John Madormo, a Chicago area screenwriter, author, and college professor, has created a body of work that has attracted the attention of motion picture producers and publishers. John has sold a family comedy screenplay to a Los Angeles production company, signed a contract for a three-book deal with a major New York publisher, and was recently named the Grand Prize winner of a national writing competition.
John has taught writing classes at the collegiate level for more than three decades. He has created a series of workshops for student writers, aspiring adult novelists, and struggling screenwriters from ages 8 to 88.
John's workshops are intended for a variety of audiences:
● elementary students
● middle-grade students
● high school students
● college students (writing majors and education majors)
He also conducts workshops for writers, young and old, at other venues as well:
● writers' clubs
● writing conferences
The workshops include lecture, discussion, in-class writing exercises and instructor/peer critiques. Each workshop is tailored to the
appropriate age level.
Here are some of John's most popular workshops:
● "The Elements of Storytelling"
● "Creating the Mystery"
● "Marketing the Manuscript"
● "So You Want to Be a Screenwriter"
In "The Elements of Storytelling," John discusses the following principles:
● Plot and subplot
● Creating unforgettable characters
● Maintaining empathy for your hero
● Making certain your protagonist isn't perfect
● Introducing physical and emotional goals for your protagonist
● Creating a believable villain
● Choosing setting and locale
● Weaving hurdles and obstacles into the storyline
● Making certain that the obstacles escalate in each new scene
● Choosing strong nouns and verbs
● Avoiding weak, bland, linking verbs
● How to handle writer's block
● Maintaining the proper vocabulary level for your reading audience
● Using, but not overusing, alliteration and consonance
● Conflict, conflict, conflict
● Foreshadowing, foreshadowing, foreshadowing
● Choosing the correct title for your book
● Working from either a synopsis or an outline
● Should you write what's in your heart or what the market will bear?
● This session includes a host of interactive class exercises
In "Creating the Mystery," John includes the following components:
● Knowing the ending of your story before you begin
● Introducing the hero, the villain, and the crime early in the story
● Beginning your story "in media res"
● Writing in first person vs. third person
● Adding suspense
● Creating the proper mood
● Maintaining believability
● Interspersing clues throughout
● Including Red Herrings
● Keeping your plot lines unpredictable at all times
● Creating chapter-ending cliffhangers
● Conducting the necessary research
● Maintaining the writer's invisibility at all times
● As well as in-class writing activities
In "Marketing the Manuscript," you will be asked the following questions:
What is the age range of your reader?
What is the genre of my manuscript?
Is this a stand-alone book or a series?
How much time can I devote to promotion?
What is my promotion budget?
Am I willing to interact with readers and accept their feedback?
Have you built a website for your book?
Have you set up a Facebook page? Will it be a fan page or an author page?
Have you joined Goodreads? Do you plan to?
If you've written a children's book, are you familiar with COPPA?
How can I promote my book on Twitter, Instagram, Tumbler, Pinterest, etc.?
Should I create a blog?
How can I advertise my book on the Internet?
Should I respond to a negative review?
How do I find an agent? Do I really need one?
If I can't find an agent, will editors read unsolicited manuscripts?
What is an advance? How does it work?
What percentage of a book's selling price does a writer receive in royalties?
If I can't find a traditional publisher, should I self-publish?
And on and on and on...
In "So You Want to Be a Screenwriter," the following topics are addressed:
Choosing your genre
Creating an original premise
The three-act structure
The 5 successful elements in every screenplay
Assigning plot points
Writing compelling, believable dialogue
Creating unforgettable characters
Proper screenplay formatting
Adapting a manuscript into a screenplay
Finding agents and managers
Joining the Writers Guild of America (WGA)
Finding an entertainment attorney
Signing a release
Attending pitchfests or pitching your script online
Hiring a script consultant or screenplay proofreader
Differences between an option and a purchase
Choosing the right screenplay software
...and much, much more