Have an idea for a screenplay, but not sure what to do with it?
I get it. I really do.
About halfway into my screenwriting career, I got stuck on a project. I had an idea that I loved, and I was SURE it would be my next sale. Except for one small problem…
I had no idea how to break the story. None.
I stared at a blank screen for months.
To be honest, it rattled me a little. I had been writing my entire adult life. Where was my skill? Where was my talent? Why wasn’t it showing up?
I literally thought to myself, “Maybe I don’t have any more stories in me!”
For a professional screenwriter, it was a terrifying thought.
Sometimes, we just want NEXT STEPS.
Desperate, I dove back into the screenwriting books sitting on my shelf. Surely, they could help.
They just seemed so preoccupied with what movies all have in common. That can be helpful, sure, but these books couldn’t tell me what to do next for MY screenplay. (Or my next paycheck!)
Next, I tried writing through it. Write a script in 30 days! The “vomit draft” they call it.
And yep, that’s what I got. It was a mushy, disorganized, rambling mess. Endless rewrites trying to find a story I should have had before I started.
Then I turned to the internet. Everything’s on the internet! That’s how I learned to unclog my sink! I read articles and blogs; I watched videos and lectures, and “classes.”
But still NO PRACTICAL ADVICE on the one thing I wanted to know…
What do I do next to write this screenplay?!
What I needed was a reliable, consistent process...
It finally hit me. I was a teacher as much as I was a writer.
This phase had been coming to me so fluidly for so long, I never turned it into a step-by-step system as I had with so much else.
So just like I structure out a story, I structured out an action list with one goal in mind: to never go through the kind of story paralysis I had just experienced ever again.
And I haven’t.
Ten years, four produced movies, a dozen screenplays later, and not one blank screen breakdown since.
And that screenplay I was stuck on? I sold that to Miramax for six figures.
This is what I want for you
It's time you finish a screenplay you absolutely love.
Imagine always knowing just what you need to do next to finish that screenplay. Where outlining and breaking the story is as creatively fulfilling as writing the most sensational sequence.
Imagine knowing why each scene is vital, and how it adds to the whole, so you know exactly what it needs to make work.
Imagine feeling liberated from fear and indecisiveness so you can focus on creating the emotional moments of your story that make the reader FEEL SOMETHING.
Imagine loving what you created so much that you can’t wait to get it out into the world.
It's not as far away as you think.
Different From Everything Else Out There.
“Story and Plot is different from everything else out there. Tom is a professional screenwriter, but what’s so rare about him is that he can teach the craft. Without his courses I’d wouldn’t be writing professionally today. Even if you’ve read all the books, Tom’s method will allow you to understand movies and scripts in a whole new way. Anybody can write, but Tom Vaughan will teach you how to tell a story."
- Liza Dora, author of "The Door." and "Is Lena Pretty?"
You WIll Feel Empowered
I took Tom's class when I had just finished my first season as a staff writer. I had done some TV writing but was intimidated by the idea of writing a movie. Tom's class really made it so simple and so easy.
Whether you’re an experienced writer or new to the process of writing, Tom's class is great at really simplifying things and making the decision process much easier. By the end of it, you will definitely feel empowered to be able to write your screenplay, just like I was.
- Zeke Nicholson, writer AP BIO on NBC, MIRACLE WORKERS on TBS
Incredibly Helpful and Inspiring
This workshop is incredibly helpful and inspiring. I went into it with a couple ideas for features I'd been wanting to write, and when the workshop was done, I immediately felt like I had the tools to outline and write those features. Tom is an excellent teacher and I gained a ton of invaluable knowledge in just a few hours. HIGHLY RECOMMEND, no matter your experience level.
- Beth Appel, writer THE SEX LIVES OF COLLEGE GIRLS, HBO. NEVER HAVE I EVER, Netflix
A proven one-of-a-kind course, designed by a professional screenwriter, to give you a consistent and repeatable process to find the dramatically satisfying narrative out of nearly any story idea.
It doesn’t matter if your starting point is a character, a world, or even a full-blown logline…
This course will guide you through every step to flesh out a narrative that tells the story you’ve always wanted to tell.
• IDEA TO OUTLINE is about defining that story simply and distinctly so you can wield it like a machete that clears your path forward. You’ll finally have a criterion to judge what belongs in your screenplay and what doesn’t.
• You’ll identify what makes your idea special and how to exploit its uniqueness for great scenes and sequences that people remember.
• You’ll learn how to get out of your way when things go easy and problem-solve when they don’t.
• Finally, the course will show you how to use all the decisions you have made to put the pieces together for a final, thematically unified outline that maximizes the full potential of what was once just a bare kernel of an idea.
Learn how to clearly define what story you’re telling. Shift your thinking away from the infinite of “What can happen” it to the much more important and manageable: “What NEEDS to happen?”
Know which ideas will more easily produce good cinematic stories, and which ones will be more challenging to conquer. Learn to discern when an idea is ready to push ahead or when it may need more incubation
A great film is great characters and great scenes. Learn how to populate your script with the ones that will tell your story and make your project stand out from the crowd.
Protect yourself from overwhelm by establishing distinct dramatic throughlines of four acts and eight sequences that break your screenplay down to smaller, far more manageable bites.
Structure your scenes and characters together to create a thematically unified outline for a feature film ready to be written.
Alongside the entire course, you will be shown the same steps of two case study screenplays, one that sold and one that didn’t. You will see and examine the tangible results of this process and what factors went into every decision right along with your own project.
First Module Curriculum
- V43 - Welcome to Module 5 (2:10)
- Relationships and Subplots (7:14)
- The Board (7:57)
- Bonus #1: Most Wanted -- Part 1 (31:32)
- Bonus #1: Most Wanted -- Part 2 (15:38)
- Bonus #1: Most Wanted -- Part 3 (14:22)
- Bonus #2: The Good Teacher - Part 1 (23:27)
- Bonus #2: The Good Teacher - Part 2 (23:38)
- Module 5 Review (4:04)
It Was Essential
I loved working with Tom on my outline. He helped me find the core of my story, and I was able to make it so much more engaging. It was essential and made writing my first draft an absolute dream. I always recommend Story and Plot to anyone who wants to take their project to a whole other level.
- Aysha Wax, writer and director, Los Angeles
Really Demystified The Process
The vocabulary words, the terms, the tools and his outline. It is really fun and easy. He's thought a lot about just the way to teach this. He's obviously still very in touch with how intimidating it can be to finish one of these.
Before I took the class, I had not written any screenplays and I wrote one right after. And then I think I've written two since. So it really demystified the process in a nice way.
- Will Hines, Actor, Author, "How To Be The Greatest Improvisor on Earth."
I Was Floundering
I was floundering in the middle of writing a script, trying to hit all the structure points I had read about in screenwriting books. On page 110, and still only halfway through the script, I realized I needed some help. After taking Tom's classes, I successfully completed my first script (in 105 pages) and it placed in the top 30 of a major screenwriting contest and I optioned it. I couldn't have asked for a better result.
- Carrie Fitch, Screenwriter
THIS WEEK ONLY: FOUR BONUSES
As a special launch week offer, these four exclusive bonuses are included with Idea To Outline. After March 31st, this bonus offer goes back into the vault and will never be available again. Seriously. Not ever.
BONUS #1 - Two Unique Case Studies ($199 Value)
Throughout the Idea To Outline course, I will take you through the exact same steps with two projects I wrote, one that sold and one that didn’t. As you create your own screenplay, I share with you the same decisions, challenges and solutions that I experienced with mine. This is a truly unique opportunity to understand every step that went into two professionally written screenplays, and learn how to apply it to your own projects.
BONUS #2 - Improving The Read Lecture ($99 Value)
This is a 30-minute lecture from my courses at The University of Houston. This video includes the main thrust of the upcoming IMPROVING THE READ course on Teachable and includes action items that will immediately make a difference in your writing.
BONUS #3 - Perfecting The Logline Mini-Course ($99 Value)
Ever wonder why no one wants to read your script?
It’s the logline. This mini-course will show you how to write concise, compelling loglines that get people excited to read your screenplay. Normally an additional $39, this course is a special bonus with your purchase of Idea To Outline.
BONUS #4 - All The PDF's From Mastering Structure ($39 Value)
You will receive all the structure PDFs from the Mastering Structure course. These can’t replace taking the Mastering Structure course, but they will get you by in a pinch.
Your Instructor: Tom Vaughan
I started writing professionally twenty-five years ago. I've had eight movies made and two more in production this year. I am proud of all the ups and downs of my career, but if you really want to understand a subject, I recommend teaching it.
I have been teaching for 20 years now. It forced me to communicate the why behind so many of the decisions I made as a screenwriter. In doing so, these decisions became tools, accessible whenever I needed them.
As I became a better teacher, I became a better writer. As I became a better writer, I became a better teacher.
When I struggle with any of my own projects, these are the principles I fall back on.
Because of my teaching, I finally have what I lacked early in my career: a tangible and repeatable process to maximize the full potential of a story idea and tell the story I am trying to tell to the best of my abilities.
That's what these classes are about. And Go Coogs!
If you want to read more about my bona fides, you can click HERE.
MORE TO KNOW:
• You’ll get LIFETIME access to the IDEA TO OUTLINE course. This includes any and all updates.
• The entire course is broken down into small lessons to make it easier to watch when and where you want. The short lessons are also perfect for rewatching specific sections later on.
• You'll get FREE enrollment in the Perfecting the Logline mini-course, normally $99.
• Enrolling in both Idea To Outline and Mastering Structure qualifies you for the Story and Plot Pro, an ongoing screenwriting class and community led by myself to rocket your professional screenwriting career forward.
• The course is backed by a 100% 30-day guarantee. Love the course, or get your money back, no questions asked.
• The class covers the same processes I use for literally every project I have worked on and sold over the years, both as a writer and a producer.
MORE STORY AND PLOT COURSES
Does it actually work?
Yes! I guarantee it. This is the exact process I use to write my own screenplays. I've taught it to others, whether they were beginners, MFAs fresh out of film school, or other professionals, all with spectacular results. I am so confident that your screenwriting will take a substantial leap forward that I offer a 30-Day 100% guarantee. No questions asked.
Who are you to teach this course?
Fair question. Many people teach screenwriting who probably shouldn't. I've been doing this professionally since 1996, and I continue to do so. I've been teaching screenwriting since 2003. I don't think there is anyone out there who has been doing both of these things as long as I have. It's usually one or the other. This gives me a unique perspective and provides exceptional value to you for my courses.
Do I really have time to take the course?
Almost certainly. You take it at your own pace. You can binge it as a day-long workshop, or watch daily, or even weekly. Whatever works for you. I have taken asynchronous classes on Creating Online Classes, Email Marketing, and Building Online Communities. I love the format because of the flexibility. When I am taking an online course, I like to devote one hour every weeknight. You can do something similar, or maybe just 30 minutes a night, or one hour every Tuesday. I do suggest and encourage that no matter how you decide to do it, make it consistent. Schedule it. The "I'll watch a video when I can" strategy can too easily become, "I'll get to it one of these days."
Do you offer any in-person classes?
My primary job is as a screenwriter, so I am careful of just how many hours I teach each week. While my in-person teaching is limited to my classes at my alma mater, The University of Houston, I do offer live online classes and group coaching through Story and Plot Pro. I don't think there is a better way to learn a new creative skill than to do it alongside others, so I highly recommend this option. But as mentioned above, you can also take the Idea To Outline at your own personal pace as well.
Is the Mastering Structure course necessary for Idea To Outline?
It's not necessary, but it makes a huge difference. Each course can be taken individually, as I do review the other in each one, but you will absolutely get the most value, and shrink your learning curve the quickest by taking both.
Mastering Structure introduces the fundamentals, the values we use to make decisions, and our goals for each story. Idea To Outline then shows you what to do with all that information to complete a full narrative you can be confident about.
In addition, taking both Mastering Structure and Idea to Outline qualifies you for the Story and Plot community. You can save $100 and buy them as a bundle HERE.
What if I absolutely hate this course and, by extension, YOU?
Okay, that's a tough way to phrase it, but I get what you're asking. First, I don't think you will hate it (or me.) BUT. If you do, the course is backed by a 100% 30-day guarantee. Love the course, or get your money back, no questions asked.