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Scriptwriting Workshop 1: The Essentials of Stage and Screen (The 30 Minute Script)


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 5
  • Convenor: to be confirmed
  • Assessment: a 30-page, 30-minute industry-formatted script (100%)

Module description

In this module we take you from first principles of dramatic writing, such as initiating action, dramatic structure, character development and arc, scene structure, subtext and plot development, right through to the development and rewriting of your own 30-minute script in your chosen medium of stage or screen.

Along the way, you will explore not only what the various forms of dramatic writing share in common, but also how the particular media of stage or screen make their own aesthetic demands, and often through their own limitations, provide opportunities to create new magic and meaning. In each three-hour session, you will study a classic of world theatre and world cinema in relation to an aspect of writing for the stage and screen.

Through class-based writing, group and homework exercises, you will learn to apply some of these aspects of craft to your own work. Then you will write your own extended pieces of work, present them in workshops and develop them with your fellow writers.

You will also receive a 10-minute one-to-one tutorial from your course tutor in each term.

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • demonstrate awareness and control of the rudiments of dramatic writing in either or both the stage and screen forms
  • discuss and evaluate the work of fellow students and established screenwriters and playwrights in relation to elements of craft
  • interpret, self-evaluate and communicate constructive feedback
  • maintain a regular writing habit and produce more effective creative work independently
  • understand sources of inspiration and creativity
  • use language and dramatic technique more confidently, precisely and imaginatively
  • experiment with style and form
  • display confidence and fluency in your own writing
  • solve craft-related problems in your creative work
  • implement the practice of redrafting and editing
  • sustain and evaluate a work-in-progress
  • demonstrate an awareness of the industry-standard expectations for the presentation of playwriting and screenwriting
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of classic stage and film screenplays
  • think critically and independently about creative works you have written and read
  • demonstrate the ability to edit and revise, to apply technique and critical analysis to the development of a piece of creative work
  • present ideas and arguments in a variety of modes: visually, orally, verbally, reflectively, in practice, in groups, in writing
  • work more efficiently and constructively within a group to critique work
  • participate in workshop or small group discussion by listening and contributing ideas
  • complete a 30-minute play or screenplay.