STORY AND SCRIPT TECHNIQUES 1

SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMW821941
Module Leader n/a
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Media and Journalism
Trimester
  • A (September start)

Summary of Content

In this module students will be provided with an evaluative understanding of the importance of storytelling along with a range of other relevant script techniques. They will also be provided with an understanding of how to analyse scripts and look at others' work critically. Students will learn the elements of what makes an effective story, including opening, structure, narrative drive and turning point. They will also learn the elements of what makes an effective script including the importance of tone and dialogue writing style. They will apply these elements to script editing and analysis of TV fiction scripts.

Syllabus

Script format and layout. Best practice in writing TV fiction scripts. The structure of scenes. The techniques of script editing. The making of editing notes on first draft scripts. Characterisation and character biography. Openings and first scene entry point. Narrative and narrative turning points. Tone and dialogue. The process of reading scripts and analysing strengths and weaknesses. Adaptation theory and practice.

Learning Outcomes

On satisfactory completion of this module, students should be able to:1. Demonstrate critical knowledge and evaluative understanding of the role various story and script techniques play in the creation and production of television fiction.2. Use a significant range of principal storytelling and script techniques with respect to enhancing the effectiveness of contemporary television fiction scripts.3. Analyse scripts, looking at others' work critically and reflectively and making informed independent judgements.4. Develop creative responses to specific storytelling issues and script problems encountered in the process of television fiction writing.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Lectures on scenes, dialogue and tone; Practical workshops on story and script techniques; Tutorials on script editing and script analysis assignments; Formative assessment incorporating reflective elements alongside practical exercises. Summative assessment of script editing techniques and script analysis. Delivery will be via a combination of GCU staff and a range of appropriately qualified / experienced professional practitioners from the TV fiction industry. Module pass mark: 50%.

Indicative Reading

Batty, C. (2014) Screenwriters and Screenwriting, USA: Palgrave Macmillan. Bell, J.S. (2005), Plot and Structure: Techniques for Crafting a Plot, New York: Writer's Digest Books. Chatterjee, A. (2013), Creative Writing: writers on writing, UK: Frontinus Ltd. Cook, M. (2014), Write to TV: Out of your Head and onto the Screen, USA: Focal Press. Epps, J. (2016) Screenwriting is Rewriting, UK: Bloomsbury. Field, S. (2005), Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting, New York: Delta Trade. Hiltunen, A., (2002), Aristotle in Hollywood: The Anatomy of Successful Storytelling, Luton: Intellect. Macdonald, I. (2013), Screenwriting Poetics and the Screen Idea, USA: Palgrave Macmillan. Marks, D. (2015) Inside Story: The power of the transformational arc, UK: Bloomsbury Publishing. McKee, R. (1999), Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting, London: Methuen. Moritz, C. (2008), Scriptwriting for the Screen, London: Routledge. Norris, S. (2013), Studying Creative Writing, UK: Frontinus Ltd. Portnoy, K. (1998), Screen Adaptation: A Scriptwriting Handbook, USA: Focal Press. Price, S. (2010) The Screenplay: Authorship, Theory and Criticism, USA: Palgrave Macmillan. Price, S. (2013), A History of the Screenplay, USA: Palgrave Macmillan. Smethurst, W. (2007), How to Write for Television, London: How To Books. Vogler, C. (2007), The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structures for Writers, 3rd edn., Los Angeles: Michael Wiese Productions.

Transferrable Skills

Self-confidence; Self-discipline; Self-reliance; Awareness of strengths and weaknesses; Written communication; Creativity; Independence; Ability to reflect; Commercial awareness; Ability to prioritise tasks; Time management; Innovation; Ability to apply knowledge; Problem-solving.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Assessment (FT) 16.00
Lectures (PT) 3.00
Lectures (FT) 3.00
Independent Learning (FT) 96.00
Tutorials (PT) 14.00
Practicals (PT) 21.00
Practicals (FT) 21.00
Assessment (PT) 16.00
Independent Learning (PT) 96.00
Tutorials (FT) 14.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 0.00 100.00 50% e.g. Portfolio on adaptation, to include reflective essay on process, a treatment and scripted sample scene.