History in Action: Writing The Period Piece Script

History in Action: Writing The Period Piece Script

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Period pieces are the bread and butter of the movie and television industry. Whether the time period is Prehistoric, Victorian or World War II era, stories of historic people and events continue to captivate audience’s imagination. But to write the successful period script, a screenwriter has to devote serious time to research in order to accurately portray the characters, events and details that will make an audience truly believe they are being propelled back in time.

This OnDemand webinar will cover the analytical tools necessary to create a historical narrative screenplay structure that is both accurate and compelling. Tips for finding a dramatic hook to an old story will be highlighted with real life examples. This OnDemand webinar will demystify the process of writing within the limitations of a specific time period to the screenwriter’s advantage. Also covered will be strategies for tackling the often arduous task of getting Hollywood interested in your period piece once your script is completed.


  • Tips on how to find the cinematic center in your period story.
  • How to separate necessary story elements from extraneous historical detail.
  • How to identifying your main characters point of view.
  • How to create a timeline of historical events that serves your story.
  • How to research historical archives and societies effectively.
  • How to minimize expensive production elements without diluting the impact of your story.
  • How to re-envision historical events from a fresh perspective.
  • How to create dialogue for historical characters that is authentic without sounding wooden.
  • How to market a period piece screenplay you own the rights to or that resides in the public domain.


  • Screenwriters who are interested in writing a compelling period piece.
  • Writers who want to adapt a historical novel or story into a script.
  • Screenwriters who want to research a specific time period effectively.
  • Writers who want to take their historical writing skills to the next level.
  • Historical Fiction novelists who want to add screenwriter to their resume.
  • Screenwriters who want to increase their chances of selling a screenplay by basing their script on a historical book or novel.
  • Screenwriters who want to write historical dialogue that rings true to the ear.

Jon James Miller is an award-winning screenwriter, novelist, and short story writer. His debut novel, Looking For Garbo http://www.lookingforgarbo.com a noir thriller was published by Amphorae Publishing Group http://www.amphoraepublishing.com/product/looking-for-garbo/ and is a 2019 INDIES Book Award Finalist (https://www.forewordreviews.com/awards/) and 2019 MiPA Book Awards Finalist (https://mipa.org/midwest-book-awards/). Jon is represented by Jill Marr at Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. 

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