Screenwriting Part One 2017-08-15T15:09:35+00:00

You’re hit by inspiration and you sit down to hammer out pages. Before you know it, you’re twenty pages into the script. Or forty. Or sixty. But the further you get, the more adrift you and the story are.

Every writer knows how euphoric inspiration is, but running with that feeling straight into a draft—skipping the heavy lifting of story building—is the first step to a weak script.

In this course, we’ll look at key concepts that will help you begin every script with a firm foundation—so the spark of your initial inspiration can carry you all the way to THE END. These concepts include:

  • Loyalty—to the logic of your story and to the decisions and behavior of your characters. (Disloyalty to any of these three is the best way to lose your audience!)
  • How to uncover the key question that your story seeks to answer.
  • The narrative power of a segment.
  • Using the midpoint to guide you through the quicksand of the 2nd act.
  • The beauty of the “flaw.”
  • Beat sheet, beat sheet, beat sheet.

These concepts—and others we’ll cover—are not designed to create a joy-killing, soulless checklist-of-an-outline. Instead, when you approach your first draft, this story-building work will provide just enough direction to keep you on track—and free your mind for more inspiration when it really matters.
Limited to 8 screenwriters per class.  Ages 18+.  $50 discount for Avrec members. (Membership is only $100 / year, visit our membership page for more information.)

Tuesdays August 15th – September 5th

8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
$150 // $100 for Avrec members (Members: contact Avrec directly to register)



Build Your Story is a prerequisite class to advanced Writing For the Micro Budget and Writing Features screenwriting workshops.

More about Joseph:

Joseph Clay
Joseph ClayScreenwriter
Joseph Clay holds an MFA in Film Studies from Columbia University. While a student, the faculty selected his scripts for Best TV Spec and Favorite Feature honors. This led to a fellowship with Adam Brooks (Definitely, Maybe; Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason) and Working Title Films. He has co-written scripts with Mary Harron (American Psycho; I Shot Andy Warhol) and John Walsh (Pipe Dream; Ed’s Next Move). Most recently he wrote Winter Thaw, starring John Rhys-Davies, which premiered on BYUtv in 2016.

“Build Your Story” reviews:

“It completely changed how I watch movies, read screenplays, and write. Good stuff.”

“I will never write an outline again without incorporating some of the tools and exercises that Joseph teaches in this workshop.”

“It was a very comfortable environment that was both instructional, while also being loose enough to encourage comments and questions.”

Thursdays September 7 – September 28

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
$150 // $100 for Avrec Members

More information on the next Screenwriting Workshop can be found here:


Prerequisite: Build Your Story