Study Script Writing by distance learning - progression in the script writing industry is open to you!
Improve your writing skills with the Script Writing course from ACS Distance Education.
- If you are already a script writer and would like to study for professional development
- If you are just beginning your journey as a script writer.
- then this is the course for you. Our tutors will moderate and tailor their feedback on your assignments based upon your existing skills and knowledge. Each student is treated as an individual, and so the feedback and guidance from the tutor will be unique to you.
Script Writers are in Demand!
There is always demand for suitably qualified script writers - for contract work, freelance opportunities and permanent employment roles. Do you have the skills and the knowledge to work in this growing industry? The predicted future growth of the script writing industry is steady. There is an expected 25-30% growth of this market in the next 5 years.
Course Structure and Lesson Content
The content of each of the 11 lessons is as outlined below:
Lesson 1. Scope and Nature of Script writing
Learning Aim: Explain what script writing is and its many applications.
- Introduction - what are scripts?
- Where are scripts used?
- Writing Scripts - what is the story you want to tell?
- One page, one minute rule.
- Visual, behaviour and aural storytelling.
- Show and don't tell.
- Handling time.
- Formatting script.
Lesson 2. Plotting the Screen Play
Learning Aim: Describe and compare techniques for plotting the story.
- Types of stories.
- What are the specifications?
- Duration of the performance.
- Developing the story-line.
- The Story Pyramid.
- Creating a story board.
- Techniques for plotting a story.
- Fiction and creative non-fiction.
- Non-fiction - Education, Corporate, Presentation Writing.
- Screen play formatting guide.
Lesson 3. Outline and Writing the Script
Learning Aim: Explain how to write the outline of a script and then write the script itself.
- Writing the outline.
- Cliff hangers in a script.
- Formatting outlines.
- How to write the script.
Lesson 4. Characterisation
Learning Aim: Explain how to write good characters in your script.
- Writing good characters.
- Building characters.
- Character planning.
Lesson 5. Use of Dialogue and Sound Effects
Learning Aim: Explain the use of dialogue and sound effects in script writing.
- Dialogue in script writing.
- Writing dialogue.
- Dialogue tags.
- Tips on writing dialogue.
- Examples of dialogue.
Lesson 6. Writing for Internet, TV and Film
Learning Aim: Explain how to write for the internet, TV and film.
- Time frame.
- Fiction or non-fiction.
- Sound effects.
- Writing for TV.
- Writing for film/screen-writing.
- Writing for websites.
Lesson 7. Writing for Radio
Learning Aim: Explain how to write for radio.
- Sound Effects.
- Other points to consider when writing for radio.
Lesson 8. Writing for Training/Instructional Videos
Learning Aim: Develop scripts for use in educational programs.
- One person script.
- Two person script.
- Multiple persons script.
- Visuals in training presentations.
Lesson 9. Writing for Children
Learning Aim: Develop scripts for an audience of children.
- Fiction and non-fiction hybrids.
- Children's cognitive development.
- Implications for the writer.
- Gender, roles and stereotyping.
Lesson 10. Writing for Advertising
Learning Aim: Develop scripts for an audience of children.
- Writing for advertising.
- What is the purpose of advertising?
- Writing and analysing adverts.
- Summary skills.
- Tips for summarising.
- Writing for infomercials.
Lesson 11. The Business of Script Writing
Learning Aim: Develop an understanding of the business of script writing.
- Commercial Opportunities.
- Start your own production business.
- Ethical and legal considerations.
- The law.
Course Duration: 100 hours
We must be true to our characters. As a scriptwriter, we should ensure that our characters have the correct characteristics to develop the story in the correct way. Imagine you are writing a script about a poor, down at heel man, living on the streets in poor shabby clothes with no money and then finding out that he is being blackmailed and is a millionaire. Unless there were pointers in the story to suggest that he was wealthy, the audience may not believe the story you have created, we need to ensure that we give those clues. For example, he may be very well spoken, know a lot about good whisky, say that he has travelled the world etc. These ‘clues’ might help the reader to believe us when we say he is a millionaire.
Try and visualise your characters. What do they look like? How do they talk? What do they do? How do they behave? Are they good or evil? Are they human? If we can imagine what a person looks like, we can find it easier to find their voice when we are writing a script.
Background: Research your character – don’t make simple mistakes that may not be realistic; for example, if your character is a GP he or she is not likely to be performing complex surgery.
Know your character – their traits, their position, their job, their family situation, their cultural background: ethnics, religion, social standing, education, interests, their ethnic background, their physical and mental attributes, their behaviour, how they speak, how they walk and how they react in various situations.
Question your character: When you develop a character, it is handy to set a list of questions – as if you were conducting an interview. Respond to each question by researching and imagining what this character would be like –their attitudes, behaviour, appearance, social standing and so on. Asking questions is a great tool in character development.
Development: A character is developed and shaped through their environment, their upbringing, their education, the people that have influenced their lives (for good and bad) and the time in which they lived or live.
Time period: The way a character behaves, dresses, speaks etc., is reflected by the time in which they live. If you are setting a tale in the future of course you will have a lot more licence as it may be pure fantasy. Those that have lived in the past (in whatever period) must reflect this in their speech, attitudes, behaviour, dress and social standing. Research, research and research and you are unlikely to go wrong!
The location: The setting of your script will influence its atmosphere – a script set in outback Australia will have a totally different atmosphere to one set in the lush tropics or the English country-side. Again, this requires research – if you get it wrong your script will most probably be rejected and if it sneaks through your audience will undoubtedly pick you up on it and you lose credibility. Either write about what you know or be prepared to do a lot of research or even visit the places you are writing about.
Career: As discussed before – make sure that the career suits the character, their life and in general the way they speak, dress and behave. A surgeon will have a totally different character to a farmer. A very well-dressed person is more likely to be affluent than they are a vagrant.
Study this professional Script Writing course
- Improve the opportunities open to you in script writing by studying and improving your skills.
- Update and improve your skills in writing dialogue and creating believable characters.
- Gain useful knowledge and experience in writing scripts.
Any questions? Please ask.
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