The Perfect Ten: How to Grab the Reader

The Perfect Ten: How to Set Up A Screenplay that Sells from on Vimeo.

A killer first ten pages—the kind that’ll make an executive want to keep reading your script--boils down to a few key elements.

We’ll discuss what those elements are, cite great examples from exemplary screenplays, and do some live exercises together that will help you develop the perfect ten (or close to it ...) for your script.

In this session, we will cover the following:

  • Discuss the core elements that must go into your first ten pages.
  • Discover how to show your unique voice as a writer.
  • Explore how to prime the reader for the structure you’re about to build in your story.
  • Build a first page that will grab the reader right away.
  • Look at examples from iconic screenplays to see what works, and why it works.
  • Q&A

[Recorded April 10, 2024]

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Merridith Allen is a theater-trained performer and storyteller with an extensive background in martial arts. She writes about women wrestling with their demons (read: kicking their demons in the teeth), with a special focus on female-driven martial arts, drama, action, and dramedy. Excerpts from Merridith's produced plays can be found in over a dozen anthologies through Smith&Kraus Publishers. An award-winning screenwriter, Merridith has been the recipient of several prestigious writing fellowships from such organizations as The Sewanee Writer's Conference, VCCA, and the San Miguel Writer's Conference. As an instructor, Merridith has led writing workshops all over the world. Email:

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