October 8, 2017
“You are a storyteller. You were born that way.” —Dan Harmon
Does storytelling come naturally to you? That’s kind of a tricky question, right? On one hand, we can pretty capably tell a co-worker about our crazy weekend, but on the other hand, we can spend hours staring at a blank page, completely stuck on how to write our next scene. Really, while storytelling might be an inherent skill we’re all born with, the ability to put that skill to work on paper may not be.
However, one writer that seems to really have this screenwriting thing down is Dan Harmon. His work on Community, Rick and Morty, and countless other TV series has shown us that consistent quality is attainable, but one show, in particular, reveals a unique spirit of storytelling that relies less on talent and labor and more on creative instinct, the improvised D&D knock-off HarmonQuest. In this video essay, Sage Hyden of Just Write discusses what screenwriters can learn about storytelling from improv, practice, and going with your gut.