LITT07015 2019 Writing and Practice (Screenwriting)

General Details

Full Title
Writing and Practice (Screenwriting)
Transcript Title
Writing and Practice (Screenwr
75 %
Subject Area
LITT - Literature
YADA - Yeats Academy Art Dsgn & Arch
07 - NFQ Level 7
10 - 10 Credits
Start Term
2019 - Full Academic Year 2019-20
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Una Mannion, Emmet O'Doherty, Marian Quinn, Rhona Trench, Tom Weir
Programme Membership
SG_HWRIT_H08 201900 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Writing and Literature SG_HWLIT_H08 202000 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Writing and Literature

In this module students will immerse themselves in the world of cinema. Through watching films and reading screenplays students will explore different styles and genres.  Students will have writing assignments and group feedback sessions and learn to critique each other’s work. They will learn industry standard formatting and what is expected in pitches and submissions. They will write a short film and develop an idea for a feature film or tv series. Above all students through research, practical work and mentoring will seek to find their cinematic voice.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Articulate and identify their own unique voice cinematically.


Develop a concept and pitch from research through to proposal.


Through research be able to identify writing styles and different genres.


Write a script for a short film.


Understand and implement industry standard formatting.


Critically and creatively review their own work and that of others.


Understand the industry and the requirements for professional involvement.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

The module will be delivered via a series of workshops.    There will be a series of group feedback sessions and peer reviews on written assignments.  We will have viewing sessions where we watch films and discuss their creative elements and story structure.  An industry professional will attend a pitching session towards the end of the semester.

Module Assessment Strategies

There will be a number of writing assignments over the course of the semester, a scene, a short film and a project book.   The students progress in research, creative and critical understanding will be revealed through a reflective assignment.  The students attendance and engagement will also be key in evaluating their progress through the module, positive contributions in class will be taken into account. 

Repeat Assessments

Repeat attend.

Indicative Syllabus

Watching films, analysing structure and storytelling techniques.

Reading screenplays, exploring the translation from written word to the screen.

Writing scenes, exploring character, subtext and conflicts needed for drama.

How to write a screenplay.

Correct industry format and guidelines.

Group and individual feedback, learning how to critique a scene.

Looking at the differences between film and television, the broad range of storytelling on the small screen today.

Understanding how to develop an idea from a concept to pitch for a feature film or a television series.

Pitching and feedback session with an industry professional.

How to create a visual project book from a concept.

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Attendance Continuous Assessment Assessment 5 % End of Semester 1,2,3,4,5,6,7
2 Engagement Continuous Assessment Assessment 15 % End of Semester 1,2,3,4,5,6,7
3 Scene Project Assignment 10 % End of Semester 1,2,5,6
4 Short Film Script Project Assignment 35 % End of Semester 1,2,4,5,6
5 Project Book Project Assignment 25 % End of Semester 1,2,3,5,6,7
6 Reflective Journal Continuous Assessment Assignment 10 % End of Semester 1,3,6,7

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Flat Classroom Lecture 1 Weekly 1.00
Workshop Flat Classroom Workshop 3 Weekly 3.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 4.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Required Reading
1972-02-15 The Art of Dramatic Writing Simon and Schuster
ISBN 1439123799 ISBN-13 9781439123799

Amid the hundreds of "how-to" books that have appeared in recent years, there have been very few which attempted to analyze the mysteries of play-construction. This book does that -- and its principles are so valid that they apply equally well to the short story, novel and screenplay. Lajos Egri examines a play from the inside out, starting with the heart of any drama: its characters. For it is people -- their private natures and their inter-relationships -- that move a story and give it life. All good dramatic writing depends upon an understanding of human motives. Why do people act as they do? What forces transform a coward into a hero, a hero into a coward? What is it that Romeo does early in Shakespeare's play that makes his later suicide seem inevitable? Why must Nora leave her husband at the end of A Doll's House? These are a few of the fascinating problems which Egri analyzes. He shows how it is essential for the author to have a basic premise -- a thesis, demonstrated in terms of human behavior -- and to develop his dramatic conflict on the basis of that behavior. Premise, character, conflict: this is Egri's ABC. His book is a direct, jargon-free approach to the problem of achieving truth in a literary creation.

Required Reading
1998-03-01 Screenplay M J F Books
ISBN 156731239X ISBN-13 9781567312393

Providing examples from well-known movies, Field explains the structural and stylistic elements as well as writing techniques basic to the creation of a successful film script.

Required Reading
2004 Lew Hunter's Screenwriting 434 Penguin
ISBN 0399529861 ISBN-13 9780399529863

The conductor of UCLAUs legendary graduate workshop--Screenwriting 434--guides readers through every stage of the screenwriting process by actually having them write an original screenplay. "I heartily recommend (this book) for beginners and pros alike."--Steven Bochco.

Required Reading
2010-09-28 Story Harper Collins
ISBN 9780062039828 ISBN-13 0062039822

Robert McKee's screenwriting workshops have earned him an international reputation for inspiring novices, refining works in progress and putting major screenwriting careers back on track. Quincy Jones, Diane Keaton, Gloria Steinem, Julia Roberts, John Cleese and David Bowie are just a few of his celebrity alumni. Writers, producers, development executives and agents all flock to his lecture series, praising it as a mesmerizing and intense learning experience. In Story, McKee expands on the concepts he teaches in his $450 seminars (considered a must by industry insiders), providing readers with the most comprehensive, integrated explanation of the craft of writing for the screen. No one better understands how all the elements of a screenplay fit together, and no one is better qualified to explain the "magic" of story construction and the relationship between structure and character than Robert McKee.

Required Reading
1998 The Writer's Journey Michael Wiese Productions
ISBN 0941188701 ISBN-13 9780941188708

Shows how writers can use mythic structure to give coherence and weight to both narrative fiction and nonfiction

Required Reading
1998-12 Aristotle's Poetics University of Chicago Press
ISBN 0226313948 ISBN-13 9780226313948

In this, the fullest, sustained interpretation of Aristotle's Poetics available in English, Stephen Halliwell demonstrates that the Poetics, despite its laconic brevity, is a coherent statement of a challenging theory of poetic art, and it hints towards a theory of mimetic art in general. Assessing this theory against the background of earlier Greek views on poetry and art, particularly Plato's, Halliwell goes further than any previous author in setting Aristotle's ideas in the wider context of his philosophical system. The core of the book is a fresh appraisal of Aristotle's view of tragic drama, in which Halliwell contends that at the heart of the Poetics lies a philosophical urge to instill a secularized understanding of Greek tragedy. "Essential reading not only for all serious students of the Poetics . . . but also for thosethe great majoritywho have prudently fought shy of it altogether."B. R. Rees, Classical Review "A splendid work of scholarship and analysis . . . a brilliant interpretation."Alexander Nehamas, Times Literary Supplement

Required Reading
1990 The Hero's Journey New World Library
ISBN 1577314042 ISBN-13 9781577314042

Joseph Campbell, arguably the greatest mythologist of our time, was certainly one of our greatest storytellers. This new cloth edition of The Hero's Journey, published to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Campbell's birth, recounts his own quest and conveys the excitement of his lifelong exploration of our mythic traditions, what he called "the one great story of mankind."

Required Reading
2004-01-01 The Hero with a Thousand Faces Bollingen Foundation
ISBN 0691119244 ISBN-13 9780691119243

Examines myths and folk tales from around the world in an attempt to understand the symbolism of the hero as it appears in the mythologies and religions of mankind.

Required Reading
2015-10-30 Bird by Bird Scribe Publications
ISBN 9781925307443 ISBN-13 1925307441

Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that hed had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brothers shoulder, and said, Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird. Here, for the first time, is a local edition of the bible of writing guides a wry, honest, down-to-earth book that has never stopped selling since it was first published in the United States in the 1990s. In Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott, a bestelling novelist and memoirist, distils what shes learned over years of trial and error. Beautifully written, wise, and immensely helpful, this is the book for serious writers and writers-to-be.

Required Reading
2002-06-03 The War of Art Black Irish Entertainment LLC
ISBN 9781936891047 ISBN-13 1936891042

What keeps so many of us from doing what we long to do? Why is there a naysayer within? How can we avoid the roadblocks of any creative endeavorbe it starting up a dream business venture, writing a novel, or painting a masterpiece? The War of Art identifies the enemy that every one of us must face, outlines a battle plan to conquer this internal foe, then pinpoints just how to achieve the greatest success. The War of Art emphasizes the resolve needed to recognize and overcome the obstacles of ambition and then effectively shows how to reach the highest level of creative discipline. Think of it as tough love . . . for yourself.

Module Resources