If a screenplay (or novel) is going to fail, it will first do so at the premise level. Consequently, knowing how to create, design and validate a story idea are essential skills every writer needs in their toolbox. The premise line is the only reliable tool that can tell you, BEFORE you start writing pages, whether or not your story will have legs. It is your canary in the coal mine, and when fully mastered can save you time, money and months of potentially wasted writing time. In this introductory workshop participants will learn how to master the process of premise line development and story validation, the essential first steps in any script’s development process. Based on his book, Anatomy of a Premise Line: How to Master Premise and Story Development for Writing Success (Focal Press, 2015), participants will have the opportunity to work one-on-one with Jeff Lyons, in “the hot seat,” and have their stories evaluated right in class. This is a powerful teaching tool illustrating how quickly and effectively the process can be applied to any story idea.