10 screenwriting lessons from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

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Screen Capture from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

We can’t guarantee that you’ll instantly write a $1 billion blockbuster. But if these lessons are taken to heart and followed, your screenplay will start to take the form of a cohesive story. Remember, characters drive the story, and the theme is what the story is really about. You find your characters, you’ll find your theme.

In order to have effective characters, you must first understand them—and that entails sitting down and listing out every single trait. Treat your characters as if they’re real people spilling their deepest darkest secrets to you. You don’t have to embarrass your characters like how Drax embarrassed Peter, but they should, at least, affect you on an emotional level.

Writing good characters and finding a theme are daunting tasks. It takes time to hone those skills. It’s important to always take a step back and know where your story is going. We hope that these 10 lessons will help you develop a better story.

Dan Calvisi is professional movie studio story analyst, teacher, writer, and private screenplay consultant with over 15 years of experience working professionally on the craft and business of screenplays.

He’s currently the owner of Act Four Screenplays and is the developer of the “Story Maps” method. He is also the author of Story Maps: How to Write a GREAT Screenplay and Story Maps: TV Drama.

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Production Details

Official Synopsis

"Set to the backdrop of “Awesome Mixtape #2,” Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand."

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was released on May 5, 2017

It is directed by James Gunn, written by James Gunn, and stars Chris Pratt as Peter Quill / Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer, Vin Diesel as Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Michael Rooker as Yondu Udonta, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Sean Gunn as Kraglin Obfonteri, Glenn Close as Irani Rael, Nathan Fillion as Simon Williams, Tommy Flanagan as Tulk, Pom Klementieff as Mantis, Elizabeth Debicki as Ayesha, Kurt Russell as Ego, and Sylvester Stallone as Stakar, with Chris Sullvian as Taserface, and Steve Agee as Gef.