EN 300 is an invitation to explore specialized topics and genres in creativewriting at the advanced level. This semester, you will have the opportunity to script for the screen. At the heart of any good film is story. As a class, we will study the fundamentals of storytelling and learn techniques and strategies for screenwriting. We will begin the course with a theoretical discussion of Aristotle’s Poetics, which lays the groundwork for scriptwriting of all kinds. As we study specific practical techniques and strategies for screenwriting, we will look to successful traditional and contemporary screenwriters as examples for our own writing. Scripts and films we may read and view include but are not limited to Kill Bill (Vols. 1 & 2), Rushmore, No Country for Old Men, Raising Arizona, Groundhog Day, and The Big Fish.
At the heart of any good film is the story or narrative. As a class, we will study the fundamentals of storytelling: discovering a plot, utilizing action and idea, telling a story in images, using sound to tell a story, developing the main character of the story, establishing a clear context and/oroccasion for the story and using dialogue to tell the story. We will also learn the following techniques and strategies to help us write: storytelling strategies, visualization strategies,contextualization strategies, dramatic strategies, characterization strategies and dialogue strategies. Other situational tactics to consider when writing for the screen and stage are those of negotiation, disruption, violation, destruction, and transformation. We will also want to examine the importance of audience expectations, subtext and catharsis, the use of metaphor and moment and the classical forms of storytelling.