The Essential Elements of Screenplay Structure: Get Your Story Straight

The Essential Elements of Screenplay Structure: Get Your Story Straight

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One of the most challenging things for any writer to master is story structure because there are no “formulas.” However, there are proven, time-tested principles that, when practiced, can guide and empower you to craft your story into its most satisfying form.

In this webinar Diane Drake, a screenwriter and consultant, will discuss the key elements to writing a compelling narrative and provide time-saving and effective tools for structuring your screenplay. Knowing how to successfully structure your screenplay can increase your odds of attracting agents, producers and studios in your work.


  • What movies are REALLY about
  • The importance of the three-act structure and the main purpose of each act
  • The keys to creating a sympathetic lead character
  • How your main character’s wants and needs can affect your story’s structure
  • How to decide if your Inciting Incident is effective or not
  • How to create a compelling first plot point
  • How to keep your story moving in Act II
  • The critical thing Act III must come down to


  • Writers who want to gain a deeper understanding of screenplay structure and its key components
  • Writers who may feel their script is off-track but aren’t quite sure why
  • Writers who want to take their stories and writing skills to the next level
  • Writers who want to increase their chances of selling a screenplay


Diane Drake is a professional screenwriter, creative consultant, and screenwriting instructor with the UCLA Extension Writer’s Program. Her produced original screenplays include Only You, starring Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr., and What Women Want, starring Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt.

Diane grew up in Los Angeles and began her career as a script reader and producer’s assistant working for companies such as Warner Co., Fox, Columbia Pictures, and PBS/American Playhouse, among others. She landed a job as story editor for Academy Award-winning director/producer Sydney Pollack, and worked her way up to become the Vice President of Creative Affairs before pursuing screenwriting full-time.

The Writers Store does not offer any refunds for the webinar. All sales are final.