John Turby is a screenwriter and director. He has also breached out to work as a screenwriting teacher, having worked as a consultant on over 1,000 scripts in the last thirty years and he’s developed a screenwriting software called Blockbuster.
His students include the writer/producer/director of: Star Wars, Nightmare on Elm Street, Outbreak, Scream, Sleepless in Seattle, Back to School, The Addams Family, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Beetlejuice, Valley Girl, The Negotiator, The Mask of Zorro, Shrek and Pirates of the caribbean.
He claims that the biggest mistake writers make are at the premise:
- The idea is not original.
- The idea doesn’t have a clear desire line for the hero that extends throughout the story.
- The idea doesn’t have a strong main opponent.
1. Weakness and need: a hero with a weakness and a need
2. Desire: the backbone of the story that drives the hero …notice that the desire, the want, isn’t the same as the “need”
3. Opponent: this character, often the antagonist, must go against the protagonist by wanting the same thing
4. Plan: heroes who want something need a plan of action
5. Battle: when the story boils to a crisis
6. Self-revelation: here the hero realizes what he wanted wasn’t what he needed…..I want to say this again, The hero wants something but he realizes that what he wanted wasn’t what he needs.
7. New equilibrium: with the new knowledge the world changes for the character.