Ron Wilkerson
Class Videos
Week One: Character Introductions
Introducing a character is a very important part of screenwriting.  We want our readers (and audiences) to understand our characters and, in most cases, we want our readers to like the characters we've created.  Click on the Week One Headline to navigate to that page.

Week Two: Character Defining Moments
This is a moment in which a character (usually our hero) is defined by their actions within a given scene.  But this could just as easily be a moment in which our main opponent character is defined. 

Week Three: Inciting Events
An Inciting Event is a catalyst event, something that gets the story going.  It's also an event that frequently comes at our hero from "out of the blue" and knocks him/her off balance.  After the Inciting Event, the hero cannot just resume life as usual.  They have been changed.  Just as a catalyst starts a chemical reaction, there is no going back. 

Week Four: Act I Turning Points
The first Turning Point occurs at the end of Act I, and it is a DECISION.  Principally, it is the decision to pursue the goal.  The goal is what the hero is struggling with through all of Act II.  See if you can tell what Decision the hero is making in these scenes. 

Week Five: Low Points, Act II Turning Points
The Low Point, which occurs at the end of Act II, is the destruction of the hero's plans.  They may have attained a partial goal, but the main goal still lies ahead.  The Low Point is more than another obstacle, it is a SETBACK in which the hero has to decide a new strategy for Act III.  The Low Point leads directly to the Act II Turning Point, which is yet another DECISION.  It is the decision to go into the final battle.

Week Six: Low Points, Act II Turning Points, & Act III Final Battles
Here are some more examples of the Low Point and Act II Turning Point.  See what DECISION the hero is making at these Turning Points.  See how those decisions spin the hero into the Act III Final Battle,

Week Seven: Scenes and Sequences
What's the difference between a scene and a sequence?  A SCENE is a beat in your story that takes place in one location.  A SEQUENCE is a series of connected scenes.  Here are some examples of each.   

Week Eight: Episodic TV Development
This week, we'll watch an entire episode of a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode that I co-wrote.  Watch your time counter because we'll be going back and forth from the Blackboard lesson to watch the show one act at a time.  Click on the Week Nine Headline to navigate to that page.

Week Nine: Dialogue and Subtext
Putting the words into the characters' mouths is one of the most important tools available to the screenwriter.  But it is frequently the most abused.  Watch how these scenes play and do so frequently with a minimum of dialogue.  Does a character always have to have dialogue in a scene?  Oftentimes it is better for a character not to speak.  But when dialogue is used, it has to count.

Week Ten: Favorite Scenes, Moments, and a Denouement
Some scenes I love.  Some things for writers to aspire to.  Savor the moments.