Screenwriting Workshop

Turn your idea into a screenplay worthy of being Hollywood's next hit!
4.8 (21 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a
course's star rating by considering a number of different factors
such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the
likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
326 students enrolled
Instructed by Dani Alcorn Business / Media
92% off
Take This Course
  • Lectures 51
  • Length 21.5 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
Wishlisted Wishlist

How taking a course works


Find online courses made by experts from around the world.


Take your courses with you and learn anywhere, anytime.


Learn and practice real-world skills and achieve your goals.

About This Course

Published 9/2013 English

Course Description

Do you have a great idea for a movie and want to turn it into a screenplay? Have you already started a screenplay and gotten stuck? Have you finished a screenplay but feel it needs polish? Screenwriting Workshop shows you how to accomplish all of these things and helps you market your work and get it onto the big screen.

In these fun and lively lessons, Dani Alcorn guides you on the path to success. You'll learn how to create and polish a screenplay step by step. Topics include:

  • Story Structure
  • Creating Compelling Characters
  • Using Archetypes to Flesh Out Character
  • The Hero's Journey
  • Creating Treatments that Sell
  • Developing the Perfect Beginning and Ending
  • Making Your Theme Resonate
  • Crafting Dialogue that Rings True
  • Creating Action that Packs a Punch
  • Controlling Pacing
  • Screenplay Formatting
  • Pitching a Great Idea
  • Designing the Perfect Logline
  • Online Resources for Screenwriters
  • Marketing Your Screenplay

Whether you're just getting started or you're an experienced screenwriter, Screenwriting Workshop helps you turn your dream into a reality.

What are the requirements?

  • Open to all aspiring writers, young or old, experienced or just beginning

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Turn Your Idea Into a Screenplay
  • Explore What Makes Movies Award Winners
  • Create a Pitch That Sells Your Idea
  • Develop Compelling Characters
  • Structure Your Screenplay
  • Learn Techniques That Make Scenes Leap Off The Page
  • Polish Your Screenplay
  • Discover Resources To Help Get Your Screenplay Noticed

Who is the target audience?

  • First Time Screenwriters of Any Age
  • Screenwriters with Unfinished or Unpolished Screenplays

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Exploring Modern Screenwriting
Meet Dani Alcorn and enjoy an overview of the course material to come!

Why should you write screenplays, and what are the benefits?

This lesson discusses the top grossing genres and top grossing films of recent history. How useful is this information and what should you do with it?
This lesson offers a look at Academy Award Winning films and screenplays. Are awards really the best way to measure a film's success?
When comparing movies to television shows there are both practical differences (format, budget, production schedule, etc.) and differences in how the audience relates to the experience. The implications of these differences is discussed in this lecture. 

This lightning fast survey of both film and television will show you how programming has changed over the years, allowing you to target your scripts at the latest trends.

Section 2: Planning Your Screenplay

This lesson discusses where ideas come from, how to remember them, and what to do if you're stuck. Try out a fun exercise to get your creative juices flowing (see supplemental material).

This lesson is a discussion of the difference between plot (external events) and story (internal emotions) and how they are integral to creating a compelling movie. 
This lesson discusses themes, or what movies are really about. It shows you how to dig deeper and find the true emotional core of your script that will relate to all the other story and plot elements of your screenplay. 
This lesson answers the questions: "Who's in your screenplay?" and "What will you know about them?"
This lesson discusses how to create a compelling hero for your screenplay. 
This lesson discusses what good antagonists must do and gives you tips for creating despicable bad guys. 
This lesson discuses the supporting characters you'll create in your screenplay and offers suggestions for how to make them memorable. 
This lesson discusses what an archetype is, how to use them, and gives an example of a classic archetype. 
This lesson explores Joseph Campbell's idea of the "monomyth" and details the Hero's Journey.
Section 3: Structuring Your Screenplay
This lesson gives step by step instructions for how to write a great logline and pitch for your screenplay. 
This lesson uses Susan Dennard's 11 Key Elements to show you how to write a clear and concise synopsis of your screenplay.
This lesson provides a quick introduction to the theory of story structure and introduces the topics that follow in the next several lessons. 

An overview of Four Act Structure. This lesson includes a Quick Reference Guide and a Test Drive with helpful questions about each element of each act to help you think about structuring your original screenplay idea.

This lesson introduces the nine story structuring checkpoints of three act structure. 
This lesson is an in depth look at the story structure checkpoints of Act 1: the Hook, Backstory, and Trigger. 
This lesson provides and in depth look at the story structure checkpoints of Act 2: the Crisis, Struggle, and Epiphany. 
This lesson takes an in depth look at the story structure checkpoints of Act 3: the Plan, Climax, and Resolution.
This lesson explores beginnings and endings including common techniques and examples from great screenplays. 
Discover the different types of scenes, and what to do--and not do--to make them great.
This lesson discusses two types of roadmaps that will help get you from page 1 to page 120 of your screenplay: the treatment and the outline. 
Section 4: Writing Your Screenplay
This lesson provides a quick rundown of FinalDraft and Celtx.
Discover the four elements that make up a screenplay, and how they are used.
These common formatting issues may seem tricky, but they're simple when you know how.

Celtx is powerful and free screenwriting software. Here's how to use it.

Here's how to write a great screenplay and make sure the director films it the way you imagined it, all without breaking any rules.
This lesson explores how to make your characters sound like real and interesting people.

Minimize descriptions while maximizing the impact of your action lines, and your script will be much more commercial. Here's how.

In a movie it's easy to recognize and keep track of a large number of characters. But in a script it's hard to keep track of a large number of character names. This lesson shows you how to make those characters memorable, which will help you sell your script.
A well paced movie is fun to watch. Here are some examples of pacing problems and successes, and some tips for controlling your own screenplay's pacing.
Follow these six techniques and you will finish your first draft.
Section 5: Polishing Your Screenplay

Workshopping your screenplay is a vital (and often eye-opening) experience.


These specific strategies will take your first draft to a whole new level.


Because they're your main selling tools, it's essential to revisit your logline and pitch after you've finished your screenplay.

Section 6: Film Analyses

One of the best ways to learn to write great screenplays is to watch great movies.


Analysis of The Shawshank Redemption


Analysis of The Silence of the Lambs.


Analysis of Lion King.


Analysis of You've Got Mail

2 pages

This is a brief synopsis and analysis of TiMER (2009). Main topic: character wants versus character needs.


Analysis of Spiderman.


Analysis of The 5th Element

Section 7: Getting Your Screenplay Noticed

Agents, Managers, Contests and Contacts are all great approaches to selling your screenplay. Here's the inside scoop on all of them.


These valuable online resources will help you get your screenplay into the right hands.

1 page
Now that you've completed the course, here are some ways you can stay involved, and further develop your screenwriting skills.

Thanks for taking this journey with me, and Happy Writing!

Students Who Viewed This Course Also Viewed

  • Loading
  • Loading
  • Loading

Instructor Biography

Dani Alcorn, Author and Screenwriter

Dani is the author of the Young Adult novel The Last Telepath, and three screenplays: 

  • A Quintessence of Dust, a science fiction riff on what would happen if Hamlet met Bladerunner
  • How to Catch an Englishman, a romantic comedy about moving overseas in search of an eligible bachelor
  • Do No Harm, a drama that explores the ethical choices facing a heart surgeon when her personal and professional lives collide
Dani graduated Summa Cum Laude from Northwestern University, where she majored in Psychology and Radio, Television, & Film.

Ready to start learning?
Take This Course