course hack

An Introduction to Screenwriting

University of East Anglia

5 mins

3 key insights

Visual, audio & text

This FutureLearn course from the University of East Anglia explores the foundations of screenwriting, including story structure, the mechanics of scene-writing, and the creation of three-dimensional characters.


An Introduction to Screenwriting

An Introduction to Screenwriting

by University of East Anglia


A screenplay is built on 'dramatic action', which refers to a character acting with intention. Dramatic action propels the protagonist as they fail and then usually succeed and grow. They key to screenwriting is to apply new and unique ideas within well-known story patterns. This FutureLearn course is taught by Michael Lengsfield, a screenwriting professor at University of East Anglia. The course explores the screenwriting process from idea to completion, with practical tips on story structure, characters, and dialogue. As the course reveals, writing a screenplay is like building a house. You start with the foundations, then you put up structural walls, and finally you add detailed specificity within.

Favorite quote

I think there should always be an element of mystery. There should always be an omission - something left out. They should be fathomable, relatable, understandable on one level and then tantalizingly unfathomable on another.

- Tom Benn, writer and tutor

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