Dramatic Writing

Study dramatic writing, learn about writing compelling drama - learn how to plan, and develop your ideas and stories. Study by distance learning - by correspondence, online, or by eLearning. Learn from highly experienced specialist tutors.

Course Code: BWR110
Fee Code: S3
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Dramatic Writing Course - develop your skills to write engaging and compelling drama.

Do you have a flair for dramatic writing? Or, would you like to improve your dramatic writing skills? Well, drama queens (and kings) can make money writing!

 

What will this course do for you?

  • Guide you into writing engaging and powerful plots.

  • Encourage you to express your ideas clearly and in an exciting way.

  • Help you to develop your story ideas.

  • Get you started!


What type of writing can benefit from this course?

  • This course will help you no matter what style of writing you do, or where in the world you live.

  • Short stories

  • Poems

  • Novels

  • Screen plays etc. 

Dramatic writing can be useful in all of these.  This course includes lessons looking at many different writing styles (including screen writing) and allows you to apply them to your own work. 

Learn at home, guided by an international team of experienced, published, professional writers.

 

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
    • Motivation
    • Typing Time
    • Types of Writing : Reflection, Exposition, Description, Explanation, Argument
    • Making Decisions about what to Write
    • Know your stuff
    • The concept
    • Synopsis
    • Keeping a Notebook
    • Process of Story Development
    • Planning a Story
    • Developing your Voice
    • Useful terms
  2. Characters
    • Developing the characters
    • Building Characters
    • Main Characters
    • Minor Characters
  3. Theme & Genre
    • Developing a Theme
    • Universal Themes
    • Sub Themes
    • Creating Conflict
    • Names
  4. Plot Development
    • First Decisions
    • Ambience
    • The End of a Story
    • Types of Dramatic Story: Memoirs, Biographies, Reflective Stories, Historical etc
  5. Weaving a Story
    • Techniques: Action, Emotion, Mirror; Parallel lives, Palm Cards
    • Writers Block
    • Developing a Story Line
    • Things to Avoid
    • Different Approaches: Dialectic, Transition
    • How a Character Affects a Plot
    • How Plot Affects Genre
    • Goals
    • Consequences
    • Motive
    • Flashbacks and Flashforwards
  6. Writing a Dramatic Short Story
    • Main Character and Antagonist
    • Creating a Sense of Place
    • Counting Out Your Story
    • Short Stories
  7. Developing Sub Plots
    • Method
    • Plants
    • Activity
  8. Writing a Chapters for a Dramatic Work (Novel or Play)
    • Getting Published
    • Writing Resources
    • Writing as a Business
    • Vanity Publishing
    • Dealing with Publishers
    • Creating a Chapter or Segment of a larger work

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Aims

  • Define and develop an understanding of dramatic writing.
  • Develop methods of developing characters in dramatic writing.
  • Define different genres and develop themes for dramatic writing.
  • Develop techniques for developing your plot.
  • Describe techniques for weaving a story.
  • Develop a short story using dramatic writing.
  • Develop a chapter of dramatic writing.
  • Determine how to develop sub plots.

Different Types of Dramatic Writing

 There are many different types of writing – short stories, poems, novels, screen plays etc. Dramatic writing can fall into all of these. A short story usually takes place over a shorter period of time. It is often set in just one setting/scene, and the characters may be shown with broader strokes – there is not as much time to analyse characters as there is with novel writing.

A novel, however, allows more space to describe characters and scenes. There may be more than one scene and more than one plot. The plots may be multilayered. 

Writing comes in many forms, all of which can be creatively employed and manipulated by the creative writer, regardless of the genre (novel, poetry, travel guide etc.) in which they are writing. One form of writing is rarely used on its own. 

Common forms of dramatic writing are:
  • Reflection: An internal process of reviewing and making meaning from one's own experience.

  • Exposition or Reporting: Covers a wide area of writing. Events, thoughts and situations are exposed or shown to the reader, as in textbooks, magazine articles or news stories, but also when the narrator or a character takes an informing role. One very important form of reporting or exposition for writers is description.

  • Description: The reporting of information to convey an impression or feeling about a place, person, thing or idea, rather than facts. Description can be a small part of a particular narrative, or the main part of it. A lot of good travel writing is descriptive, as is a lot of fiction. Consider the heavy overlapping of description and exposition in this description of a circus performer by E.B. White (not in one of her novels, but in a newspaper article):
    The richness of the scene was in its plainness, its natural condition - of horse, of ring, of girl, even to the girl's bare feet that gripped the bare back of her proud and ridiculous mount. The enchantment grew not out of anything that happened … but out of something that seemed to go round and round with the girl, attending her, a steady gleam in the shape of a circle …

  • Explanation: A process of leading another person to a particular understanding or perception through information and reason, rather than through persuasive language. It includes instruction, rules and guidelines, argument and analysis.

  • Argument: Aims to persuade the reader to change their viewpoint or attitude about an idea or situation. It is often quite rhetorical in nature. [Rhetoric is the art of persuading through emotion, but using elements of logic or reason (often quite illogically)]. Most political speeches are rhetorical in nature. Argument typically presents two points of view; then builds a case for one of them, and either refutes or overwhelms the other.

Who can benefit from taking this course?

  • Writers wanting to work on plays, teleplays, screenplays, and novels and short stories.
  • Writers needing new approaches to characterisation, and how to tie a character's actions back to his or her emotional and mental aspects.
  • Writers wanting a deeper understanding of theme, structure, and narrative arc. Approaching the material from a dramatic perspective helps writers understand different approaches to writing, and how ideas and pieces from one type of writing can be applied to another. All writing is really about cross-pollination.
  • Writers seeking to try something new, or get out of a rut with their current work.
  • Writers wanting to improve their written dialogue.

At the end of this course you will:

  • Understand how to develop a character and improve characterisation.

  • Understand the principles of compelling dialogue.

  • Understand what narrative arc and three-act structure are, and how to use them.

  • Understand how to create and resolve conflict without losing the reader's interest.

 

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How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
registration. Recommencement fees may apply.

Simply click on the ENROL OPTIONS button at the top of this screen and follow the prompts.

You can see the course price at the top of this page. Click 'enrolment options' to see any payment options available.

You can pay by Credit Card, PayPal, Afterpay or bank transfer.

Yes! We have payment plans for most courses. Click 'enrolment options' to see the available payment plans.
We also have Afterpay that will allow you to pay for your course or payment plans in four instalments (if you are in Australia).


What do I need to know before I enrol?

There are no entry requirements that you need to meet to enrol in our courses, our courses are for everyone.
If you are under 18, we need written permission from your parent/ guardian for your enrolment to continue, we can arrange that after you have enrolled.

You don’t need to purchase any additional resources to complete our courses.

We aim to teach you the essentials without you having to purchase any specific computer program.
We recommend that you have access to a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, so that you can easily complete and submit your assignments.

You sure can. We are here to help you learn whatever your abilities.

Yes, if you are enrolling in a Certificate or Advanced Certificate, you might be eligible for credits if you have evidence of your previous studies or relevant experience. More information is here.

We recommend that you are able to browse websites, send emails and conduct online research. You will need to be able to type and submit your assignments.
If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course has been designed to cover the fundamentals of the topic. It will take around 100 hours to complete, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and anything else that is contained in the course. Our short courses are a great way to do some professional development or to learn a new skill.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

Our courses are designed for adults to gain professional development and skills to further their careers and start businesses.

Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

Yes, if you don’t have access to the internet, you can receive the course as paper notes or on a USB stick for an additional fee. We can also make alternative arrangements for you to send your assignments to us.

We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

Yes, your tutor is here to help you. Simply post any questions you have in your login.training portal or contact the office and we can pass on a message to your tutor.

We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $55 (AUS) $50 (O/S) for each exam.
More information is here

There are practical components built into the course that have been designed to be achieved by anyone, anywhere. If you are unable to complete a task for any reason, you can ask your tutor for an alternative.

When you complete the course work and the exam and you will be able receive your course certificate- a Statement of Attainment. Otherwise, you can receive a Letter of Completion.

You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

Yes, our courses are built to be applicable for people living anywhere in any situation. We provide the fundamentals, and each student can apply their own unique flair for their own interests, region and circumstances with the one-on-one guidance of a tutor. There is also a bit of student directed research involved.

Employers value candidates with industry skills, knowledge, practical skills and formal learning. Our courses arm you with all of these things to help prepare you for a job or start your own business. The longer you study the more you will learn.

ACS has an arrangement with OAMPS (formerly AMP) who can arrange Professional Indemnity from Australian and New Zealand graduates across all disciplines. Ph: 1800 222 012 or email acs@oamps.com.au.


Who are ACS Distance Education?

ACS Distance Education have been educating people for over 40 years.

We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
We are focused on developing innovative courses that are relevant to you now and what you will need to know in the future.
We are focused on helping you learn and make the most of your experience.
You can enrol at any time, you can work on your course when it suits you and at your own pace.
We are connected to many industry bodies and our staff participate in continuous improvement and learning activities to ensure that we are ahead of what learning is needed for the future.

Our courses are not accredited by the Australian Government. However many of our courses are recognised and held in high regard by many industry bodies.

Our courses are written by our staff, who all have many years experience and have qualifications in their speciality area. We have lots of academic staff who write and update our courses regularly.


How do I enrol my staff/ sponsored students?

Yes, you can do a request for a bulk enrolment and request an invoice on our Invoice Request Form

We can prepare an invoice, quote or proforma invoice. Simply complete your details on our Invoice Request form

We can arrange bulk discounts for your course enrolment, please get in touch with us to discuss your needs.

Yes, we have many students who are in locked facilities, such as prisons or hospitals. We can cater by also offering paper notes at an additional cost.


What if I have any more questions or need more information?

We can assist you to find the right course for your needs. Get in touch with us via email (admin@acs.edu.au) call on +61 7 5562 1088 or complete our course advice form.


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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.





Tutors

Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Nicola Stewart

BA(Hons); Dip.Pub; CIM Dip.Marketing; PGCE; Dip.Holistic Aromatherapy; Dip.Reflexology; Dip.Orton-Gillingham Multisensory Language Education; Masters in Education & Professional Studies/Research, PhD (underway)

Nicola worked in publishing before changing direction to teach Anatomy, Physiology and various complementary therapies in the UK’s post-compulsory sector for 16 years. She is the published author of 10 books, plus a range of magazine articles and has also ghost-written across a number of genres. When she is not working for ACS, she provides specialist literacy tuition for children with dyslexia.

Tracey Jones

B.Sc. (Hons) (Psychology), M.Soc.Sc (social work), Dip. SW (social work), PGCE (Education), PGD (Learning Disability Studies).

Tracey has over 20 years experience within the psychology and social work field, particularly working with people with learning disabilities. She is also qualified as a teacher and now teaches psychology and social work related subjects.

She is a book reviewer for the British Journal of Social Work. Tracey has also written a text book on Psychology and has had several short stories published.

Rosemary Davies

B Ed, BSc Hort, Dip Advertising & Marketing

Originally from Melbourne, Rosemary trained in Horticultural Applied Science at Burnley, a campus of Melbourne University. Initially she worked with Agriculture Victoria as an extension officer, taught horticulture students, worked on radio with ABC radio (clocking up over 24 years as a presenter of garden talkback programs, initially the only woman presenter on gardening in Victoria) and she simultaneously developed a career as a writer.

She then studied Education and Training, teaching TAFE apprentices and developing curriculum for TAFE, before taking up an offer as a full time columnist with the Herald and Weekly Times and its magazine department after a number of years as columnist with the Age. She has worked for a number of companies in writing and publications, PR community education and management and has led several tours to Europe.

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