Posts Tagged ‘George Clooney’

Writing Coach Teresa, what did you say was screenwriting teacher Terrel Seltzer’s mantra?

Terrel Seltzer’s simple and powerful mantra at the beginning of class was this:  “What makes a story?  Someone we care about wants something badly and is having a terrible time getting it.”

Let’s take a closer look at that golden mantra.

“Someone we care about (the protagonist or another character) wants something badly and is having a terrible time getting it.”

No one in our class (at The Writing Salon) cared about the protagonist Miles in the movie Sideways. However, we find out that Miles’s friend Jack cares about him; Miles’s mother cares about him; later, Maya (a kind person) cares about him.  Voila!  Someone we care about . . .

What if we don’t care about the protagonist or the other characters?  Then, we hook with the object of desire.  We want what the protagonist wants.

Terrel Seltzer has been a working screenwriter for twenty-five years, in both the Independent and Hollywood worlds. She has four produced screenplays: Chan Is Missing, Dim Sum: A Little Bit of Heart, How I Got Into College, and One Fine Day staring George Clooney and Michelle Pfeiffer. Terrel teaches at California College of the Arts and The Writing Salon.  View her resume at: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0783559/

If you get a  chance to take a class from Terrel Seltzer, I hope you’ll treat yourselves.

Sincerely,

Cheers to fiction and nonfiction writers!

Happy platform & fanbase building!

Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan

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