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Events and Workshops

Teaching kids about writing

An almost 45-minute discussion with Julia Widdop of "The Seeker's Journey" about the evolution of the story structure I teach and how it relates to our life. The wonders of technology - recorded on my laptop at home. The most complete explanation of what I've learned about effective story structure and how it actually works out in the real world, from Aristotle to Joseph Campbell to The Elliott Wave, with a dissection of "Cast Away" and other material.

In writing and in life, there are no shortcuts to success. Even the lucky ones are prepared when they make it, or they don't stay successful. You have to learn the craft, and how to sell in Hollywood to make it here. Beginners don't realize that scripts are usually bought from established writers. Most beginners have to sell works that are great, not just good. Once you're established, it's easier. It's the same way with publishing, and i'll help you with both. 

I appeared with many amazing speakers at Pepperdine entrepreneurial weekends that were the brainchild of my genius friend Elliot McGucken. One of those people was Chris Vogler of "The Writer's Journey" fame. He told me after the event pictured: "You blew my mind, man!"

If you're interested in my doing a workshop for your festival or writers' group, send me an emai. I'll discuss a LOT more than simple writing technique. I believe in giving people many extras when they hear me talk. It's a philosophy I share with motivational legend Napoleon Hill.

People who have taken my online screenwriting course (about 10,000) and readers of my Complete Idiots Guide to Screenwriting (well over 50,000) know about my "Shaping Force" concept and aspects of the Elliott Wave, that allows them to take their writing to a new level. Any kind of writing - articles, short stories, novels, non-fiction plays or screenplays.

In 1974, I lived in the house in Los Angeles where Ralph Elliott first wrote about his Elliott in the 1920s. Using the framework of the Wave I integrated Aristotle's "Poetics", Shakespeare's five acts, and the "Hero's Journey" matrix of Joseph Campbell. It's all applicable in life, and I regularly check my life situations against it.

I won't insist you see things my way, but one client missed getting his film into the Sundance Film Festival because he didn't take my advice. Get the right info and follow it, you'll be happier. 

That's me speaking at a San Diego Film Festival panel about "10 Stupid Things Filmmakers Do to Mess Up Their Movies."

From left: Chris Gore, writer/director Pete "Project Greenlight" Jones, Skip Press, director Jude Pauline Eberhard, writer/producer Bo Zenga.