Storyteller’s Handbook for Writers and Dream Merchants

Story Design is our first publication, available as an eBook on Amazon.

The book outlines a framework for story development and creative writing that was pioneered at the EON Screenwriters Workshop throughout 2007-2010, involving 300+ European screenwriters. It is the culmination of best-practices learnt from the workshop and from a panel of professionals (SEAM mentors) who work in film development, marketing, distribution and finance.

The storytelling process outlined in the book can be applied to any creative writing project, although the book uses feature films and screenwriting as examples. We use this framework as the basis for all the transmedia projects on SEAM’s production slate.

You’ve probably heard of ‘genre-driven’ and ‘high concept’ stories. This is what the middle-men want. Unfortunately, this isn’t necessarily what audiences want. Story development driven by marketing and distribution is ass-backwards – the tail wagging the dog. Instead, our process explores at the outset what will have the most profound impact on our audience – emotionally and intellectually – before we tackle anything else.

One distinguishing characteristic of our framework is that it separates story design from story narrative. As a result, we can identify early on what the essence of the story is and protect it from getting lost in development hell. Consequently, story development becomes more efficient, the stories themselves more emotionally and intellectually satisfying, and writers can use the framework to concurrently develop several projects at once – even collaboratively.

We help writers and storytellers to identify what the story really is that they want to tell, and how best to tell it, before we even begin discussing characters, genre and the other elements of the narrative.

We won’t lie to you – this is radical thinking. It might feel strange at first to develop a story in reverse. But if you stick to it, you will be rewarded. You will find your storytelling more prolific, more commercial, more thoughtful and more profound. To read more about how this works, check out our introduction to the book.

Buy Story Design

Useful Links:

Buy the book on Amazon.com

Read our introduction to the book

Start Writing by Not Writing – StoryForward podcast – interview with founder & CEO of SEAM about the book

Story Design Group on SEAM - discuss and refine

Perfect Pitch Group on SEAM - put theory into practice

Dream Journal

dream-journal Had any weird dreams lately? If so, we’d like to hear about them.

Dreams inhabit a sub logical component of our subconscious – a place without inhibition and a good playground for unusual thoughts and ideas.

Jam our Dream Journal and see what you come up with.

Don't let an executive get in the way of a good idea...

Independent cinema is our greatest hope. Audiences want them. Cinemas want them when seats are empty during the week. But distributors can’t agree on them and few of them want to pay upfront. They’d rather pick it up at a festival. Perhaps, it’s time we accept that the Middle-Man is the problem.

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