Worldbuilding: Crafting Screenplays Readers Can Step Into

Worldbuilding: Crafting Screenplays Readers Can Step Into

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Writing a successful screenplay requires a complete understanding of the reality of the fictional world you are creating. From page one, on to the very last two words “the end,” film executives must be engaged, enthralled and enticed. They must be able to visualize your characters’ journeys and see how they interact with their settings and environments, and grasp the rules of the land. Whether you’re writing about futuristic societies or past civilizations, readers must step into the settings and suspend their disbelief with awestruck wonder.

During this OnDemand webinar, Susan Kouguell will offer specific tips for creating and implementing advice on building the world of your screenplay. Advice and discussion will include research tips, strengthening visual storytelling in action paragraphs, developing and implementing settings, character and plot conflict, and genre consistency. She will also cover understanding film executives’ expectations without compromising your vision and creativity.

Susan Kouguell brings to this class a unique perspective; 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 of her company Su-City Pictures East, LLC founded in 1990, Susan will share her experiences, working at the major film studios and with Oscar and Emmy award winners.


  • Tools on writing effective worlds for your characters and story.
  • Tips to avoid common pitfalls when creating specific settings.
  • How to make the most of visual storytelling in various genres.
  • Techniques to make action paragraphs jump off the page.
  • Insights into making the most of your research.


  • Screenwriters seeking valuable advice, inspiration and guidance from an industry insider who’s been in the film trenches (and survived) for over 25 years.
  • Aspiring and professional writers, looking for hands-on and inspiring tools for developing and writing compelling worlds for their screenplays.
  • Writers who are looking to strengthen their screenplays.
  • Writers who have ideas about incorporating settings and locations into their script but need help and inspiration implementing them.
  • Screenwriters who want to strengthen their characters and plot conflicts.
  • Writers, filmmakers, and producers living and working anywhere on the globe.
  • Writers who want to challenge themselves.

Susan Kouguell, award-winning screenwriter and filmmaker, is a senior contributing editor for Script Magazine, and is the author of The Savvy Screenwriter: How to Sell Your Screenplay (and Yourself) Without Selling Out! and Savvy Characters Sell Screenplays!: A comprehensive guide to crafting winning characters with film analyses and screenwriting exercises. As chairperson of Su-City Pictures East, LLC, a motion picture consulting company founded in 1990, Kouguell works as a script doctor and post-production consultant with over 1,000 writers, filmmakers, executives and studios worldwide. Her extensive background includes work as story analyst and story editor for many studios, including Miramax, Paramount, and Viacom, acquisitions consultant for Warner Bros., writer on voice-over narrations for Miramax, associate producer on two features, and over a dozen feature writing assignments for independent companies. Susan teaches screenwriting at SUNY College at Purchase and is a visiting assistant professor at Pratt Institute. Her short films are in the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection and archives and were included in the Whitney Museum’s Biennial. Follow Susan on Twitter: @SKouguellFacebook, and Instagram @slkfilms 

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