Breaking down the traditional structures of screenplays in an innovative and progressive way, while also investigating the ways in which screenplays have been traditionally told, this book interrogates how screenplays can be written to reflect the diverse life experiences of real people.

Author Jess King explores how existing paradigms of screenplays often exclude the very people watching films and TV today. Taking aspects such as characterization, screenplay structure, and world-building, King offers ways to ensure your screenplays are inclusive and allow for every person’s story to be heard. In addition to examples ranging from Sorry to Bother You to Portrait of a Lady on Fire, four case studies on Killing Eve, Sense8, I May Destroy You, and Vida ground the theoretical work in practical application. The book highlights the ways in which screenplays can authentically represent and uplift the lived experiences of those so often left out of the narrative, such as the LGBTQIA+ community, women, and people of color. The book addresses a current demand for more inclusive and progressive representation in film and TV and equips screenwriters with the tools to ensure their screenplays tell authentic stories, offering innovative ways to reimagine current screenwriting practice towards radical equity and inclusion.

This is a timely and necessary book that brings the critical lenses of gender studies, queer theory, and critical race studies to bear on the practice of screenwriting, ideal for students of screenwriting, aspiring screenwriters, and industry professionals alike.

chapter |12 pages


part Part I|58 pages

Towards a Critique of Screenwriting

chapter 2|13 pages

Reimagining Character

chapter 3|9 pages

Rethinking the Role of Conflict

chapter 4|11 pages

Changing the Narrative (Structure)

chapter 5|11 pages

On World-Building

part Part II|69 pages

Towards an Inclusive and Intersectional Practice of Screenwriting

chapter 6|12 pages

From Killing Eve to an Eve Who Kills

chapter 7|15 pages

Queer and Trans World-building in Sense8

chapter 9|18 pages

The Explicit and Specific Politics of Vida

chapter |8 pages


A Way Forward