Posted by: michellemuldoon | January 19, 2016

Raindance Vancouver Screenwriting Workshop



I recently had the pleasure of running my first workshop for Raindance Vancouver, a chapter of Raindance International, administered by Regional Director Nadia DiMofte. The workshop was titled, Introduction to Screenwriting, but I structured it more like a Practical Workshop for Emerging Screenwriters.  We crammed a lot of information in one day, and that’s alright because our attendees were on the ball the whole time.  The discussions were lively, the focus specific, and the effort exceptional for all eight hours.

Why did I partner with Raindance Vancouver? First off, the organization is a “can do” place for the film community; it’s not about where you went to school or who you might know. The organization supports people who have a serious interest in creating content, and getting better at it every time out. It’s a place that supports effort, and as someone who took a non-traditional approach to entering film, it’s a natural fit for me.

The smart folks at Raindance Vancouver live tweeted the workshop. Below you’ll find a listing of the information shared. I hope you find it useful. If you do, maybe we’ll see you at our next screenwriting event.

In no particular order…

  • “If you cannot prove you can make the wheel, you cannot reinvent it”
  • “Everything you write must answer the question: am I advancing the story?”
  • “Build stories about people you see in your every day life. Stories are everywhere. Let your imagination go”
  • “Give audiences a reason to be interested in your protagonist”
  • “#Networking is a long-term commitment”
  • “With every script you’ll get better”
  • “Allow your characters to pull information from each other in your #script‘s dialogue”
  • “When you finish your first draft, cut the dialogue in half”
  • “Your dialogue should differentiate your characters”
  • “Everything that influences the backstory can be found in the script”
  • “Don’t take the easy way out on things that seem easy”
  • “What makes your characters change their daily rules?”
  • “Plot comes from character, character comes before plot. What they want drives the plot forward”
  • “When in doubt, write creatively”
  • “You are an architect of the entire film!”
  • “#1 goal of a spec #script: make it easy to read”
  • “Being a professional is a mindset. The minute you start caring about what you’re doing, you become a professional”
  • “Every scene in your film must have a purpose”
  • “Every script I write, I enter in the middle of the scene. Respect your audience enough to force them to catch up w/ you”
  • “Give audiences a reason to be interested in your protagonist”
  • “People decide in 10 seconds whether they want to watch a show”
  • “A #script is part creative outlet, part blueprint for a movie”
  • “Look at your career as a long-term project. Make your passion project later”
  • “The harder you stretch and pull at a #story goal, the more satisfying your film will be”
  • “Audiences connect to relatable characters”
  • “Allow yourself to make mistakes. Especially on your first draft”
  • “Never be afraid of the first draft”
  • “You don’t have to know a lot to start a story”
  • “Pick an element of your story and start writing. Anchor your #story in the one thing you know you have”
  • “Writing is not a chore. It should be enjoyable. If it’s painful one day, put the pen down and try again another day”
  • “Your character must be rooted in something that the audience can latch onto”
  • “A good screenplay won’t ask you to take multiple leaps of faith”
  • “I can be the hero of my own story, of my own career and my own project”
  • “If Story is King, then Formatting is Queen and Court Advisor!”


  1. Reblogged this on Erotic Vampire.

  2. I am reminded of the ancient Chinese philosopher who said “He who talks about it doesn’t know it.” Obviously, he never ran a screenwriting seminar.

    • You are most kind. Thank you, Matt.


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