10 screenwriting lessons from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

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Poster Courtesy of Marvel Studios for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

With Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 garnering rave reviews, we sit down with screenwriting instructor Dan Calvisi and discuss 10 screenwriting lessons the film can teach budding writers.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is shaping up to be another blockbuster for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Is that really a surprise? Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, and Groot return to the silver screen and are again tasked with saving … well … the galaxy.

However, what makes this outing unique is director James Gunn’s choice of telling a smaller story—getting more intimate with the characters. That’s not to say that the film doesn’t have amazing spectacle—it’s definitely still an action-packed movie filled with the latest in visual effects wizardry.

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What Gunn has done is peel back several layers of these characters, giving the audience more insight into what drives them. In the first film, among a daunting task of retrieving an Infinity Stone and saving Xandar, our heroes shed some light on who they were. In Vol. 2, we’re afforded a deeper exploration, and a much more emotional one at that.

With those things in mind, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 serves as a great example of good screenwriting and storytelling. It has a strong theme (family—fathers and sons) which ties directly into the plot, and, above all, compelling characters who are able to drive the story forward.

If you’re an amateur screenwriter, we have something that will definitely interest you. Screenwriter and instructor Dan Calvisi of Act Four Screenplays joins me in analyzing the best elements of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. In our discussion, we’ve distilled these nuggets of information and created 10 screenwriting lessons:

You can also follow along with this companion slideshow which highlights the most important tips from each lesson.