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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Screenwriting Discussion    Screenwriting Class  ›  Screenwriting online courses? Moderators: George Willson
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Aydan
Posted: April 14th, 2019, 9:15am Report to Moderator
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Hello everyone,

I'm a new writer, currently working (really slowly) on the premise of a movie idea and reading the Anatomy of a Story by John Truby. I recently found several online courses on screenwriting and I was wondering if anyone tried such courses and if they'd recommend? I found the links below.

http://www.scriptreaderpro.com/online-screenwriting-course/

https://cineuropa.org/en/onlinescreenplay/

https://www.nyfa.edu/online-screenwriting/

What should I do as a new writer?
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AnthonyCawood
Posted: April 14th, 2019, 9:50am Report to Moderator
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Welcome Aydan...

Not done any of the courseyou've linked to so won't comment on them specifically as they may all be great!

But, it depends what you want out of the course, if it's basic fomatting and the like then there's free courses like

https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/screenwriting

Which will give you the a good intro.

Books, like Truby, Syd Field, David Trottier etc are also useful - just don't slavishly follow one persons system.

Reading screenplays, on here, from pros and amateurs is also really, really useful...

Most of all, get your feet wet - write!

If after all that you feel any of the course would be useful then go for it.


Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
Available Short screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/short-scripts
Available Feature screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/feature-film-scripts/
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Aydan
Posted: April 14th, 2019, 10:19am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from AnthonyCawood
Welcome Aydan...

Not done any of the courseyou've linked to so won't comment on them specifically as they may all be great!

But, it depends what you want out of the course, if it's basic fomatting and the like then there's free courses like

https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/screenwriting

Which will give you the a good intro.

Books, like Truby, Syd Field, David Trottier etc are also useful - just don't slavishly follow one persons system.

Reading screenplays, on here, from pros and amateurs is also really, really useful...

Most of all, get your feet wet - write!

If after all that you feel any of the course would be useful then go for it.


Thanks. I think what I want is a sense of duty and making the writing process of the first script somewhat easier.

Because writing is a hobby for me and I'm not planning to earn a living from it, I realized that I tend to give up on my ideas too soon. I'm hoping that more planning can give me the courage to continue and dig those ideas.
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CrackedAces
Posted: April 14th, 2019, 8:13pm Report to Moderator
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Try University's continuing education courses and seminars on SW.




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Matthew Taylor
Posted: April 15th, 2019, 8:00am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Aydan


Thanks. I think what I want is a sense of duty and making the writing process of the first script somewhat easier.

Because writing is a hobby for me and I'm not planning to earn a living from it, I realized that I tend to give up on my ideas too soon. I'm hoping that more planning can give me the courage to continue and dig those ideas.


As you are a new writer doing it as a hobby - I would also recommend cutting your teeth on short scripts.

It's easy to get lost and overwhelmed with a feature - which in turn can lead to quitting the process altogether - Shorts are a good way to practice the craft before moving onto bigger stories.


Erotomania
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DISCLAIMER: I am an uproduced amateur, if I comment on your work, please bear that in mind
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Aydan
Posted: April 16th, 2019, 10:49am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Matthew Taylor


As you are a new writer doing it as a hobby - I would also recommend cutting your teeth on short scripts.

It's easy to get lost and overwhelmed with a feature - which in turn can lead to quitting the process altogether - Shorts are a good way to practice the craft before moving onto bigger stories.


It is overwhelming indeed. When I can't keep the story going, I start to believe that the initial idea was inherently a bad one. And since most of the educational materials seem to focus on spec scripts, I only have a vague idea of what a short story is.
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Matthew Taylor
Posted: April 16th, 2019, 11:16am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Aydan


It is overwhelming indeed. When I can't keep the story going, I start to believe that the initial idea was inherently a bad one. And since most of the educational materials seem to focus on spec scripts, I only have a vague idea of what a short story is.


Sometimes it's the story idea (not being big enough for a feature) - most of the time it is bad writing. EVERYONE, when they start out, is bad - That's where study and practice come into it.

You can treat a short roughly as having the same elements as a feature - Beginning/Middle/End, scene setting, characterization, plotting, dialogue, conflict, goals and motivations, character arc - and other such buzzwords lol

But obviously, they are on a much smaller scale and not so in-depth. Being smaller, they are easier to control and keep a track of as a new writer. I would recommend spending some time to read the short scripts on here - good and bad - and the ones that have been sold/produced.

Back to features - When I wrote my first, I tried to write it from start to finish directly on the page, with everything in - all the elements, kick-ass dialogue - under some strange assumption that once I got to the last page the movie was done. That was a terrible approach IMHO.

Now, I plot the thing out in some program (I use Excel personally) - a few key story beats - then in between I slot in scenes necessary to take the story from one beat to the next. I'll write bios for the important characters - things the audience may not see/know but that influence how the character behaves/talks/interacts.
Then I'll look at things like the B-story, how that can be woven into the main plot. Then I start layering that bad boy - whats the conflict in the scene, whos involved, how does it drive the story and the character to his/her goal. - note I haven't written a single bit of dialogue so far.
I'll put these scenes into script format - then I'll start including some placeholder dialogue

Once I have my story elements in, beats, plot points, twists and turns blah blah - I go into finer detail about scene descriptions, tone, dialogue

I'm waffling now - this is my approach anyway - You will find an approach that works well for you.

Watch a time-lapse video of a painter - they don't paint the whole picture with all detail straight away from top to bottom - they layer it, base coats first, finally ending with small details - I take the same approach to a feature


Erotomania
Mr Repent (In Pre-production)
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While the Gentlemen Go By

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DISCLAIMER: I am an uproduced amateur, if I comment on your work, please bear that in mind
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