Outline Workshop (FREE)
Welcome to Outline Workshop! This is a weekly community workshop designed to help you designed to help you refine your screenplay outline using Conor Kyle’s practical story development process. Together we will “break” a story and learn how to quickly develop a story beats outline from a logline.
This event is completely free and open to everyone. Space is limited, so be sure to hit the RSVP button. Then join us in the Workshop channel on discord ( https://discord.gg/kQfrX3R7Zy )
If you’d like to workshop your outline please post it in the #outlines channel on the Script Camp Discord ( https://discord.gg/Kv827aqw6q ) along with your title and logline and we will review them in the order received. You should already have a very solid logline and either a rough Story Beats Outline or a more detailed Scene Cards Outline. If you need help with your logline, please drop by the weekly Logline Workshop meetup.
See below a breakdown of the story development steps Conor teaches. If you complete each step properly, it makes the next step a lot easier:
1. The first step is to take your rough idea and develop this into a solid logline that can sustain a feature film. (Or if this is a TV pilot, you need to develop a series logline and a pilot logline.) Here’s an example logline template from Conor: “When (INCITING INCIDENT), a (ADJECTIVE) (PROTAGONIST) must (CONFLICT) before / or else (STAKES or TICKING CLOCK).” It’s difficult to perfect a logline by yourself. Usually this requires some help and feedback from fellow writers.
2. The second step is filling up your sketchbook. This can be google docs, Evernote, MS word, whatever you use for notes. Brainstorm lots of fun ideas for scenes, develop your theme, anti-theme and flesh out your characters. Whatever sort of notes and doodling process you need to develop your story. Some writers find it helpful to collect photos and artwork at this stage as well.
3. The third step is to break out your story into beats and develop a Story Beats Outline with estimated pages for each section and a list of scenes. If you are writing a 90 page feature screenplay, for example, your Story Beats Outline is going to have sections something like this, with a list of scene breakdowns in each section.
Break into 2 (20):
Fun and Games (20-45):
Bad Guys Close In (45-60):
All is Lost (60):
Dark Night of the Soul (61-70):
Break Into 3 (70):
4. The next step is called a Scene Cards Outline. This is a detailed prose description of what happens in every single scene (not sluglines, but dramatic scenes), with estimated page count for each scene, dialogue excerpts and as much as you can of the action description that will end up in your first draft. This stage of your outlining process should feel more like writing than outlining. You are getting the heavy lifting out of the way, so that when you sit down to start the first draft, the pages are going to fly very quickly.
Q: I have no idea how to create a screenplay outline. Is it okay if I just join to listen and learn?
A: Absolutely! This workshop is entirely free and everyone is welcome to join.
Q: My writing is ____ genre, is that okay?
A: Yes! Bring your outline for a feature film or TV Pilot, whatever genre you’re working on.
Q: I don’t have a solid logline yet.
A: If you’re having trouble with your logline, drop by our weekly Logline Workshop on Friday or post your logline in the #ideas-and-loglines channel for feedback on the Script Camp Discord ( https://discord.gg/E2sDHGfwG8 ).
Q: I’m worried that my outline sucks, should I still bring it?
A: Rough drafts and outlines are always rough. Nobody will be perfect. We’re here to support you, which means pointing out the parts that are awesome and providing honest feedback for improvement.