Draft Zero: a screenwriting podcast

Two emerging screenwriters – Chas Fisher and Stuart Willis – try to work out what makes great screenplays work. Discovering what it takes by analysing what successful writers put on the page.



episode 64: DZ-64: Backmatter - Controlling your Work, Treatments, and Writing Styles

In our annual Backmatter-only episode, Stu and Chas indulge themselves by offering personal opinions on the life and work of emerging screenwriters based on their own personal experience.

To that end, they discuss: what is and is not in your control in relation to an emerging writing career; choosing what project to develop next; using the Black List site to gain traction; the difference between treatments for pitching as opposed to for development; and the difference in writing style when writing on spec as against work for hire.

We also unexpectedly have a guest: David Wappel kindly joins us to share his thoughts on anchoring nouns.


  • Intro
  • What is in your control? (@ 05:27)
  • Choosing what to develop (@ 28:58)
  • Using the Black List site (@ 33:24)
  • Treatments for development vs for pitching (@ 59:47)
  • Writing on spec vs work for hire (@ 01:23:23)
  • Backmatter on backmatter (@ 01:37:37)


  • Wordplayer.com: WORDPLAY/Columns/55. "Time Risk" by Terry Rossio
  • M. Night Shyamalan on His Failures, His Successes, and Glass
  • The Black List site: www.blcklst.com 
  • Julio Olivera’s script reading services: www.wearethecontrarians.com/Julio-reads-your-script
  • Stranger Things pitch bible: http://www.zen134237.zen.co.uk/Stranger_Things/Stranger_Things_-_Bible.pdf
  • Can’t watch a rough cut lady song: https://youtu.be/4MNg3sSZ9F8
  • Write Along Podcast on Planners and Pantsers - www.writealongpodcast.com/2018/11/09/ep-2-planners-and-pantsers/
  • David Wappel is @davidwappel on Twitter and his website is www.davidwappel.com 

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

Many thanks to Daniel, Chris, Sandra, Jack, Jessie, Nick, Khrob and Theis for being top-level patrons. They’re good humans.


 2020-01-30  1h42m