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

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

Endangered Species: Book 1

Endangered Species: Book 1The first book in the Endangered Species series is available now. Here’s a short description:

Once-famous naturalist and animal tracker, Chuck Collins is doing his best to save nature’s forgotten and least-loved animals from extinction. Problem is – animals hate him. They can’t wait to tear him apart. Dogged by the epic failure of his utopian theme park, “Animal Land”, Chuck is given a new lease on life when his hapless crew stumble upon a plot to poach our planet’s most dangerous species for sport. This leads him on a hunt across the globe to scupper their plans, but, ultimately, unveils a fiendish conspiracy to save the planet by nefarious means.

Click here to read more about the project.

Topic Jam

Topic Jams are used to debate topical issues in order to help us craft better Story Messages for our narratives.

All of our story projects must have a meaningful point of view on something important to our audience. The Topic Jam is a good place to start brainstorming and gauging interest and feedback from the community.

Click here to see our current Topic Jams and join in!

The Story Message is at the heart of our Story Design framework.


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