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CMS 370 A: Basic Screenwriting

Meeting Time: 
MW 12:30pm - 2:20pm
MLR 316
Shawn Wong
Shawn Wong

Syllabus Description:

CMS 370A: Basic Screenwriting 


Instructor:         Shawn Wong

Office:               B423 Padelford Hall

Office Hours:    TBA

Phone:             (206) 616-0941



 Course Description:

This is a screenwriting class, which means that the bulk of the responsibility for the success of this class is based on the writing you produce for the class and your critique of the writing done by your classmates.  

The goal of the class is to prepare you for more independent writing and self-critique. The focus on the writing is centered more on revision, editing, adaptation of an existing fictional story and understanding the craft of the screenwriting.

The course is divided into four major areas: Story, Character, Dialogue and Structure.


Required Reading:

 On Screenwriting by Freddie Gaffney (Auteur, 2008)

 Selected screenplays available at: Links to an external site.


Course Writing Requirements:


  • Adaptation of a short story into a screenplay (written in collaborative writing teams of three or four students), which includes a synopsis, a step outline, and two drafts of a screenplay.
  • You are required to post comments on all the screenplays on the course Canvas "Discussion" site (except your own screenplay).
  • You are required to submit an evaluation of your group collaboration at the end of the course on the course Catalyst WebQ site. All your comments will be confidential. I will be the only one reading them.
  • You are also required to work in collaborative writing teams. Failure to show up to work sessions with your group or missing deadlines established by your writing group can affect your grade.


Catalog Description: 
Students develop collaborative critical and creative skills; studying screenwriting manuals and techniques; adapt stories for screenplays; and/or write synopses, treatments, and first acts of their own screenplays.
GE Requirements Met: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
October 17, 2018 - 9:13pm