Diana McManus

Screenwriting Instructor

I will teach the basics of screenwriting. I've written several feature and short screenplays. I attend a local screenwriting group that meets every week. In 2020, two of my scripts won awards in contests.

Hello! This is my story.

I’ve been screenwriting since 2008 as a hobby. I’ve been attending a screenwriters group in Austin, Texas since then, too. I’ve written two dramas, two science fictions, and two romantic comedies. One of romantic comedies titled “The Love Chef” won best rom com in the Houston Comedy Film Festival in 2020. It also won as a finalist in the rom com and Texas screenwriters in the Austin Comedy Short Film Festival. One of my science fiction screenplays titled “Secret Mission to Zeta Reticuli” won best feature in the “It Came from the Sky” contest in Wisconsin in 2020. I feel I have learned a lot about screenwriting and would love to share my knowledge with you.

1) Formatting
a) Introduction of characters (caps and age)
b) Scene heading is all caps and location (may add INSERT or SUPER)
c) Action lines showing what characters are doing
d) Characters (caps) and dialogue
e) Read my script “The Love Santa” and assign each student to write a short
2) Plot and Structure
a) Plot needs a satisfying ending which is moved by each scene showing the goal of the main character
b) Structure – plot points with 3 act structure (set-up, conflict, and resolution) and a catalyst scene around the first few pages to move the story
c) Both are about engaging an audience in the story
d) Talk about good movies and things about my script “The Love Santa”.
3) Characters
a) Unique with own voice
b) Flawed to perfection in character arc
c) Description of characters in scripts
d) Talk about my character in my script
4) Dialogue
a) Define “on the nose” and subtext
b) Needs to reveal background of character and plot
c) Minimize questions and show conflict (even with comedy)
d) Talk about my script and movies with good dialogue
5) Read short scripts from students and talk about them.

My Education

Associate of science degree
Houston Community College 1979

My Experience

Reading Screenplays for the Austin Film Festival and Hampton International Film Festival
Attending workshops for screenwriting
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