The Writers Group: A 10-week course focused on writing scripts and poetry
4 August @ 18:30 - 20:30
An event every week that begins at 18:30 on Tuesday, repeating until 22 September, 2020
This ten-week series of workshops is intended to equip emerging writers with the tools and techniques required to develop their stories.
The workshops explore, in-depth, the essential elements of creating what Selma calls ‘’rounded stories’’; stories that are relatable to audiences from a variety of perspectives; stories that aim to eliminate the single-story narrative. The workshops are intended to develop skills and knowledge on how stories work and how to build authentic worlds through poetry and scripts for both stage and screen.
Selma will provide 1:1 support to individuals looking for feedback on their writing in the final three weeks of the course.
The aim of this series is to create a long-lasting writing community, and to complete the series with a finished first draft of a script or poem(s).
By the end of the course, you will…
By the end of the ten weeks, writers will have developed a finished first draft of their story which they can then continue to develop using the tools and techniques gained from the course.
Week One – Exploring Stories: Tuesday 21st July @ 6.30pm – 8.30pm
This workshop will focus on building a basic understanding of storytelling; why we tell stories and where our understanding of a good story comes from. We will briefly explore the theoretical understanding of storytelling in its various forms as well as establish our responsibilities as storytellers (what is our purpose and aim, both collectively and individually). By the end of this workshop, work-shoppers will have established what form of storytelling they want to produce by the end of the ten weeks, i.e poetry, play, short-story or screen play.
- The nature of stories. What they are and what they do
- A brief view of Aristotle’s Poetics.
- What are our responsibilities as writers/storytellers
- Forms of storytelling
- Forming habits that will strengthen our storytelling muscles
Week Two -The Building Blocks: Tuesday 28th July @ 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Building on from the first workshop, this session will focus on filtering through ideas and developing a starting point for the story. We will explore how to form dialogue through writing exercises and then create rough drafts of characters from the dialogue created. We will also explore how to use the world around us to inspire characters that work together to drive the plot.
- Filtering ideas
- Setting a schedule
- Feeding off stimulants
Week Three – Dialogue, Theme and Setting: Tuesday 4th August @ 6.30pm – 8.30pm
This session will explore how dialogue, theme and setting work together to drive plot. We will look at how to attach a theme to your story that establishes the audience’s expectations. In addition, we will explore how to create dialogue and settings that contribute to creating theme.
- Exploring the importance of theme – setting the expectation.
- Establishing the inextricably entwined relationship between theme and setting.
- Understanding how dialogue is influenced by theme and setting.
Week Four – Creating Structure: Tuesday 11th August @ 6.30pm – 8.30pm
This session will explore how to establish key events as well as minor events ( key events within sub-plots) and how to arrange them effectively to tell the story.
- Establishing key events
- Exploring sub-plots and how they drive the overall plot.
- Exploring devices that manipulate time and structure; how to effectively implement these devices into our story.
Week Five – Creating Character: Tuesday 18th August @ 6.30pm – 8.30pm
This workshop will explore the fundamentals of character development and how to create rounded characters. We will explore types of characters; how different characters are necessary for the development and survival of others and how to breathe life into our characters so that they relatable to audiences from a variety of perspectives.
- Types of characters
- Villains vs Victims
- Impulses and purposes
- Establishing needs and wants – giving life
- Mapping their journey’s – how are they intertwined?
Week Six – Exploring Place: Tuesday 25th August @ 6.30pm – 8.30pm
This session will establish an understanding of the role place plays within a plot and how it influences character development. When we speak of place within story, its meaning extends beyond cities and towns, but also to mindsets (i.e. traditions, culture, beliefs situations and circumstances).
- Creating histories
- Exploring what place means – not just cities and towns but situations and circumstances too.
- Understanding how places as characters – defining their own needs and wants
- Creating attachment between character and place
Week Seven – Exploring Language: Tuesday 1st September @ 6.30pm – 8.30pm
This workshop will develop our understanding of language. How we implement language to influence characterisation both of the people and places within our stories.
- Exploring dialect.
- The importance of consistency
- How language can contribute to characterisation.
Weeks Eight, Nine and Ten – Drafting and Polishing the story: Tuesday 8th September, Tuesday 15th September & Tuesday 22nd September @ 6.30pm – 8.30pm
The final three weeks of this workshop series will focus on the final pieces of writing work-shopper have been developing. We will share our work with other workshop members and exchange feedback.
Selma graduated from the University of Lincoln in 2018 with a Masters in Drama (playwriting), and has since founded a theatre company called ‘Ari Theatre’.
Ari Theatre aims to re-shape the way we tell stories on stage and eliminate the single-story narratives that result in the creation of stereotypes, which then create divisions between nations, cultures and people.
Alongside Ari Theatre, Selma is a Mphil/PHD student at the University of Lincoln School of Performing Arts. Her research is provisionally titled ”Building the bridges and shifting societal perceptions of stereotypes through contemporary playwriting across Britain and Sub-Saharan Africa”. Her research is concerned with the contributions in which playwriting has/ has had in shaping our national perceptions of ourselves as well as of other nations.
Book your place
The cost of this 10-week series is £135.00 for NWS members and £162.00 for general admission. Book your place, or to find out more about joining NWS, head to our membership page.
To help split the cost, we ask that you pay a 50% non-refundable deposit to secure your place (£67.50 for NWS members and £81.00 for general admission) with the remaining balance payable by Tuesday 4th August. You can either choose to pay the balance via PayPal or NWS can issue you with an invoice.
The workshop will be delivered online via Zoom. Once social distancing measures are in place, it might be the case that the sessions continue in-person at the Studio.
Participants will be updated regularly regarding any changes to how the sessions are delivered.
Zoom is a cloud-based video conferencing service you can use to virtually meet with others – either by video or audio-only or both. A user manual containing access instructions and a link will be sent out to you before the workshop. You will need an internet connection, and a computer with either a built in camera or webcam, and a built-in microphone/speaker.