Spotlight: Creative Writing and Screen Writing

Spotlight: Screen Writing 

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Less than three weeks ago the screenwriting students walked into class with, at best, a kernel of a story idea(s).  Okay, I’ll admit, I was a little worried.  How would they shape these kernels into screenplays for four short films in three short weeks?  The answer - talent and tenacity. BTW, one without the other doesn’t work.  Hard work and a creative imagination is the ticket.  I’m happy to report these students had both.  

Their stories are as inspired as they are diverse.  We have ‘girl wants boy, who doesn’t like girls’, ‘boy who wants girl and, therefore, must “off” other boy’, ‘a mother’s battle for virginity’, and ‘Thelma and Louise forty years later’. I know, you want to see all of these films.

Well, I have good news, by Friday all four scripts will be completed. Yes, conceived of, created and cooked in three brief weeks.  And they are amazing first drafts!

 I want to thank my students for their smarts, hard work and cooperation: talent and tenacity.

My advice - keep writing!

Sincerely,

John

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Spotlight: Creative Writing 

Since last week’s update, we’ve finished our crash course in the elements of fiction. On Thursday we studied different modes of narration, and the ways in which narrators can be classified beyond the usual categories of first, second or third person.

On Friday we studied how to manage the passing of time and passing between multiple timelines in stories. As an example of artful time management, we read It’s Bad Luck to Die by Elizabeth McCracken, a story that spans a 20+ year marriage from start to finish in only 20 pages.

The town of Spoleto, too, proved a valuable resource during our discussions of time. Students took a trip to lower Spoleto to better consider the juxtaposition of everyday contemporary life set against a centuries-old backdrop. We spoke in particular about how specific venues (perhaps Spoleto’s famous Roman aqueduct for instance, a notorious teenage hangout until the recent earthquake damage) or objects can anchor a narrative as it travels back and forth through time.

Yesterday we shifted our focus fully toward the students’ final projects, and today they met with me in individual conferences to discuss the direction of their new work. On Thursday we’ll be workshopping their latest drafts to make sure everyone’s ready for Sunday’s reading!

 Creative writing students had a visitor during class at the park. 

Creative writing students had a visitor during class at the park. 

Performance Class 

Tonight, after dinner, students gathered in Sant'Agata for their third and final performance class. Photography students, vocal students, and creative writing students shared what they have been working on in class. As we approach the end of the program, students have been working hard preparing for their final performance on Sunday. 

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