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Screenwriting Course

4 weeks

Aimed at:



This course has no available dates.

Course Overview

Have you ever travelled to work or sat in an office and a great idea for a story has popped into your head?  Do you have ideas written down on scraps of paper or half finished scripts in a drawer?  Do you sometimes watch television and know that you can do better?  Is the only thing holding you back knowing where to start?  Whether you want to write for film, television or radio if this sounds like you then this course is for you.  Amongst the endless piles of scripts that come through their doors producers, development execs and editors are yearning to discover originality – the writer with something to say and a unique way of saying it.   There is no reason why this shouldn’t be you...

This screenwriting course is designed for anyone wanting to write a script for film or TV. You don't need any prior experience - just a burning desire to tell a story with pictures. On completing the course writers should have all the writing tools they need to complete a compelling and engaging 1st draft of their chosen script. 

On this course you will learn:

* The difference between story and plot

* The importance of research

* How to create engaging characters

* The dos and don’ts of dialogue

* Writing a captivating first ten pages

* And how to deal with critical, constructive feedback

A couple of our happy graduates:  

I found the Writers Workshop ‘Screenwriting’ course to be very helpful – not only was the tutor, Ray Grewal, very honest with his feedback, but it for me it has simplified the process of writing a screenplay and enabled me to identify the areas on which I need to work if I'm to produce a good one!  Elaine

I signed up for this course hoping it would help make sense of my chaotic experience of scriptwriting; and that's exactly what it did for me. By breaking down the writing process into a clear step-by-step method, this course presented a logical way of approaching any story and turning it into a script. I found the platform of the course very helpful too, as I was able to ask questions and exchange ideas with other aspiring writers. More importantly,showing your work to others while it is still in its early stages allows you to spot problems and get more ideas, therefore to build stronger stories more quickly – and all that in a friendly atmosphere!  Jim

Course Syllabus

Week One - The Pitch

Every story can be captured in a single sentence and this is always where you begin.  A good story is about an interesting character who faces an engaging dilemma which has a satisfying conclusion.  In the first week writers will be encouraged to come up with several one sentence pitches from which the strongest will be chosen.
Then we take the single sentence and develop it into the pitch document: 1-2 A4 pages where writers develop the main character and give a clear sense of what happens in the beginning of the story, an idea of what happens in the middle and clear ending.

Week Two - The World

Using the pitch document as our foundation we now expand and develop the world of the story: who is/are the main character/s? What were they doing before the story began – a week ago, a year ago, ten years ago?  Where is the story set and how does this impact on the characters? – the locations of television series such as ‘Downton Abbey’ and ‘Shameless’ are almost characters in their own right.  When is the story set?  Shane Meadows has made a career capturing the political and cultural nuances of England’s recent past in his ‘This is England’ series of films and television programmes.  The clothes, music and the prevalent ideologies are all important to the story you are telling – be aware of them and take full advantage of them.

Week Three - The Plot Thickens

It is now time to expand the 1-2 page pitch document into a 10-15 page treatment.  This is the entire story written from beginning to end and is where the plot develops.  Plot is simply what happens in a story and the order it happens in and this should always be due to the choices made by the central character/s.  Here we look at how to make characters dynamic and how to make the choices and decisions they make engaging.

Week Four - The First Ten Pages

The 1st ten pages of a script are the most important: either you manage to intrigue the agent, producer, editor, reader or development exec in those ten pages or they will stop reading and the script will be rejected.  Here we will look at structuring scenes and writing dialogue that will make people want to keep reading – and how to avoid amateurish mistakes like opening a script with an explosion or someone getting shot.
On completing the course writers should have all the writing tools they need to complete a compelling and engaging 1st draft of their chosen script.

Course Tutors

Ray Grewal

Ray is an award winning writer with broadcast credits on the BBC and Channel 4, BBC Radio and in theatre. He has worked with writers such as Jeremy Brock (on a cop show set in Soho) and producers including Michael Wearing (on a sequel to the 1999 cinema hit Human Traffic). He has created original one-off dramas as well as working on established series. He was also part of a team of writers who created a late night series for Channel 4 about a group of young offenders serving community service.Ray began his training as a screenwriter with an undergraduate degree in film-making in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. He passed with 1st Class Honours and a Commendation in Screenwriting. He went on to study both in the UK and abroad taking workshops at the BBC in writing sit-coms, writing for radio and writing for Casualty as well as the Writer’s Academy: Series and Serials. He is a graduate of Robert McKee’s ‘Story Seminar’ and John Truby’s ‘Screenwriting Masterclass’. Ray continued his education into 2011 when he completed his MA in Writing for Performance at Goldsmith’s, University of London.Ray is currently working as a script editor and assessor for Creative England, and has worked in the BBC’s children’s drama development department as well as script edited Casualty for BBC1. He also freelances as a writer, editor and reader for independent production companies and occasionally contributes to writers' blogs.

Course Feedback

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Customer Reviews
Great materials and presenter - wish there had been more students9th November 2016
By Barb Ettridge
Review of: Screenwriting
The course is well presented with quality, professional materials and feedback. Having completed other online courses, I'm aware of the value that comments and questions from other students can add, s ... read more..
The course is well presented with quality, professional materials and feedback. Having completed other online courses, I'm aware of the value that comments and questions from other students can add, so I would have liked the opportunity to move to a different date with more participants. I have certainly gained some great insights and techniques from the course, which I have begun to use in what I'm working on now - and I can see the growth in my abilities in what I'm producing.

How our online courses work

Our courses are hosted on our own community site, The Word Cloud, which is a very friendly, intuitive and supportive writing community.

The tools and environment are very intuitive and easy to use: you won't have a problem. Each week, courses will include:

• A video introduction
• A written 'lecture'
• Interactive classroom discussion
• A writing exercise on the week's topic
• Feedback on your homework

All the course material can be accessed at any time of day or night. If you miss a few days, it will be easy to catch up. You are also warmly encouraged to interact with fellow-students - offer advice, give feedback and make friends. Find out more about how our courses work here.