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Nothing currently scheduled as I'm producing a romantic comedy ANNALIESE! ANNALLIESE!. See Storycraft Training link at left for the on-ling verion of my 2-3 day workshop.

Seminar & Workshop

Schedule & Registration Past Participant Comments
Workshop Content Past Workshops List

Workshop Slide Sets
Rochester 2014 All Day Event
Part 1 PDF --- Part 2 PDF --- Part 3 PDF --- Part 4 PDF.

LA Spotlight. May 10, 2014

Detroit Working Writers May 17, 2014

Glory Reelz Conf. 6-7-14, 2014

Crystal Creek Filmmakers Forum 9-6-14, 2014

The files are large, give them time to download.

Send request for seminar or workshop to:

Workshop Content
The Secrets to All Successful Stories (Films or Novels)

DISCLAIMER: Depending on the workshop length and logistic concerns the form and content of the workshop may change without notice. All workshops include a detailed description of the Secrets of all successful stories, with emphasis on motion picture narratives. This is done, conveniently, with a comprehensive presentation of the moral premise concept with practical suggestions for its implementation. The "Ah-Ha!" moment comes when you see the simple, lock-step connection between a single moral premise statement, and EVERYTHING dealing with the movie's creation -- from story structure, to art direction, to marketing. There will be time to ask questions both in the class and during breaks or afterwards. Depending on the length of time available we may (or may not) have time to delve in the stories that participants are working on.


Depending on the length of the presetantion, you will learn the most fundamental elements of all successful story structure, whether they are in the form of a movie, a stage play, or a novel. The moral premise is not a new idea. It has been an integral part of all story-telling from ancient times. Yet, it may be the most important of all.


Narrative writers, producers, and directors of all story genres and media will find this session beneficial, if not foundational. Fans of motion pictures may also want to attend. If you're a writer this session will give you a practical understanding of the moral premise that will speed along and improve the quality of your story's structure. In many ways the moral premise is a powerful muse; when used correctly it will inspire and focus your efforts, and powerfully connect you with your audience. Say "Good-bye" to writer's block. As a fan you'll have a greater appreciation of movies, plays, and novels when you understand and see how writers and directors use the moral premise as the center and motive force of their tales.


The seminar lectures will be illustrated by both computer graphics and motion clips from popular films. Dr. Williams will, for the most part, follow the structure of the book. The presentation is continually being updated with new insights thanks to the generous contribution of past session participants, bloggers, story consulting sessions, and, of course, new films. The outline below, therefore, may be slightly different from one presentation to the next. Shorter presentations have no exercises. All day workshops include times to test out the principles with exercises and Q&A periods.

The 10-21 Secrets of Successful Stories

How many you hear about depends on how many hours I have.

  • The Purpose of Story
  • What Makes a Story True
  • The 2 Ubiquitous Spines of All Stories
  • The 2 Realms of Natural Law and Cause & Effect
  • How the Moral Premise Unites Physical & Psychological
  • The 3 Ways to Evaluate a Story's Success
  • The 8 Steps of Story Development
  • The 6 Elements of a Successful Hook
  • The 5 Parts of an Engaging Log Line
  • The 2 Extremes That Drive a Story's Drama


  • The 4 Parts of the Moral Premise Statement (MPS)
  • How the MPS Connects Vice, Virtue, and Consequences
  • Specific Examples: Die Hard, The Incredibles, A Beautiful Mind, Liar! Liar!, Ratatouilee, What Women Want, etc.
  • Physical Effects - Psychological Cause
  • The 5 Characteristics of an Engaging Protagonist


  • Where the MPS is Recognized
  • The All Important Midpoint of Act 2
  • How the MOG Determines the Story's End
  • Examples
  • Consistent Application of MPS in All Crafts


  • The 13 Steps of the Main Spine
  • The 3 Turning Points of the Protagonist
  • The 2 Turing Points of the Antagonist
  • Capstone Exercise using "George Lucas in Love"


  • All Vice contains a Virtue
  • All Virtue contains a Vice
  • Dramatic Thrust from Both Ends


  • 5 Acts - A. F. Purchase Model
  • 7 Acts - Stages of Greif
  • 12 Stages - The Mythic Hero
  • 15 Beats - Blake Snyder (BS2)
  • Combination Beat Chart
  • Emotional Roller Coast Charting


  • The Multiple Facets of a Character's Life
  • Goals for Every Facet
  • A Subplot for Every Goal
  • Protagonist Goals vs. Other Character Goals
  • Carding Out Plots
  • Sophisticated Story Plotting Make Simple
  • Dramatic Irony and the Story's Hook
  • The 7 Secrets of Oscar Award Winning Scripts
  • Capstone Example: The Karate Kid (2010)
  • Anti-Capstone Example: The Hurt Locker

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