Screenwriting II — Week 4

October 2, 2013

Posted on: Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Hello all,Even those of you who didn’t have your story fully worked out, did a very nice job on your pitches. I know how tough it is to present your not-yet-fully-formed ideas in front of a class. I’ve been there myself.
So congrats to all for accomplishing that.

Now the real work begins. You’ve know left your ordinary world and (by remaining in the class) have chosen to walk through the gates of the magical world. I can hear the fairies and dragons say “welcome”.
As I said in class today,  I think the hardest assignment this semester is writing a synopsis. Not only do you have to have your story worked out from the beginning to end, but it also has to be well written (using grammatically-correct sentences — check for typos too, please), entertaining, and succinct. It’s difficult to do well and requires several drafts. But what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? Right.

Here are a few links to sample synopses and on how to write one:

House of Games,   SAMPLE-SYNOPSIS

Also, I promised to give you a link to the 1st Episode of The Writer’s Room on Sundance Channel (Breaking Bad writers).  Here it is:

Here’s something to inspire you:

If the above links don’t take you outside of Blackboard, copy and paste them in your browser.

Story (McKee): Ch.2 through 8

Assignment #2: SYNOPSIS. Due October 15th, no later than 9:30am (in your respective group’s folder). The maximum length for the synopsis is TWO PAGES, SINGLE-SPACED. The IDEAL length for the synopsis is a page and a half or two pages, double-spaced (see the samples).
Do not turn in your synopsis if it’s longer than two pages.  Sure, your first, and even your second. draft can be as many pages as you think you need to lay your story out for yourself. But then you have to put on your editor’s hat, pull out the “writer’s axe and chisel” from under your desk, and  go to work. Hack your sentences down to two pages and chisel your words to a presentable state.  Pretend that you’re submitting it to a producer who will write you a check if he likes your story.  Even if you’re writing a synopsis for your eyes only, do it as if you’d be presenting it to the whole world.