Story Structure and Character Development

Gain a solid foundation in the essentials of screenwriting.

This unit provides a solid foundation in the essentials of screenwriting: concept, character, story, plot, dialogue, and structure. Guided by a professional screenwriter, students will examine format, the importance of visual storytelling, developing an economical writing style, the process of shaping story, creating compelling character arcs, constructing scenes and sequences, writing effective dialogue, the fundamentals of suspense and tension, and how to outline. The realities of the marketplace will also be discussed. Through writing exercises, students will implement the dynamics discussed in class. Scenes will be workshopped.

While the unit’s primary focus is on developing scripts for film, television, and the web, many of the lessons will also resonate for novelists, playwrights, game designers, and filmmakers working in non-fiction. Producers and directors are also encouraged to attend.