Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Structure and Character
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 7 x 2 hour Lectures
Other 3 x 2 hour Workshop/Screening/Discussions


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1. Outline 3,000 words  An outline of an original idea for a film. It must incorporate the appropriate structural techniques, as discussed and practiced in lectures and workshops.  50%
Semester Assessment 2. Sequence A Script: 1,500 words  This script will be based on the first sequence of the student’s outline, with revisions to the story based on feedback from the Outline.  50%
Supplementary Assessment 1. Resit of Outline 3,000 words  Resits of assignments, when necessary, will follow the same structure but be based on a different premise  50%
Supplementary Assessment 2. Resit of Sequence A Script: 1,500 words  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Discuss critically the underlying structure employed by a film or television script.
2. Show a sophisticated understanding of the emotional effects that specific structural elements convey, and thus their significance to the whole of the script.
3. Show an advanced understanding of the role of characters, characterisation and character archetypes within specific structures.
4. Demonstrate an ability to employ these concepts and techniques by creating a story outline within established structures.
5. Show a systematic understanding of scriptwriting techniques by creating an effective first draft, 'Sequence A' script.


This module provides students with the rationale behind the use of established story structures and creation of characters in creative scriptwriting. It explores the interplay between various elements of popular narrative, and the meanings created for and by the audience. It offers relevant guidance in writing to commonly established media formats and on various media platforms, and explores opportunities for writers within each format and platform discussed. It studies the constraints placed upon the writer and the application of individual creativity within pre-established guidelines.

Brief description

Students learn the skills necessary to create characters and select and apply structures suitable for various genres and styles of film, broadcast and third platform writing. The module provides students with skills they will need to outline and script their own creative projects.


Lectures (2 hours each):
1. Introduction to the module; history of screenwriting; functions of effective storytelling; ideas and the premise; theme

2. The Sequence Approach, with practical examples

3. 3-Act Structure; characterisation vs. true character; Hero's Journey, character archetypes.

4. Writing an effective outline; creating three-dimensional characters

5. Writing an effective script; Truby's 22 Building Blocks

6. Practical analysis: Stand by Me as it relates to Truby's building blocks

7. Practical analysis: Almost Famous as it relates to all structures.

Screening/Workshop (2 hours each):
1. Stand By Me Screening
2. Almost Famous Screening
3. Scripted scene workshop
Concluding/Review session

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Not assessed or developed
Communication Written communication skills are at the heart of all the work a student does.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students are expected to drive their own learning and to develop their own unique creative approaches.
Information Technology Students will be required to make full use of the library facilities and master Internet research and computer-based script formats.
Personal Development and Career planning Students who wish to pursue careers as scriptwriters have the chance to further develop work from this module in semester three of the degree scheme. The finished product will then form their first spec script to present to agents and producers.
Problem solving This element is not assessed directly, however all scriptwriting involves problem solving: what type of character will best convey a particular theme? What plot devices will most effectively propel the story to the next plot point? The effectiveness with which the author has solved problems is evident in the quality of the finished product.
Research skills The outline will reflect the student's ability to read widely and to view television and cinema with a critical eye. They will have to apply this knowledge to make informed decisions about their own work.
Subject Specific Skills Writing outlines Writing scripts
Team work Students will have the opportunity to access and give feedback on each other's work.

Reading List

Recommended Text
Campbell, Joseph (1949) Hero with a Thousand Faces Princeton University Press Primo search Cook, P. and Bernink, M. (eds) (1999) The Cinema Book London: BFI Publishing Primo search Creeber, Glen (2004) Serial Television London: BFI Publishing Primo search Creeber, Glen (ed.) (2001) Television Genre Handbook London: BFI Publishing Primo search Davis, R. (2001) Developing Characters for Scriptwriting London: A&C Black Primo search Field, Syd (2005) Screenplay (Revised and Updated) New York: Dell Primo search Friedmann, Julian (1995) How to Make Money Scriptwriting London: Boxtree Primo search Gulino, Paul Joseph (2004) Screenwriting: The Sequence Approach New York: Continuum Primo search McKee, Robert (1999) Story London: Methuen Primo search Snyder, Blake (2005) Save the Cat California: Michael Wise Productions Primo search Snyder, Blake (2009) Save the Cat! Strikes Back LA: Save the Cat! Press Primo search Thompson, Kristen (1999) Storytelling in the New Hollywood Harvard University Press Primo search Vogler, Christopher (1996) the Writer's Journey London: Boxtree Primo search Bielby, D.B. & Bielby, W.T. (2002) Contexts Hollywood Dreans, Harsh Realities: writing for film and television Vol 1. No. 4 pgs 21-47 Primo search Truby, John (c. 1991-2004) Advanced Screenwriting - sound recording Primo search Truby, John (c. 1991-2004) Great Screenwriting - sound recording Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 7