30 Day Screenwriting Challenge

taught by Max Timm

Course description

30 Days to finish your screenplay! Think you can do it? We do! And we've set up steps, assignments, and objectives to help you do so.

In 30 Days!

Join your fellow writers and take the 30-Day Challenge. Our industry is evolving and the competition is steep. It's time that you learn how to develop a script as quickly as possible, but also how to make that script worthy of submission.

The Challenge Officially Began on April 20, 2017, but you can sign up at any time.

Get Ready to Write!

Let's make this simple. We need to be writing every day. Writers need to know how to utilize their time, and how to get the most out of their writing sessions. Most of us have day jobs, parenting responsibilities, or extra-curricular promises that tend to chip away at the available hours of every day, much less the so-called creative energy it takes to sit our butts down and crank out our next story.

Like any other creative or business venture, you need a plan AND a finite goal even before you sit down to do the work. With the 30-Day Screenwriting Challenge, we have not only set up such a plan and goal, but we've given you a structured framework within which you will be able to approach the completion of a screenplay (feature or TV) in 30 days or less.

In this 30-Day Challenge, we are giving you a series of written lectures, audio recordings, assignments, and daily inspiration that will get you organized, prepared, and working. It's all here for you, but now it's up to you and your own personal level of motivation to get the work done.

Are you up to the challenge? We think you are.

The instructions, assignments, written lectures and audio recordings have been created and designed by the ISA's, Max Timm, Script Lab, Final Draft, and participating sponsors from across the industry. (Jen Grisanti, Corey Mandell, Danny Manus, Lee Jessup, WeScreenplay, Tracking Board, LA-Screenwriter, MovieBytes, Table Ready My Screenplay, Emerging Screenwriters, Tracking Board, Fast Track Fellowship, Women In Film, and many more!)

The Challenge Officially Begins Now!

If you're looking for more long-term support from Max and the ISA, you can inquire about Max's year-long Personal Coaching Service called The Story Farm - designed to get your material not only industry-ready, but submitted to the ISA's industry contacts. Space is very limited, and per application only.

Your material could also be evaluated by the ISA per their Development Program. Check out the Development Program Evaluation here on www.TheCraftCourse.com.

Sponsored by:


The Scriptlab
Final Draft


Please see our FAQ page here: Course Questions

Max Timm
Max Timm
Lead Mentor and Instructor

Max Timm is the Director of Education & Outreach with the International Screenwriters’ Association, with over a decade of experience in developing material and writers’ careers. His focus with the ISA is to build a creative community and bring ISA writers closer to ISA Industry Professionals. Recently he has helped build a development program with the ISA, submitting writers’ projects on their behalf and helping them launch their careers – ten writers have received options and representation since 2015 because of Max’s assistance and support. His personal coaching service, The Story Farm, develops working writers and their material much like a studio executive and manager would, and his online classes, titled The Craft Course in Screenwriting, offer writers outside the Los Angeles area to take part in professional full development. In order to connect with as many aspiring writers as possible, he created and launched the ISA’s popular Curious About Screenwriting podcast, as well as his solo podcast, The Craft.

A development consultant, manager, and screenwriting instructor, Max is a screenwriter and author himself. His debut novel, a young adult fantasy adventure titled The WishKeeper, about a teenage fairy with broken wings, won the young adult category of the 2015 Los Angeles Book Festival and released nationwide in the Summer of 2016. Max has also served as a part-time instructor at UCLA, travels nationally and internationally speaking at and hosting a multitude of industry events and panels with organizations and at events such as the Sundance Film Festival, Nashville Writers Conference, and even educating art program teachers through the LA Unified School District.

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Course Curriculum

Day 1 (April 20) - Voice, Loglines, and Establishing Your Concept
Challenge Introduction - Getting Started
Voice, and Voice Pressure Points
Audio: Voice - Finding It, Evolving It, Embracing It
Assignment: Voice Pressure Points
The Logline - Yes, It's Extremely Important
Logline Breakdown Process
Audio: Logline Breakdown Process
Assignment: Write (and Rewrite) Your Loglines
See You Tomorrow!
Who is Max Timm?
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Day 2 (April 21) - Story Bullets & The Beginning of Structural Writing
Your Logline As A Loaded Gun
Your Hero and The Emotional Flaw
Audio: Your Hero & Emotional Flaw
The Secondary Helper (Supporting Character, Supporting the Hero’s Arc)
The Rival, Threat and/or Opponent
2nd Act Series of Obstacles
Sequence Writing and Prepping the 1st Act
Audio: Sequence Writing and Prepping The 1st Act
Assignments: 1st Act, and Character Set-Up
Update - Q & A!
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Day 3 (April 22) - Sequence Writing & Breaking Your Story From A Character Perspective
Where To Begin
The Villain, Rival, Opponent - Whatever He's Called! How is this Character Related to the Secondary Character?
An Easy Assignment...Just Listen!
Episode 1 of The Craft - Sequence 1 Breakdown - "We Need A Hero"
Episode 2 of The Craft - Sequence 2 Breakdown - "Setting It All Up"
Episode 3 of The Craft - Sequence 3 Breakdown - "The Unsung Hero"
Episode 6 of The Craft - "A Sidenote for the TV Writer"
Structural/Beat Breakdown and Outline
Assignments: Sequence Loglines
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Day 4 (April 23) - Continued Sequence Writing
You've Barely Begun, But...
Max Timm's, The Story Farm
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Day 5 (April 24) - Moment Listing & the 2nd Act
The 2nd Act, Moment By Moment
Audio: The 2nd Act, Moment By Moment
The Difference Between "Adventure" & "Journey"
Episode 4 of The Craft - Sequence 4 Breakdown. "The Promise of the Premise"
Episode 5 of The Craft - Sequence 5 Breakdown. "Success, Failure & the Villain"
Episode 7 of The Craft - Sequence 6 Breakdown - "The Mid-Point"
Moment Listing - Your Story Outline
Sequence Titles
Assignments: Writing Your Script in Outline Form
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Day 6 (April 25) - Continued Moment Listing and Building Your Outline
Just Keep Going
ISA's Writing Gigs
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Day 7 (April 26) - The Downward Spiral - Delivering the End of Your 2nd Act
A Couple Disclaimers Before We Start
Leading Up To The Low Point
Episode 8 of The Craft - Sequence 7 Breakdown - "The Doomed Honeymoon"
Episode 9 of The Craft - Sequence 8 Breakdown - "Love, Conflict, and Losing It"
Episode 11 of The Craft - Sequence 9 Breakdown - "The Dark Night of The Soul"
The Point of A Scene
Audio: The Point of A Scene
Assignment: Scene Writing Within Your Outline
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Day 8 (April 27) - And Now, For the Final Act...
Stating Theme and Your 3rd Act
Audio: Stating Theme and Your 3rd Act
Episode 12 of The Craft - Sequences 10 & 11 Breakdown - "Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?"
Episode 14 of The Craft - Sequence 12 Breakdown - "It's Not About the Victory"
Assignment: Still Going!
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Day 9 (April 28) - Great Dialogue, Killer Action, and Proper Formatting
What Makes For Great Dialogue?
Audio: What Makes For Great Dialogue?
Proper Screenplay Format
Assignment: Page Writing - Finally!
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Day 10 (April 29) – You're On Your Way - A Quick Word and Summary
What Now? And What Should You Expect?
Episode 13 of The Craft - "A Note on Motivation - Is It All Worth It?"
Audio: Pursuing a Wish and Manifesting Success
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