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Screenwriting: Character & Plot


Course Details

  • Location: UW Seattle
  • Duration: 11 weeks
  • Times: Evenings

Next Start Date:

January 4, 2021

This course is part of a certificate program. You can also take it without enrolling in the program.

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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.

See Requirements

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.

Learning Format


Attend classes part time at one of our convenient locations in the Puget Sound region. You’ll engage face to face with your classmates and instructors as part of a highly interactive curriculum. Learn More »

Course Sessions


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