HON 3396C (351285)
University Honors Program
A Structured Approach to Writing for the Screen
Fall Semester 2009
This course offers a comprehensive study of the art and the craft of turning creative story
concepts into polished screenplays.
During a semester of intensive writing, readings,
script analyses, and critiques, writers complete assignments in story, character, structure,
and script development, while expanding their writer’s portfolios. Each writer completes a
full-length screenplay as the capstone project for the semester.
Meetings in Theatre Room 501. Mondays and Wednesdays, 11:00 AM-12:20 PM
are urged to attend area script readings and film series, and to participate in area and
national screenwriting competitions.
This is a seminar workshop course for writers, not a lecture course. Each class member
conceives, plans, and writes projects for the screen. Members of the class are expected to
participate, collaborate, interact, and mentor each other throughout this study of
screenwriting. Course meetings focus on story-telling through dramatic action and
dialogue. At the beginning of the semester we will read, analyze, and compare produced
screenplays; we will then study the theories, approaches, and recommendations of leading
screenwriters and screenwriting gurus; following the introductory work, we will write,
read, analyze, critique, and compare the stories and scripts created by writers in the class.
1130 Spruce Street, Lockhart, TX 78644-2440
512-376-7767 (local from San Marcos/Austin/Lockhart)
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Individual meetings by appointment before class meetings; or at my office in Lampasas
Hall, Room 409, Mondays and Wednesdays.
See Course Bibliography
Additional Reading, Viewing, and Research:
See Course Bibliography
Goals and Objectives:
gain an overview of the creative approaches to story-telling through visual media;
learn to tell stories through action and dialogue, using only what can be seen and
heard—a more restricted set of techniques than allowed in prose fiction;
develop the habit of keeping a writer’s journal to record story ideas and observations;
learn and practice industry standard formats for motion pictures and television scripts;
learn to organize, structure, and develop dramatic screenplays;
learn and apply the elements of dramatic development, including ideas, character
sketches, synopses, treatments, and script drafts;
gain experience in presenting work to agents and producers;
explore the applications of writing film, television, and mixed media productions;
prepare a presentation portfolio that includes writing completed during the semester.