Houston Structure Workshop
Story and Plot
Screenwriting Classes in Texas, Los Angeles and Online
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April 10th, 2021
12pm - 4pm CDT
(10am - 2pm Pacific)

Regular $45 | Student $30
Repeat $25

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Read more about
Tom Vaughan

The 1-Day Story Structure Workshop focuses on building a structure from the ground up by making several key decisions early on that eases the burden on the author and puts it where it belongs: the story. This process focuses more on scenes and sequences rather than plot points so to maximize the dramatic impact as well as commercial viability of the project. The blank page will be less intimidating than ever…

The knowledge presented is instrumental for anyone interested in developing projects in the film industry whether they intend to develop a concept to first draft, or a first draft to production script. It is a giant step forward for both beginning and experienced screenwriters.

Structure does not limit you - it actually LIBERATES you. It takes the burden off the writer and puts it back where it belongs: the story.

Story is the why, and structure is the how. Structure is the building block you start with and it is the guide you rewrite with. Structure is not formula. Structure is your loyal assistant that helps you tell your story. It doesn’t limit you, it liberates you to focus on what rally matters. Story and Plot: Structure simplifies where other instruction tends to complicate.

Along with its own guidelines, the class will examine popular theories and "systems" of screenwriting to compare and contrast which principles help us do what we're trying to do: tell the story. These include Snyder's Save the Cat, USC's Sequence Approach, Schecter's 4 Act Archetypes, as well as others. The workshop will take each one of these a step forward to make them more understandable and practical.

The goal of the class is two-fold. First, give the student the tools to better analyze the story structure of both successful as well as failed motion pictures. This is an essential skill for anyone who wants a improve their writing over time. Second, to give the writer, or anyone developing material, a solid repeatable process to take an idea and convert it to a well structured story. The struggle of “I don’t know where to start” will disappear.

No matter what your previous training in structure, this class will help you take that knowledge to the next level.

For even more information
about Mr. Vaughan's teaching philosophy check out the blog post "On Teaching Screenwriting."


With all the screenwriting books and teachers out there, what makes you any different and how do we know you are even qualified to teach this?

Fair question. I have been writing professionally for 20 years and teaching for about 10. I love teaching and spend a lot of time thinking about how to do it better. My day job is writing screenplays. WINCHESTER with Helen Mirren was was my 7th film and I expect my 8th and 9th film to be produced in the next year. I have both the experience as a writer and a teacher to create what I think is a very unique and practical approach to feature length storytelling. I would say about 50% of it is just basic principles of storytelling explained in an easy to understand way, 25% is borrowed from great teachers but perhaps refined a bit more, and the last 25% are elements that perhaps only I bring to a classroom. More about me HERE.

Where is the event?
This class will be online.

Will there be a lunch break?
Sort of. Maybe 20 minutes?

Will lunch be served?
No. I will not deliver food to your home.

What can/can't I bring to the event?
You will take LOTS of notes.

Should I do anything BEFORE the event?
Yes! There will be two movies to watch before the workshop.