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The Narrative First RoadMap

I get it.

You don't have time to learn overly complicated story theory, or you do--but there's a deadline looming on the horizon and you really can't justify joining the Dramatica® Mentorship Program right now. What you do want is an outline--or RoadMap--that you can use as a template for your awesome story.

I have you covered.

A Plan to Save Time

How long does it take to carry a story from idea to first draft? Six weeks? Six months? Six years? If you answered years, the Narrative First RoadMap can warp that into weeks.

Story development shouldn't take as long as it usually does. The reason most productions--and most story ideas--take forever to develop is either a) the writer has no idea what it is they want to say or b) everyone on the production has their own individual ideas as to what the story should say. Whether you're by yourself or working within a team, the key is nailing down the story's intent.

No joke--my first screenplay took over ten years to finish. Not 365 days a year, but a couple weeks here, a couple weeks there. Sometimes months would go by, sometimes years. I would get excited, write a bunch of stuff, then lose motivation and move on to something else.

My last screenplay took six weeks.

Six weeks from concept to FADE OUT and there were several offers to buy it.

The key was nailing down the intent (it was a collaboration with another writer) and sticking to it from beginning to end. I did the same thing recently with an animated feature that now has the backing of the WWE. We figured out what we wanted to say with the film and then wrote the 30+ page treatment in less than two months.

Imagine how quickly you could finish your first draft if you had a template that transformed your Original Intent into workable Scenes, Sequences, and Acts?


Hopefully you worked your way through my From Logline to Treatment email course and you have a one-page treatment ready for analysis. If not, don't worry, we can work through them together before I start to lay out your RoadMap. The nine lessons in that course were specifically targeted to identify the foundation for your unique story and are essential for getting to the heart of what it is you want to say with your story.

The Goods

Check out this feedback I received from one of the first RoadMaps delivered:

"It’s so exciting to have all the blood sweat and tears that I poured my heart and mind into, mapped out for me in such a clear and meaningful way! I can’t help but want to turn the outline into a fully realized script!" -- Jon

Once you sign up, no need to worry--I know the feeling of releasing your work out there. I'll send you an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement). I'm here to help create your story, not steal your story (see below). Once signed, send it back with your treatment and I'll start using the Dramatica theory of story to unlock the unique thematic message of your story.

Your outline will consist of carefully considered sequences and relevant story points that work together to tell a logically complete and emotionally compelling story. No two stories are the same and that goes for my outlines--each one is unique to your particular viewpoint and the story you want to tell.

As exciting as it is for me to workout the storyform, it's also a really great way for you to learn Dramatica. If you've been struggling, seeing a professional work out the storyform for your story is really an eye-opening experience.

In addition to the outline (provided in the Fountain format for screenplays, Markdown for novels), you will receive StoryEncoding for essential story points and a fully fleshed-out Dramatica Story Expert storyform--complete with Gists handcrafted for your story. You will also receive a comprehensive multi-page analysis of your story and explanations why I chose the story points I did.

Just think--one week from now you could actually be writing your story instead of imagining it.1

And five weeks later you could be done.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will you steal my idea? No, thanks, but I already have a ton of my own ideas to write. This is your story. To ease any anxiety I sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement(NDA) with every outline.

How long does this take? Right now the turnaround time is one week (five business days). This includes a fully encoded Dramatica storyform, complete with customized Gists for your story, and a fully realized outline in either Fountain or Markdown formats. As the popularity of this service grows, so too will the wait time so plan accordingly.1

This is disgusting. It's storytelling-by-numbers!! There are over 32,000 unique storyforms in Dramatica, so chances are yours won't be the same as the next. Besides, Finding Nemo and Collateral have the same exact storyform and they couldn't be more different.

I don't get Dramatica. It's too complicated and seems made up. That's the whole point of hiring a guide to help see you through. I have over twenty years of experience translating the theory to those who don't get it. I'll explain to you the choices I made and why I made them.

What do I send? Nothing more than a one-page treatment. If you worked through the From Logline to Treatment Course you already have it. If not, try and reduce everything you have down into a single page treatment. This helps me get to the essence of what it is you're trying to say.

What if I don't like the outline? Can I make changes? It's your story. You can do whatever you want with it. If you have changes you want me to look at, I will for the two weeks following delivery. After that you might consider the Dramatica® Mentorship Program to help you develop your story further.

Alright, I'm sold. Where do I sign up? Glad you asked...

Let me help direct you towards a faster route.

You can take the wheel from there.

  1. NOTE: The turnaround time for RoadMaps is now 2-3 weeks. Sorry, but handcrafted outlines take time! ↩︎

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