Singapore University of Social Sciences

Scriptwriting: Telling a Compelling Story

Scriptwriting: Telling a Compelling Story (FLM361)


FLM361 Scriptwriting: Telling a Compelling Story asks you to consider what stories you wish to write. How do you convey your unique perspective and voice in a way that says something meaningful, which would resonate with audiences? The course takes you through the process of brainstorming an idea, structuring it to include critical plot points and suspense, while imbuing it with a strong theme. You will learn about the elements of a good story and how to introduce and flesh out characters. You will also practise how to write action descriptions which incorporate props and setting, as well as dialogue. Through a series of practical writing and critique exercises, you will develop and write a script for a two-minute narrative that emphasises visual storytelling. You will also be required to pitch your story ideas using loglines, which is a necessary industry skill. The course will also examine genre and social issues, using analysis of films and screenplays to discuss plot, structure, dialogue, and subtext.

Level: 3
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: EVERY JULY


  • Scriptwriting Basics
  • Ingredients of a Compelling Script
  • From Idea to Logline and Pitch
  • Developing Complex Characters
  • Character Types
  • Character Introductions
  • Story, Plot, and Structure
  • Three-Act Structure
  • Beat, Treatment, and Outline
  • Formatting the Script
  • Action Descriptions
  • Dialogue and Subtext
  • Theme
  • Writer’s Voice
  • Writing is Rewriting . . . and More Rewriting
  • The Rewriting Process
  • How to Deliver Notes and Feedback

Learning Outcome

  • Analyse screenplays and build relevant knowledge of screenwriting by examining genre, characterisation, plot, story structure and flow, dialogue, and subtext.
  • Examine the script to ensure it is appropriate for the client or purpose.
  • Use screenwriting principles to advance story, develop and reveal character, and craft characters with clear goals, needs, dilemma, and relevant story purpose.
  • Construct and plot scenes with clear cause and effect and visual transition, and write scenes that externalise conflict, desires, and emotions.
  • Develop and write loglines with an active protagonist, clear goals, strong dilemma, and stakes.
  • Create and write a script, revise it, incorporate story notes, and format it professionally, in the required industry format.
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