Ways into screenwriting
Time: 19:40 - 21:40
Location: KS - Keeley Street
This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
What is the course about?
This is a practical course that provides a basic grounding in the craft and terminology of screenwriting. Writing exercises, group discussion and presentations by the tutor will teach you the key skills, including structure, character and dialogue. At the end of the course you should have produced a short screenplay and an outline for a full-length project.
Students say: "Good group and atmosphere - I probably achieved more than I could ever have dreamt possible"; "I really liked the pace, the information and knowledge given"; "Always interesting and very encouraging and motivating"; "It gave me the ability to actually write a screenplay rather than just think about it.".
What will we cover?
• Exploring genres and their key conventions
• Structure in scriptwriting: three-act structure and scene writing
• Basic formatting conventions for screenwriting
• Creating characters and writing convincing dialogue.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Develop original ideas for scripts and produce new writing
• Discuss and analyse excerpts from screenplays/television scripts with confidence
• Give and receive constructive feedback on work-in-progress with sensitivity, insight, and confidence
• Identify at least three different genres and their key conventions in screenwriting and apply knowledge where relevant to your own work
• Identify parts of the three-act structure in narrative and their specific function, and demonstrate understanding in your written work
• Identify at least five basic script formatting conventions and demonstrate these in your written work.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
Although this is an introductory screenwriting course, previous writing experience is useful. An ability to write and speak fluent English is vital.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Through discussion, presentations, viewing of film and TV extracts. There will be writing exercises both during and outside the class, evaluated by your tutor and fellow students.
All writing courses at City Lit will involve an element of workshop. This means that students will produce work which will be discussed in an open and constructive environment with the tutor and other students. The college operates a policy of constructive criticism, and all feedback on another student’s work by the tutor and other students should be delivered in that spirit.
For classes longer than one day regular reading and writing exercises will be set for completion at home to set deadlines.
City Lit Writing endeavours to create a safe and welcoming space for all and we strongly support the use of content notes in our classes. This means that learners are encouraged to make their tutor and classmates aware in advance if any writing they wish to share contains material that may be deemed sensitive. If you are unsure about what might constitute sensitive content, please ask your tutor for further clarification and read our expectations for participating in writing courses at City Lit.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Please bring a pen and paper.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
If you would like to continue developing your skills at the introductory level, you are welcome to enrol on another term of Ways into screenwriting though we recommend you do so with another tutor so as to experience a fresh approach. Or, if you feel comfortable you can progress to Developing your screenwriting where you will produce more of your own work and explore key concepts in greater depth. Information from the tutor concerning other courses will also be offered.
All students are invited to join us at Late Lines, our regular performance night for City Lit writers. Students are also encouraged to submit their work to Between the Lines, our annual anthology of creative writing. For the latest news, courses and events, stay in touch with the Department on Facebook and Twitter.
Neil Arksey has had a number of novels for children and young adults published by Penguin Random House. His writing has been shortlisted for and won a number of prizes. He was also part of the team that created the highly successful Little Robots TV pre-school TV series for the BBC as well as writing Kipper the Dog and other TV series for younger children. As screenwriter, story editor, consultant, head writer and series producer, Neil Arksey has been responsible for over a thousand episodes of TV drama. In the UK, he has worked on shows such as Crossroads, Family Affairs, Doctors, Mile High, and River City. And abroad, amongst other projects, he was head writer on Finnish TV drama Salatut Elämät, (Secret Lives) and series story producer on Jóban Rosszban, a hospital drama set and based in Budapest. Neil has also worked in script development for Freemantle and Global Drama Productions. He co-produced dark indie feature film, Run To Ground. In addition to working as a writer and producer, Neil has taught writing at several universities, colleges and film schools.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.