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Screenwriting 2: Script Development (10 credit points)

Course Times & Enrolment

Mondays from 15th January 2024 (Code FM088-224) Mondays from
15th January 2024 6:30pm - 8:20pm • (10 classes)
LG47 Paterson's Land, Holyrood Campus • Tutor: Douglas Dougan MA MAIE
This course is now closed for enrolments

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. Writing Conflict: the driver of drama.

3. Sequence Writing.

4. Scene Writing I.

5. Scene Writing II.

6. Dialogue Writing I.

7. Dialogue Writing II.

8. The art of subtext: adding depth to your script.

9. Visual Writing I.

10. Visual Writing II.

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

Students should not purchase books until the course is confirmed to run, and their teacher instructs them to do so.


· Vogler, C., 1999. The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structures for Storytellers and Screenwriters, Pan.

· Goldman, W., 1996. Adventures in the Screen Trade, Abacus

· Goldman, W., 2001. Which Lie Did I Tell?, Bloomsbury

· Edelstein, Linda N. (2nd edition, 2006), Writer’s Guide To Character Traits, Writer’s Digest Books

· Ackerman, Angela & Puglisi, Becca (2012) The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide To Character Expression. CreateSpace Independent Publishing

Web Sources Script-O-Rama: hundreds of movie and TV scripts to download and read (for education purposes). Internet Movie Script Database: professional movie scripts. Script Slug: more scripts to download and read. BBC Script Library: TV and radio scripts to download and read.

Class Handouts

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


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.


If you have questions regarding the course or enrolment, please contact COL Reception at Paterson's Land by email or by phone 0131 650 4400.

Student support

If you have a disability, learning difficulty or health condition which may affect your studies, please let us know by ticking the 'specific support needs' box on your course application form. This will allow us to make appropriate adjustments in advance and in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010. For more information please visit the Student Support section of our website.