In this course you will study and practice the
very different disciplines of writing fiction and crafting screenplays. For the
former you will produce (among other things) a short story, and for the latter
you will create the blueprint for a short film.
Because writers are always readers, we will read
and discuss some important contemporary short fictions, many of them from
Hawai`i. Technical analysis of characterization, narrative structure, pace,
dialogue, setting and voice will provide points of departure for experimental
exercises. Over several weeks you will draft (write, workshop, revise, edit) an
eight-page piece of fiction.
In the latter half of the course we will
watch a range of short films from the Pacific and Asia from the point of view
of narrative craft. We will consider what kinds of stories tell well on screen.
You will work on developing your own short screenplay through stages, from
Concept to Final Draft. To enable this, we will cover the conventions of
screenplay format. You will be encouraged to take your resources into account
and write a screenplay that can be shot locally on videocam.
We will finish the semester with a week-long
study of three-act feature film structure.
General points: Because this is an
introductory writing course we will establish goals, methods and protocols for
the workshop. Course requirements will include punctuality and attendance,
involvement in class discussion, and attendance at a literary or film event on
campus during the semester.
Gurskis, THE SHORT SCREENPLAY. Thomson, 2007. ISBN-13-978-15986-33382 (Required
in second half of semester, details tba)
Eng 313 (02/03) Fiction/Screenplay READER (available from MaPS
printing service, University Ave).