Welcome to the Screenwriting Tricks for Authors online site! Are you ready to write your first book or script—or to move your professional writing game to the next level?

I'm Alexandra Sokoloff. I'm a million-selling, Thriller Award-winning author. Before I started writing novels, I worked in Hollywood as a screenwriter, selling original scripts and doing novel assignments for most of the studios.

And I wrote the Screenwriting Tricks for Authors workbooks to help writers write better books and scripts—by learning from the movies.

I’ve taught the workshop to writers of all levels all over the world (and now online), from film school students to long-time international bestsellers. My workshop students have gotten agents and first book deals, launched six-figure indie careers, and grown and sustained bestselling sales as traditionally published authors.

They do it by using a method of dramatic storytelling that is the basis for pretty much every movie you've ever seen in your life.

Which means this is all going to make sense to you so quickly you’ll be amazed you’ve never noticed it before!

The thing is, you’ve already done years, a whole lifetime of research into storytelling. Because you’ve seen—how many hundreds of movies? Thousands?

Yeah. That many.

So you actually know everything you need to know about telling a story.


You just need to have someone put names to all the structure and scenes and characters and tricks and tropes and especially that initial story idea—so that you’re thinking about all of that consciously—and using all these storytelling tricks, instead of just absorbing them passively, as we usually do when we’re watching movies.

You can subscribe for free to get these posts in your inbox.

The posts use everyone’s favorite hobby (who doesn’t like talking about movies???) to painlessly teach:

- THE THREE-ACT, EIGHT-SEQUENCE STRUCTURE of Hollywood filmmaking, and how to apply it to your book or script—using your favorite movies. You won't just write a book that YOU love—but that everyone who reads it will respond to!

You’ll learn how to:

-      Shape your story idea into a PREMISE you love and that other people will love, too.

-      Plot your story using the THREE-ACT, EIGHT-SEQUENCE STRUCTURE to deliver maximum emotional impact for whatever genre you’re writing in. 

-      Create SETPIECES: scenes that are so memorable that any agent, editor or producer is going to get interested in your story.

-      Develop a VISUAL AND THEMATIC IMAGE SYSTEM that will deepen the meaning of your story and show buyers it's sellable.

-      Learn a  PROCESS FOR REWRITING once you have a first draft (because everything after that first draft is magically fun.)

And much, much more, including how to use my MASTER LIST METHOD, a trick for solving virtually every story problem that ever comes up for you.

Make this the year that you write your first book—or your best book ever.

Once you get going here, I strongly recommend that you buy one of the Screenwriting Tricks for Authors workbooks: Writing Love if you tilt toward romance, Stealing Hollywood if you’re more a genre or literary writer. These posts augment the workbooks with more current examples and different story breakdowns and in-depth discussions, but the workbooks cover all the material you need in an order I’ve developed over more than a decade of teaching—that works.

Get the workbooks:

Feel free to ask questions and request specific movies in the Comments! I love talking about movies that will be the most use to you.

Need some help? The Screenwriting Tricks for Authors workshop is available online, as a self-paced course with all the videos, assignments, movie breakdowns and personalized feedback you need to get that book written this year, 15 minutes at time.

In three parts, and you only pay for what you use.

Online Class

  • If you have a first draft of a book or script already, or need more feedback, get targeted help getting you over the finish line in The Writers’ Room.

The Writers' Room

Screenwriting Tricks for Authors is a reader-supported publication. You are welcome to subscribe to get weekly posts for free. Paid subscribers receive extra content weekly and support my ability to devote more time to this work. Thanks for reading!

Alexandra Sokoloff is the million-selling, award-winning author/screenwriter of fourteen crime and supernatural thrillers. The NY Times calls her books "Some of the most original and freshly unnerving work in the genre." Her Thriller Award-nominated Huntress Moon series follows a haunted FBI agent on the hunt for a female serial killer, turning hated tropes of violence against women inside out. She is also the author/teacher of the internationally acclaimed Stealing Hollywood workbooks, workshops, and blog. She lives in Los Angeles and in Scotland.

Screenwriting Tricks for Authors

Alex is an internationally acclaimed story structure teacher and workshop leader. She has presented her Screenwriting Tricks for Authors workshop for conferences such as Left Coast Crime, Thrillerfest, Romance Writers of America, Romance Writers of Australia, Bloody Scotland, the Scottish Association of Writers, PASIC, YARWA, and numerous small conferences and weekend retreats throughout the US,UK and New Zealand, as well as teaching film story structure at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles.

Alex’s extensive background in theater, screenwriting and publishing makes her uniquely qualified to teach story. Film structure is easily adaptable to novel writing and her emphasis on taking inspiration from favorite movies to unlock the secrets of story structure resonates with writers of all levels of experience.

All material © Alexandra Sokoloff, Screenwriting Tricks for Authors

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Write and sell your best book or script - using storytelling tricks from your favorite movies!


Million-selling, Thriller Award-winning crime author and screenwriter; workshop leader of the Screenwriting Tricks for Authors workshops and books.