Creativity Catalyst Mark David Gerson applies his award-winning, story-freeing techniques
to the rule-bound world of screenwriting in Organic Screenwriting: Writing for Film, Naturally
“You don’t need to obsess about rules and structure to write an effective, compelling screenplay,” insists creativity catalyst Mark David Gerson.
Gerson, creator of The Q’ntana Trilogy of fantasy films and novels, award-winning author of four books for writers, and long-time writing coach and workshop facilitator, takes on Hollywood’s screenwriting orthodoxy in his newest book, Organic Screenwriting: Writing for Film Naturally.
The book, published last month in paperback and ebook, decries the emphasis that too many screenwriting books and classes place on outlines, structure and what Gerson calls “story engineering.”
“Writing for film doesn’t have to feel like an engineered exercise in story-building,” Gerson writes in Organic Screenwriting. “It can be a story-freeing adventure, not unlike those undertaken by explorers of old…a journey of discovery that retains all the magic, spontaneity and awe of childhood make-believe.”
According to Gerson, writing on what he calls the “Muse Stream” eliminates the need for the exhaustive preplanning so commonly set out as the only professional way to write screenplays. “When you write on the Muse Stream and are in tune with your characters, story and script, your screenplay’s acts, plot points and beats occur naturally and intuitively. They don’t need to be planned, plotted, engineered or graphed.”
Gerson first advanced his “Muse Stream” approach to writing in his landmark 2008 book, The Voice of the Muse: Answering the Call to Write. He describes it as an “unstructured, uncensored, right-brain outpouring” that has proven effective for all forms of writing — from drama to dissertations…and screenplays.
In Organic Screenwriting, Gerson offers many examples of how he applied the Muse Stream to his three Q’ntana screenplays. He also provides practical techniques, powerful exercises and a generous helping of inspiration to help novice and seasoned screenwriters alike get their stories onto the page without struggle.
“I wrote Organic Screenwriting,” Gerson explains, “because it was the book I wished had been available when I was starting out with my first screenplay.”
Acclaimed writer/director Luke Yankee (Diva Dish, Conversations on Craft) has welcomed Organic Screenwriting as the book that finally frees writers from “the mire of ‘how to get it right’ for Hollywood” and, instead, “gives us permission to do what we set out do in the first place: tell stories from our hearts.”
In addition to Organic Screenwriting, The Voice of the Muse and his three Q’ntana novels, Mark David Gerson has written From Memory to Memoir: Writing the Stories of Your Life, Writer’s Block Unblocked: Seven Surefire Ways to Free Up Your Writing and Creative Flow, Acts of Surrender: A Writer’s Memoir and The Book of Messages: Writings Inspired by Melchizedek. All his books are available in paperback and ebook from major online booksellers.
Gerson’s Q’ntana Trilogy of feature films is slated to go into production in 2015 with its first installment, The MoonQuest.