Anatomy of a Premise Line: Mastering Premise and Story Development for Screenwriters

Event Date: Saturday, October 19, 2019 || Speaker: Jeff Lyons  || Check-in: 12:30 pm ||

If a screenplay (or novel) is going to fail, it will first do so at the premise level. Consequently, knowing how to create, design and validate a story idea are essential skills every writer needs in their toolbox. The premise line is the only reliable tool that can tell you, BEFORE you start writing pages, whether or not your story will have legs. It is your canary in the coal mine, and when fully mastered can save you time, money and months of potentially wasted writing time. In this introductory workshop participants will learn how to master the process of premise line development and story validation, the essential first steps in any script’s development process. Based on his book, Anatomy of a Premise Line: How to Master Premise and Story Development for Writing Success (Focal Press, 2015), participants will have the opportunity to work one-on-one with Jeff Lyons, in “the hot seat,” and have their stories evaluated right in class. This is a powerful teaching tool illustrating how quickly and effectively the process can be applied to any story idea.  See more details below:


**The deadline has passed and REGISTRATION is now CLOSED for this event. Please view our calendar for upcoming events.



More details:

This class:

  •      Covers the essentials of premise and log line development
  •      Teaches the 2 essential structures needed to tell any story
  •      Teaches the Anatomy of a Premise Line Process
  •      Shows how to cut your story development time in half
  •      Explains how story, plot and character all work to reveal structure
  •      Uses test cases from literature and the movies

Jeff Lyons is a traditionally published author, screenwriter, and story development consultant in the film, television, and publishing industries. He has worked with major studios like NBCU and Columbia Pictures; and leading independent producers such as LaToya Morgan, Gail Parent, Robert Pringle, the Ilya Salkind Company, and many others. He is a regular contributor and advisor to leading entertainment industry screenwriting and producing fellowship programs, such as the Producers Guild of America’s “Power of Diversity Master Producers Workshop,” and the Film Independent Screenwriting Lab. Most recently Jeff was story consultant on Flytrap (My Man Productions), nominated for 16 indie film festival nominations and garnering 10 wins for director Stephen David Brooks, and he has one of his novellas, 13 Minutes, optioned for feature film development. Another of his scripts, American Thunderbolt, the true and inspiring story of Billy Miske, an American boxing legend, is being produced by Hargenant Media, UK, for a 2021 release.

His newest book on the craft of storytelling is being published by Focal Press/Routledge in Oct. 2019, Rapid Story Development: How to Use the Enneagram-Story Connection to Become a Master Storyteller.


Rapid Story Development Book (Preorder on Amazon Now)

Anatomy of a Premise Line  (On Amazon Now)


Join us on the Third Saturday every month at:

CBS Studio Center
4024 Radford Avenue
Studio City, CA 91604


Free Parking — Enter the CBS* lot at the main gate & inform security you are there for the Scriptwriters Network event.

*You must RSVP by the deadline mentioned above in order to be on our RSVP list for Security clearance onto CBS’ lot. If you do not RSVP by the date above, you will not be allowed onto CBS’ lot.

You’ll be asked for your government issued photo ID and then given directions to the meeting location. CBS’ Security will also direct you to a parking spot.

As this is a professional event, we ask that you please arrive prior to the event start time for networking.


Meeting Timeframe: 1:00 pm to approximately 3:00 pm

Please remember to bring a picture ID!

Any questions, email us at [email protected].


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