Types of CW (Fiction & Screenwriting)

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 from Hawai`i and its contributing cultures. 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 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.  


This course aims to help you to:

  • develop a habit of writing
  • try out a range of techniques in
    writing prose for adults
  • produce a
    drafted piece of writing
  • cultivate an
    awareness of literature and film within culture
  • read the visual
    language of film
  • imagine your own
    narratives visually
  • learn the
    process of drafting a screenplay
  • learn
    screenwriting format
  • write a short
    screenplay that you can produce yourself
  • practice the
    methods and vocabularies of the writing workshop and script meeting


Required texts:

  • Dan Gurskis, The
    Short Screenplay: Your Short Film From Concept to Production
    . Thomson, 2007.
    ISBN-13-978-15986-33382 (Available Revolution Books, 2626 South King St,
    between Puck’s Alley and 7-11. Also on Hamilton library e-books, but a printed
    copy is preferable.)
  • Eng 313 (02)
    Fiction/Screenplay Reader (available from MaPS printing service, Castle Annex,
    University Ave, one block down from Yogurtland).