It’s difficult to start a blog piece without mentioning the current public health situation.
I think it’s important to keep ourselves occupied, so I’ve decided to restructure the popular WriteForTheStage Intro course to help everyone have something to do.
The WFTS Intro course is all about writing an amazing first ten pages. For anyone who has ever sent a script away to a competition, you’ll know all about the ten page sift.
For those who aren’t familiar with this (rather harsh) concept, when you send a script to a competition, they usually read ONLY the first ten pages - and from there, they make a decision as to whether to keep reading.
It’s quite a harsh way to judge a piece of dramatic writing - so we have to learn to beat them at their own game.
The Intro course is all about creating a collection of opening pages that leaves the reader on a cliffhanger; building a world and world problem that is compelling, full of tension, and lived through the conflicts of complex, sympathetic characters.
The first two weeks are free
Usually, people commit to the full 10-week Intro course.
But we’re in extreme circumstances, aren’t we?
We’re going to offer the first two weeks of the course for free. It should give you enough to have some tangible characters and a world around which to work; to get writing and developing the idea.
The whole idea is that you start from scratch without any preconceptions of what you’re going to write, and you find something. You don't need any ideas to get started: that's what we find together through exercises.
It’s very exciting.
These open sessions are available to anyone - even past participants of the Intro course. We want to give everyone something to do!
Booking is essential and spaces are limited.
Read on for details about how to book
Somebody Wants Something And Has Trouble Getting It
The first two weeks of the Intro course are all about finding characters, exploring theme, discovering conflict, and creating a world.
In Week 1, we mine the imagination for theme and characters. We use a series of exercises to find out what we want to write about and who is going to embody that theme.
David Mamet’s definition of story is:
Somebody wants something and has trouble getting it
And, although this sounds utterly simplistic, it’s the heart of all great stories.
So, in Week 1, we explore who the somebody is, what they WANT, and the trouble they have getting it.
Discovering The World
Week 2 is all about discovering the world in which the characters live.
We create an imagined photo album of found images that embody something:
About to happen
Then we expand that world view to discover new characters, and to get a clearer understanding of the character‘s objectives, strategies, and emotion stasis.
After those two weeks, you should have enough to go off and write your play.
The following weeks are all about using that montage of character world and objective to learn the devices that help you create your brilliant opening ten pages.
Anyone, regardless of prior experience, is welcome to join us.
You might have never written a script before. This introduction to the Intro course is for everyone.
Or you might be an experienced playwright and just want to find something new to write about, now that we’ve all got a bit more time on our hands.
The following weeks:
The rest of the course is all about developing the skills to take those characters to create a compelling piece of theatrical writing.
The functions of dialogue
The Dramatic Question and building tension
Writing action and auctioning your text
The remainder of the course is the usual price of £125. We’ll workshop your ideas, and develop them to create a compelling piece of theatrical writing, using our devices as a framework for tension, conflict, and objective-driven, active character dialogue.
When do we start?
We’re going to be starting on Thursday, 2nd April - 7-9pm. The sessions are all held online - check out this page to find out how.
We’ve been running online courses for the last three or four years, so we’re very proficient at making everyone feel like they’re part of a supportive group, even when we’re not in the same room together.
Places are strictly limited. Use the booking page to book a place on the course. There are two options - if you want to join for the entire course, you can book a place as usual. If you want to book a place on just the first two weeks, use the Intro to Intro booking form.
Of course, we would love you to stay for the full duration if you want - so you can book initially for the Intro to Intro and sign up for the remainder later on.
Advanced and Progressing
For more experienced writers or for anyone who has completed the Intro course, we have the Advanced and Progressing courses.
Advanced is a direct continuation of the Intro course, while Progressing is more like a WritersLab-type situation where we spend the majority of the time reading the work.
We explore more complex elements of playwriting in the Advanced course - things like subplot, advanced character development, creating a scene breakdown, finding an ending: all in unity with the Problem of the World.
Progressing is a great way to give yourself a weekly deadline - get something written each week and we read it, discuss it, and develop it together. It’s perfect for people who already have a script they’d like to develop, or for people from Intro and Advanced who want a less formal approach to furthering the work they started on those courses.
If you do join the first two weeks of Intro and choose not to subscribe for the remainder of the course, you can use The WFTS Podcast for free, to help you develop your ideas further.
Let’s take this very unusual time and make it creative!
Book a place on Weeks 1 & 2 Now
Booking is essential to join the first two weeks of the course.
Click here to BOOK NOW.
Then we expand that world view to discover new characters and to get a clearer understanding of the character‘s objectives, strategies, and emotion stasis.