha" moment after hitting rock bottom.
    • Resolution
      • How to create a symbolic moment of resolution in the last act.
      • Why in TV the goal is almost always achieved but it varies in film.
  • Plus an in-depth, recorded Q&A with Jen

About Your Instructor

International speaker Jen Grisanti is an acclaimed Story/Career Consultant at Jen Grisanti Consultancy Inc., Writing Instructor for Writers on the Verge at NBC, former 12-year studio executive, including VP of Current Programming at CBS/Paramount, blogger for The Huffington Post and author of the books, Story Line: Finding Gold In Your Life Story and TV Writing Tool Kit: How To Write a Script That Sells and her new book, Change Your Story, Change Your Life: A Path To Your Success.

Grisanti started her career in 1992 as an assistant to Aaron Spelling, who served as her mentor for 12 years, and she quickly climbed the ranks and eventually ran Current Programs at Spelling Television Inc., covering all of Spelling’s shows including Beverly Hills, 90210, Melrose Place and Charmed. In 2004, Grisanti was promoted to Vice President of Current Programs at CBS/Paramount where she covered numerous shows, including Medium, Numbers, NCIS, 4400 and Girlfriends.

In January 2008, Grisanti launched Jen Grisanti Consultancy Inc., a highly successful consulting firm dedicated to helping talented writers break into the industry. Since launching the consulting firm, Grisanti has worked with over 700 writers specializing in television, features and novels.Due to her expertise and mentorship, sixty-five of her writers have staffed on television shows and thirty-two have sold pilots, five that that went to series.

Grisanti attended USC where she received a B.A. in Communications.

FAQs

Q: What is the format of a webinar? 
A: Stage 32 Next Level Webinars are typically 90-minute broadcasts that take place online using a designated software program from Stage 32.

Q: Do I have to be located in a specific location?
A: No, you can participate from the comfort of your own home using your personal computer! If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar.

Q: What are the system requirements?
A: You will need to meet the following system requirements in order to run the webinar software: Windows 7 or later Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or later.
If you have Windows XP, Windows Vista and Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion): The webinar software does not support these operating systems. If you are running one of those operating systems, please upgrade now in order to be able to view a live webinar. Upgrade your Windows computer / Upgrade your Mac computer 

Q: What if I cannot attend the live webinar?
A: If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar. If you cannot attend a live webinar and purchase an On-Demand webinar, you will have access to the entire recorded broadcast, including the Q&A. 

Q: Will I have access to the webinar afterward to rewatch?
A: Yes! After the purchase of a live or On-Demand webinar, you will have on-demand access to the audio recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year! 

Testimonials

It’s very simple, when Jennifer Grisanti talks, writers listen. And they listen because she gets it, can see where they missed it, and knows how to bring them to it.” - Steve Binder, Co-Executive Producer, NCIS

A lot of instructors preach ‘write what you know,’ but Jen’s method is more ‘write what you feel.’ She recognizes that every writer has unique experiences from which to draw, and she helps you access those experiences so you can turn them into stories that have a beating heart on the page. - Rick Muirragui, Co-Executive Producer, Suits

"Jen combines her passion for story with an astute understanding of what makes a story relateable. Nothing gets by her — whether it’s a question of character development, theme, or major story beats, her suggestions are spot on and have helped me realize each script more completely, I trust her instincts implicitly.” - Jude Roth, Feature/Television Writer, Page Int’l finalist, Slamdance and Cinestory semifinalist, Austin second rounder

Questions?

If you have a generic question about Stage 32 education you can take a look at our frequently asked questions section on our help page, or feel free to contact support with any other inquiries you might have.
 

Reviews Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5

  • Jen was clear, and her examples were very good. Great to hear this podcast.
  • Jen Grisanti was knowledgeable about the seven key elements of story and she conveyed them clearly. I found the information helpful. Cool! - Divij Kak

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