Mastering Misdirection: The Art of Beguiling the Reader and Audience Through Your Writing

Remember how you felt as a kid when you saw a magic trick?

Stories are like that. The best ones are powerful emotional magic tricks.

Audiences willingly suspend their disbelief in order to best experience this illusion.

But when the illusion becomes visible, when you can sense it, or figure it out, the enchantment in the reader or audience quickly turns to something else. Disinterest. Or worse, outright disdain.

The currency we are bargaining with here is time. I give you my time so long as you enchant me with your story. Whether that’s a reader, producer, actor or the final audience. Keep them enchanted and you will find success.

The question for you is this: Does your most recent script enchant? Consistently?

Join us and Master Misdirection in your storytelling.

When: October 17th (10am to 4pm)
Where: Online
How Much: £37
Max Participants 16

Given many narratives are structurally very similar, how on earth do we maintain the illusion for the duration of our story? And in such a way that even to the most educated person, the story feels like some kind of ‘dark art’?

Audiences know and LOVE when they experience story sorcery, and producers love that because it massively increases the chances of the project being a hit.

The answer is of course, a great story well told. Compelling characters. Crackling dialogue. Well honed structure.

It’s underpinned by misdirection, line by line, scene by scene, so the overall experience is profoundly satisfying for the reader and audience.

In a very real sense, as storytellers, we need to control the focus of the audience while our metaphorical other hand is performing the mechanics of the illusion.

Surprise. Mystery. Revelation. Insight. All result in un-put-down-able page turners.

Just to be clear: Yes we all love ‘The Sixth Sense’, but this workshop is not just about a big twist at the end.

And the good news is that this work begins in drafts two or three, once you have your structure and characters in place. It’s refinement and elegance, pace and pauses, supertext and subtext.

As one great writing teacher puts it, ‘if your characters are talking about what’s actually happening, you are fucked’.

Spend a day mastering the most important aspect of your script: The words unspoken. The actions untaken. The temptations that generate internal and external conflict. And learn the wordsmith’s proxy for a spectacular magic trick, by mastering misdirection.

Guide the reader and audience so they feel and connect powerfully. Let them think they are sure where you are leading them, then surprise them, but always within the confines of their expectations.

Through examples, seminar and exercises, your writing will deepen, word by word, sentence by sentence and scene by scene, into a sumptuous and compelling experience for the reader, the viewer, and most importantly, the producers who will find it much easier to get greenlit.

During this workshop you will work directly on your own writing so have a recent draft or some pages ready and at hand.

If you’ve ever been told your script is too “on the nose,” this course is for you.

Master the magic ‘illusion’ and enchant the audience. That’s GREAT storytelling.

This class is run by screenwriter Bob Schultz. For more than 20 years, Bob has been training screenwriters , helping thousands of writers clarify their stories, reorganise their ideas and build confidence to bring the very best version of any writer, to the opportunities they create.