DZ-106: How do you know if you have enough story?

How do you know if you have enough narrative fuel to write a script?

In this episode, Chas, Stu and Mel attempt to answer a listener question:

“In your own pre-writing process, how do you know you have enough for a feature? And do you have a specific pre-writing method you’re going to?”

Thus we launch into a discussion on our writing processes and the varying usefulness of tools such as log lines, turning points, beat sheets, synopsis, treatments, and scene breakdowns. We also tackle the challenges encountered while developing an idea to first draft, such as balancing the pace of the story, developing distinct character voices, character choices, plot changes, pacing, and thematic clarity.

Is this backmatter? Or is it development tools? You decide! Hahaha.

Thanks so much to Chris Walker for his excellent editing on this episode!


  • 00:00:00 – Cold Open
  • 00:00:30 – Introduction: Falling Short
  • 00:02:38 – Our Development Processes
  • 00:33:06 – Developing from concept
  • 00:45:26 – Sponsor: Arc Studio Pro
  • 00:48:12 – Expanding your Idea
  • 01:15:29 – Long Short Documents
  • 01:27:22 – Consistent problems with first drafts
  • 01:34:28 – Many thanks to our Patreons!

This episode brought to you by (drum roll):

And how can we forget our awesome Patreons, especially Lily,  Alexandre, Malay, Casimir, Jennifer, Thomas, Randy, Jesse, Sandra, Theis, and Khrob.

Please considering rating or subscribing to us on Apple Podcasts or sharing us on the Social Medias! We like finding new listeners.

We are @stuwillis, @chasffisher and @mehlsbells on twitter. You can also find @draft_zero and @_shotzero on Instagram and Twitter.