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Screenwriting 2: Script Development (10 credit points)

Course Times & Enrolment

Wednesdays from 23rd April 2014 (Code F327) Add to Basket Wednesdays, 10:00am - 12 noon • (10 classes) Room LG47, Paterson's Land, Holyrood Campus • Tutor: Douglas Dougan MA MAIE
£100.00/£67.00 concessions

Course Summary

This fun and practical course guides those with a basic knowledge or experience of screenwriting in more advanced creative writing techniques. It will explore structure, character, scene writing, dialogue and screen forms in detail, and enable you to develop marketable story concepts.

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment

Students should have either a basic theoretical knowledge of screenwriting or some limited personal experience of writing scripts. It is an ideal continuation for those who have studied the Screenwriting - an Introduction to Writing for Film and TV course, but this is not a prerequisite.

Content of Course

  1. Introduction: what do we already know?
  2. Advanced character development
  3. Conflict: the driver of drama
  4. The art of subtext: adding depth to your script
  5. Workshop 1
  6. Giving your script meaning & showing it to your audience
  7. Understanding screenplay forms
  8. Writing for television
  9. Workshop 2
  10. Putting it all together: how to write a professional script in 10 easy steps!

Teaching method(s)

Lectures, screenings and analysis of clips/script excerpts. Students will be given practical exercises to work on individually and in groups to master the skills demonstrated.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students should be able to:

  • Identify and appreciate the complexities of a great original marketable screenplay.
  • Develop an idea into a marketable story.
  • Write with professional confidence.
  • Write with genuine confidence and effect for film and television.


Core Readings


McKee, R., 1997. Story, Harper Collins.
Vogler, C., 1999. The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structures for Storytellers and Screenwriters, Pan.
Edelstein, L., 1999. The Writer’s Guide to Character Traits, Writer’s Digest Books.
Tierno, M.,2002. Aristotle’s Poetics for Screenwriters, Hyperion.

Web Sources

Drew's Script-O-Rama (Hundreds of movie and TV scripts to download and read) -

Done Deal (Resource for screenplay, pitch, treatment sales and more) -

Screen Daily (Daily updates from the screen trade) -

Qwertyuiop (Screenwriting magazine) -

Class Handouts

Back-up notes, information and practical guidelines will be handed out at every class.


Open Studies 10 credit courses have one assessment. Normally, the assessment is a 2000 word essay, worth 100% of the total mark, submitted by week 12. To pass, students must achieve a minimum of 40%. There are a small number of exceptions to this model which are identified in the Studying for Credit Guide.

Studying for Credit

If you choose to study for credit you will need to allocate significant time outwith classes for coursework and assessment preparation. Credit points gained from this course can count towards the Certificate of Higher Education.

Student support

Please see the Open Studies Studying for Credit Guide for details about credit study, assessments and marking criteria. Full details are available from Reception.

Let our Student Guidance Officer know if you feel you have specific requirements to enable you to study an Open Studies course or complete assessments. Please contact Reception to arrange a confidential appointment with her. Giving us this information will enable us to make arrangements to meet your requirements for studying in accordance with your rights under the Disability Discrimination Act.