The Essential Elements that Make a Screenplay Sell

The Essential Elements that Make a Screenplay Sell

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Whether you’re writing an independent film that you plan to shoot yourself or a commercial project that you hope to sell to Hollywood, you must not only master the screenwriting craft, but anticipate and understand what film executives, directors, and producers require, if not demand, of a screenplay. This live webinar will offer the essential tools to get your words from the page onto the silver screen.

During this OnDemand webinar, Susan Kouguell, will offer specific strategies for strengthening each element of your script – from genre to dialogue, character and plot development, action paragraphs and visual storytelling, scene pacing and solid structure, your questions will be answered. Advice will also cover, understanding both the film executive’s and audience’s expectations without compromising your creativity and vision.

Susan Kouguell brings to this class a unique perspective; this includes working in various capacities in the film industry, as a writer of over a dozen feature assignments, as a story analyst and story editor in the development departments of studios and independent production companies, and as a screenplay and film consultant since 1990. Susan will share her experiences, working at the major film studios and with Oscar and Emmy award winners, focusing on what works and what doesn’t in a screenplay, submitting a script before it’s ready to a company, and overcoming the obvious and not so obvious writing stumbling blocks.


  • What film executives seek in a successful screenplay
  • How to avoid common pitfalls in the opening pages of a screenplay
  • How to tell a story so that an audience will care about it
  • How to introduce and lay the groundwork for compelling characters
  • The importance of understanding and conveying a consistent genre
  • How to advance your plot without losing your story
  • Techniques to make action paragraphs shine 
  • How to execute the three-act structure without stifling your creativity
  • Insights for writing scintillating scenes
  • Specific tools to write dialogue that is distinct to each character


  • Screenwriters seeking guidance from an industry insider who’s been in the film trenches (and survived) for over 25 years
  • Aspiring and professional writers looking for a fresh approach and injection of effective and inspiring tools in a screenplay and film
  • Producers, directors, and actors, looking for insights into the writer’s mind and work process
  • Writers looking to unleash their ideas when experiencing major or minor blocks in their scripts
  • Writers and filmmakers living and working anywhere on the globe

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