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For the safety of our community, UWPCE programs will be taught remotely for the 2020-21 academic year.

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Screenwriting: Character & Plot


Course Details

This course can only be taken as part of the Certificate in Writing.

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About this Course

You can’t tell a great story in any visual medium until you understand its roots in character. In this course, you’ll learn to transition from the seven-sentence fairy tale to an enriched (virtual) index card approach. We’ll explore how to create vivid characters that drive your story — people propel plot, not the other way around. With your cast established, you’ll master methods for keeping them moving inevitably and intoxicatingly forward, leading to conclusions both totally unexpected and perfectly fitting. Throughout the course, we’ll examine best practices for ratcheting up tension and drawing your audience in. You’ll also gain insight on presenting your work in a professional manner using slug lines, character intros, loglines and studio pitches.

Designed For 

Aspiring and experienced writers looking to make their stories pop on screens big and small. You must have completed Screenwriting: Storytelling before taking this course.

What You’ll Learn 

  • Techniques for creating a blueprint for your first draft 
  • New strategies for producing conflict from moment to moment
  • Advanced methods for reimagining scenes and sequences to keep them fresh
  • Foolproof formulas for creating an emotionally charged, character-based through line 
  • Industry standards for script presentation

Program Overview

To earn the Certificate in Writing, you need to complete three courses in two years or less.


You should register for all courses individually; there is no application process for the certificate program.

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