Screenwriting Tricks for Authors

The PLAN – the road map of your book or script!

If there’s just one bottom line piece of advice I can give you about how to write a novel or script, it’s this— You need to know the PLAN.

Your protagonist’s Plan is the road map, the Holy Grail, the spine, the sine qua nonof your story— book or script. The Plan is going to drive every single thing about your plot.

I’ve worked with a lot of writers, directors, producers, executives, over a lot of years (make that decades…). And if there’s ONE thing I know, it’s that if something’s going wrong with a book, script, movie, series… the firstthing you need to look at is the Protagonist’s Plan.

A quick recap—in these first few months of the year, we’ve been concentrating on the SET UP of your story—ACT I.

Your first, critical steps are to figure out:

  • Your MAIN CHARACTER (Protagonist, Hero/ine)


  • The INCITING INCIDENT, the big event that creates a —

  • Driving DESIRE in your Protagonist

  • And your ANTAGONIST, who is competing for or blocking that DESIRE.

To get their DESIRE, your Protagonist needs a PLAN of action.

That Plan, and the competing Plan of the Antagonist, will drive the entire action of your ACT II.

Until you can simply and clearly articulate that plan, you’re probably not going to be able to write a coherent Premise or Synopsis, much less write an entire, engaging book or script.

So what the hell is the PLAN? 

This may take a couple of posts, and a lot of examples! But let’s start here:







Need some help? The Screenwriting Tricks for Authors workshop is available online, as a self-paced course with all the videos, assignments, movie breakdowns and personalized feedback you need to get that book written this year, 15 minutes at time.

In three parts, and you only pay for what you use.

Online Class

  • If you have a first draft of a book or script already, or need more feedback, get targeted help getting you over the finish line in The Writers’ Room.

All material from Screenwriting Tricks for Authors,© Alexandra Sokoloff