Craig Mazin, professional screenwriter and hater of all script consultants and screenwriting gurus, is hosting a panel on "thematic structure". Which is hilariously ironic considering all the venom he has spewed towards anyone who teaches writing and gets paid for it:
Are you getting stuck in the middle or end of a script? Craig Mazin, writer of Identity Thief and co-host of the popular Scriptnotes podcast, introduces a new way of thinking of structure. He'll discuss how to build your plot as a function of character and theme, why beginnings are endings and endings are beginnings, and how he answer to solving your plot is to stop thinking about plot. After this panel, you'll never get lost in a script again!
Sounds exactly like every other story "guru"/script consultant. Craig quickly clears that up on his Twitter page:
The idea of the talk is simple: learn structure from the writer's point of view, not the film analyst.
That actually makes me feel ten times better. I'm a writer too ... So now I don't have to feel so guilty about teaching workshops or consulting when Craig and John go off on consultants in their podcast. I wonder how many other guru/consultants are writers?
You've got a main character, good. You've got an idea. Good. SO WHAT NOW? The talk is all about creating a structure by thinking about your hero and your theme.
That sounds wonderful. Anyone into Dramatica would recognize a familiar approach to structuring a story.
I use a few popular films to demonstrate. Let me make your life easier... for no money! Well, none for me, at least.
Dang it. He one-ups me with that last bit. Just when I was feeling good about myself. Well, when I get Hangover money I'll start doing my workshops for free. Promise.