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CCOG for WR 243 Fall 2023

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Course Number:
WR 243
Course Title:
Creative Writing - Script Writing
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Focuses on writing and submitting theatre and film scripts for class discussion and analysis. Studies established writers for techniques, structures, and styles. Prerequisites: (WR 115 and RD 115) or IRW 115 or equivalent placement. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

Students are encouraged to take a literature class, preferably one that includes scripts, concurrently with WR 243.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  1. Articulate techniques and strategies a wide range of authors demonstrate in their work —such as character, setting, conflict, dialogue and subtext, theme, dramatic (or narrative) structure—in order to become familiar with the elements of drama and how these elements combine to create a theatrical experience.
  2. Develop an original storyline, and unify its form, content, and structure in a properly formatted script. 
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the collaborative nature of theatre and film, and an appreciation of the writer’s traditional role in each medium.
  4. Use critical thinking skills to critique the work of professionals, peers, and ultimately one's own writing.

Integrative Learning

Students completing an associate degree at Portland Community College will be able to reflect on one’s work or competencies to make connections between course content and lived experience.

General education philosophy statement

English and Writing courses align with the PCC General Education philosophy by providing an appreciation of writing and literature from global and personal perspectives. Students in English courses engage the imagination, critical inquiry and self‐reflection, and in the process of doing so, cultivate a more complex understanding of their own culture(s), linguistic/communication practices, and perspectives in relation to others. Because the literary arts lie at the heart of most human cultures, they are essential for understanding ourselves and each other and navigating our differences. Like all artistic practices, Creative Writing allows us to process experience and, in doing so, discover and create meaning. In Creative Writing courses, students produce and revise original writing, workshop their writing and the writing of others, study literature, and learn about editing and publishing. Courses in creative writing empower students to realize themselves as writers. In the process, students nurture and harness their creativity, develop their unique writing voices, and explore interdisciplinary aspects of their craft — connections with art, music, and science, for example. Writing and Literature courses foster a stronger sense of engagement with history, culture, and society. Writing and Literature students develop an awareness of themselves as readers and writers in a global world, and an enlarged understanding of the relationships between language, identity, ideas, scholarship, communication, and transformation.

Course Activities and Design

This course can include lecture, but will likely consist mostly of round-table workshops in which student work will be evaluated by the entire class. Students will come prepared to critique the work by responding to it either in discussion or in writing. Students may also read a variety of published scripts and view live or recorded performances for analysis. The instructor should spend approximately an hour of conference with each student outside of class.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assessment may include informal responses to reading and study questions; quizzes; evaluation of small and full-group discussion, in-class and out-of-class writing; writing scripts; revising scripts; participation in reading of scripts.

Because of the participatory nature of the workshop atmosphere of the course, consistent attendance is essential. The course grade is determined by appraisal of the students' writing, regularity of attendance in class and individual conferences, and active participation in class activities. Scripts totaling approximately 4,000 words will be required, the number depending on how much other writing is assigned—such as notebooks, journals, exercises, or revisions. Reading and writing activities are sequential and should be completed on time.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)







Sound / Music


Point of view











Visual metaphors/ Imagery




Theatrical convention


Dramatic irony

Dramatic economy



The following items are intended as descriptions of instructor’s choices of texts in the past as an aid to choosing texts in the future. This is not intended as a prescribed or recommended list of texts. A text, texts, or alternative forms of texts may be designated by the instructor based on the objectives outlined in this course content guide. Generally, instructors order a text that supplies the basic forms in one area of media and supplement the content with handouts, books on reserve, recordings, and video tapes/films. Some possibilities are as follows:

  • Beckett, Samuel. Working Words: The Process of Creative Writing.
  • Field, Syd. Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting.
  • Minot, Stephen. Three Genres: The Writing of Poetry, Fiction, and Drama.
  • Mueller, Lavonne, and Jerry D. Reynolds. Creative Writing: Forms and Techniques.
  • Packard William. The Art of the Playwright.
  • Root, Wells. Writing the Script: A Practical Guide for Films and Television.
  • Hatcher, Jeffrey, The Art and Craft of Playwriting
  • Dixon, Michael Bigelow and Michele Volansky, eds., 20 One-Act Plays from 20 Years of the Humana Festival
  • Whitcomb, Cynthia, The Writer’s Guide to Writing Your Screenplay

Instructors new to the course should contact the campus creative writing chair, creative writing sub-SAC chair, Comp/Lit SAC chair, faculty department chair, or administrative support person for further information.