The webinar I taught for The Writers Store on “Finding the ‘Story’ in True Stories” is now available from their online store, for $79.  It’s a ninety-minute powerpoint/audio program where I discuss all the key lessons I’ve learned in adapting various true stories into scripts (from Band of Brothers and From the Earth to the Moon to quite a few others that you might not have seen).

In August I taught my first such webinar on “Creating TV Series and Writing Spec Pilots“, which I’m happy to say broke their attendance record, and is still available online through their store.

Here are some of the points I cover:

  • The key differences between “history” and “story”, “truth” and “fiction”.
  • How to avoid the dreaded “highlight reel” or “anecdote fest”.
  • Why “the research” cannot run the process, and how to put it in its place!
  • The key elements of a viable story problem an audience might care about.
  • Finding the narrative spine – and how the Save the Cat “genres” can help.
  • The role of fictionalizing, creative license, and having an authorial “take”.
  • Why aiming for “true in spirit” is a better goal than “true in every detail”.
  • The importance of continuously subjective main character point-of-view.
  • Why it’s best to avoid a “spec miniseries.”  Can it be a feature instead?
  • How to deal with the real people involved in your story (if you must).

Here’s who  might want to check it out:

  • Writers who are considering adapting a true story (or have done so).
  • Writers who want feedback on a story concept based on actual events.
  • Writers who want to resolve their love/hate relationship with research.
  • Writers who want overall guidance on the key elements of a good story.
  • Writers wanting to know what gets buyers interested in a true story idea.
  • Writers or aspiring writers living anywhere in the world.
  • Writers or filmmakers in any medium working on a history-based project.
  • Writers looking for inspiration and guidance from someone a lot like them.



I also recommend my "Ten Key Principles Successful Writers Understand", and my series of audio downloads.    And if you'd like me to read something you're working on, check out my consulting page.
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