Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Welcome back, class of 2016. I hope you all had a restful and enjoyable summer. But here we are again. This year is partly devoted to writing scripts (both theatrical and for the screen). What you learn here can help you improve your fiction "dialogue" skills, examine the use of conflict in your plots, play and experiment with language and poetry, as well as make you a better psychologist (dealing with people in crisis), all the while honing your writer's craft and developing your writer's voice.

Today, after reviewing the course criteria, getting lockers, and discussing some changes around SOTA, we will get started with a required writing activity, read a bit, and start on a couple assignments to begin this course.


Check this blog each class period for agendas, deadlines, educational information, advice, and a whole lot of links to enhance your education. All you have to do is read and click. You are responsible for reading and interacting with the material I post on the blog.

If you're absent or missed something in class, please check the blog to get caught up. As indicated above, each new class period usually includes a new post. If you have a question about an assignment and are too embarrassed to speak to me in public (or you have a question that you think you will forget to ask), feel free to use the comment section.

On our link page you will also find some useful tools for this course. During the course I will direct your attention to these tools for your use in this class and for use in Contemporary Writers.

Today, let's begin playwriting with a baseline writing exercise. You will need a notebook, the essay paper/booklet provided, and a writing utensil.
  • The task is simple. Write a complete scene (with a definite beginning, middle, and end) in script format. 
  • Limit your cast of characters to no more than four (4). Two or three (2-3) works best. Setting, writing style, and theme is completely up to you. 
  • Be creative. Focus on the task of writing. Let your words flow from you without a lot of editing or over thinking this exercise. Trust your instincts as an artist and writer! 
  •  If you need a prompt, choose one of the following starters: 
    •  A policeman, a newlywed, a certified letter 
    •  A widow, her half-sister, and a secret 
    •  One character walks in to a familiar place but meets someone unexpected
  • You will have 20-25 minutes to write.
If you happen to finish early and the rest of the class is still writing, please begin reading "Talking With" by Jane Martin. After we write our baseline, we'll discuss playwriting and get started reading some plays.

HOMEWORK: Read Talking With by Jane Martin. Bring the play script with you to our next class. Please share the course criteria sheet with your parents/guardians.

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