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Script Writing

Course CodeBWR204
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Learn to write scripts for a variety of media, including film, television, and educational purposes

Scriptwriting is a specialist form of writing that focuses on producing content for performance. Scripts are essential to developing video and audio content for a variety of audiences.

In this course, you'll learn how to develop characters for fiction and non-fiction purposes, how to write tight dialogue, how to develop well-rounded characters, and the principles of scriptwriting for online markets. You'll also learn how to get started with your own business producing scripts for yourself and others.

Scripts are essential to developing:

  • television shows
  • films/cinema
  • teaching in a classroom or online environment
  • training
  • radio plays
  • podcasts
  • advertising
  • and more...

Lesson Structure

There are 11 lessons in this course:

  1. Scope and Nature of Script Writing
    • What scripts are and where they are used
    • The story you want to tell
    • Show, don't tell
    • Handling time
    • Formatting your Script
    • Abbreviations
  2. Plotting the Screen Play
    • Types of stories
    • Specifications
    • Developing the storyline
    • Fiction and creative non-fiction
    • Other types of non-fiction
  3. Outline and Writing the Script
    • Why outlining is essential
    • Cliff hangers
    • Formatting outlines
    • How to write the script
  4. Characterisation
    • Writing good characters
    • Building characters and using profiles
    • Character goal setting and motivation
    • Character language
  5. Use of Dialogue and Sound Effects
    • The importance of dialogue
    • Avoiding clichés
    • The important of silence
    • Sound effects and examples
  6. Writing for Internet, TV and Film
    • Time frames
    • Fiction of non-fiction
    • Pacing
    • Sound effects
    • Visuals
    • Writing a spec
    • Writing for online markets
    • Sample online script
  7. Writing for Radio
    • Types of audio scripts
    • Voice
    • Music
    • Sound effects
    • Tone
  8. Writing for Training/Instructional Videos
    • One-person scripts
    • Two-person scripts
    • Sample script with VO (voice over)
    • Multiple-persons script
    • Scene Visuals in training presentations
  9. Writing for Children
    • Fiction/non-fiction hybrids
    • Children's cognitive development
    • Implications for the writer
    • Socialisation
    • Culture
    • Gender, roles, and stereotyping
  10. Writing for Advertising
    • The purpose of advertising
    • Writing and analysing advertisements
    • Summary skills Writing for infomercials
  11. The Business of Script Writing
    • Commercial opportunities
    • Start your own production business
    • Ethical and legal considerations

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Aims

  • Explain what script writing is and its many applications.
  • Describe and compare techniques for plotting the story.
  • Explain how to write the outline of a script and then write the script itself.
  • Explain how to write good characters in your script.
  • Explain the use of dialogue and sound effects in script writing.
  • Explain how to write for the internet, TV and film.
  • Explain how to write for radio.
  • Develop scripts for use in educational programs.
  • Develop scripts for an audience of children.
  • Develop scripts for an audience of children.
  • Develop an understanding of the business of script writing.

Learn to Think of a Script as a Story

Every script involves a story. Stories can either be based upon an existing story (e.g. a novel, true life), while other stories need to be conceived and built from the beginning.

Stories that are based upon something that already exists are often called ‘adaptations’.
Scripts are designed to communicate something. The purpose of that communication may be complex or simple, and direct or abstract. 

  • A short advertisement may be designed to raise awareness of a product and encourage sales.
  • Some scripts are designed with the primary purpose being to educate or inform.
  • Many scripts are intended to entertain.
  • Other scripts may be created with an intention to influence attitudes and perhaps evoke action.
  • Some scripts may have both primary and secondary purposes (e.g. a feature film that conveys a social message).

Stories can be short or long. 

A general rule of thumb is that a typed page of writing will last one minute when being read out.  This is a generalisation, so it is important to check how long it will take, particularly if you are writing to very precise time frames. 

Short scripts may be advertisements, video clips on social media, educational presentations used in a classroom, podcasts on radio, animated cartoon shorts or news items etc. Longer scripts may be movies, television or radio shows and so on.