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Faculty details character-driven screenwriting, storytelling

Exploring the protagonist’s journey and their
(DePaul University/Jeff Carrion)
The Protagonist's Journey: An Introduction to Character-Driven Screenwriting and Storytelling

By: Scott Myers, School of Cinematic Arts

Exploring the protagonist’s journey and their
(Image courtesy of Palgrave MacMillan)

​​​​Character drives plot. Based on this principle, "The Protagonist's Journey" walks aspiring writers through the fascinating world of character-driven screenwriting. When a writer engages their characters, they start a process which naturally leads to the story’s structure and everything else that makes for a well-written narrative. Exploring the protagonist’s journey and their “unity arc,” the book explains how a family of characters surrounds the protagonist and influences their transformation process. This easy-to-follow guide features activities that will help writers of any level develop their stories from concept to scene-by-scene outline.​​

What inspired you to write this book?

I am passionate about stories and storytelling, especially in movies and television. Over the years, with my own writing and in working with students as a teacher, I have discovered the best writing is character-driven writing. That is what inspired me to write "The Protagonist's Journey."

What’s the most surprising thing you learned while writing this book?​

This type of writing is significantly different than fiction writing, one I found to be challenging. While one of my goals was to write a book which is academically rigorous, I also wanted it to be readable, even enjoyable. I ended up approaching the process much like I do when I write a screenplay: tell a story. Surprisingly, I think it works.

About the author:

Scott Myers is an assistant professor of screenwriting at DePaul. He has written 30 projects at nearly every major Hollywood studio and broadcast network. He hosts, which "Writers’ Digest" named “Best of the Best Scriptwriting Website.” He is a graduate of the University of Virginia and Yale University Divinity School.

​​Publisher and publication date:

Palgrave Macmillan, March 2022​

Signed by the Author allows DePaul faculty and staff to introduce their recently published or upcoming book or chapter to the university community. To submit your book or chapter for consideration, contact Newsline. See more books published by faculty and staff in the Signed by the Author column.