COURSE OUTLINE: RomCom Writing Intensive
Wednesdays & Saturdays (times vary, see below)
30 Hours in 31 Days
Online via Zoom
Beginning May 3rd, 2023
Jumping off from the zero-draft (or even first draft) of your TV Romcom, let’s get you to a polished version via lecture, workshop, and quite a bit of writing time. Over the course of 30 hours broken up into large and small chunks, students will learn about how to re-plot if necessary, the pitfalls and advantages of changing a character want, and the difference between a comedy pass vs a romance pass vs a Christmas pass. Over the course of one month, students will check in both with the larger class, smaller groups and the instructor in one-on-one sessions. Finally, students will hear from working television executives on how to move the script out of their computers and into the world.
By the end of the course, students will be able to:
1. Discuss notes and feedback in a way that’s constructive and drives to next steps.
2. Identify the most common pitfalls of romcom dialogue and action line writing.
3. Rewrite their 95-105 page script into one they feel comfortable sending out into a professional setting.
1. Four Notes Documents. Students will read and offer feedback on four other scripts during the course of the class.
2. Notes Checklist/The “Re-Outline” Document: Students will generate a list of the most important notes offered by the instructor and other students, as well as a plan of attack in how they hope to fix their story.
3. The Interim Script: bumpy, rough, “just get to the end” version of their rewritten and reworked script for feedback.
4. A final script: Consisting of 95-105 pages, this is the sample we all feel comfortable sending as a submission to contests, agents, and executives
There are no textbooks or course materials to purchase for this course. Though, in order to get a solid understanding of the basics, the following texts are recommended:
Writing the Romantic Comedy, Billy Mernit
Creating Character Arcs, KM Weiland
Weds, May 3, 5:30-8:30 pm PST: How To Give a Note
Students will meet to discuss the process they used in writing the zero-draft of first draft of their script, prepare a list of things they think they’ll be fixing. From there, everyone will distribute their first clumsy draft of a script to two readers. Everyone will leave class with two scripts to read and write a guided set of notes on.
Weds, May 10, 5:30-8:30 pm PST: How to Take a Note
Consisting of both written and verbal feedback, in groups, and individually, we’re going to overwhelm each other with feedback. Taking a look at the common edits and pitfalls of rewriting a draft of a script, we’ll go back to what needs re-thinking, and choose which fixes are scene level and which fixes are story level.
Weds, May 17, 5:30-8:30 pm PST: Review of Beginning Middle End
We’ll take a look at some of the edits we’ve started through the lens of classic three-part structure, while opening up our ENTIRE script to character journeys in nine-acts.
Weds, May 24, 5:30-8:30 pm PST: How Long It Takes
Students will have three “writing sprints” wherein they will assign themselves three tasks. In timed exercises, we’ll examine process from the perspective of time.
Weds, May 31, 5:30-8:30 pm PST: Dialogue, Part One
The ProPath Intensive RomCom Class Players will read aloud several scenes from the first half of the class, as we explore dialogue from the perspective of what it does and does not do in a script.
Weds, June 7, 5:30pm-8:30 pm PST: Dialogue, Part Two
The ProPath Intensive RomCom Class Players will read aloud several scenes from the second half of the class, as we explore dialogue from the perspective of revision: from word choice to action line to character trait.
Weds, June 14, 5:30-8:30 pm PST: Another Pass at Notes
This is a combination writing sprint/problem-solving session where students will bring a problem to the table, ask for advice from the collective, and then go off and fix it. This week, we’ll also distribute our scripts to two different writers for feedback.
Weds, June 21, 5:30-8:30 pm PST: Taking Notes
This again! Consisting of both written and verbal feedback, in groups, and individually, we’re going to take a look at not just the work that still remains unclear, but learn how to find encouragement in the growth of the work. We’ll also do a section on procrastination.
Saturday, June 24, 10am-1pm PST; 2pm-5pm PST: The Last of It
We’ll spend the morning in a series of writing sprints meant to give direction toward a final draft that students can feel comfortable passing to someone they don’t know. The afternoon session is both a reading series and a panel of industry experts.
NOTE: Classes subject to change and material subject to tweaking. Stay tuned, stay loose, stay flexible and we’ll all figure it out together.
I am here to help you travel the distance between the writer you already are and the writer you will be in the future. I’m dedicated to helping you learn the structure underneath the stories that are important to you, and I will always do my best to keep my personal opinion, my political or moral or social background, and even my sense of taste from interfering in your process. I sincerely invite you to offer feedback to me on the material presented, and to keep me honest in how you are feeling about the work we do. I will listen without judgment and seek every opportunity to help. That’s also what I ask of you. By joining a classroom setting, we’re all committing to helping each other see the distance between what we hope people take away from our writing, and what we’ve written. And so, let’s agree to talk about the work in a way that helps lead the writer toward clarity, rather than imposing our own ideas onto it. Let’s agree to be helpful without being pushy, to learn how to be open and strong at the same time. Let’s all try to listen more than we speak. As a writing class, we will use language that is affirming, compassionate, and we will stay open to being educated as to why some words are used for effect in writing, while remaining inappropriate for daily use. Let’s all remain aware that we’re a group of individuals who are arriving from different perspectives. Let’s all agree to act with good intention, to keep each other honest, and to respect everyone’s personal opinions and backgrounds. Let’s be better than we think we should be.
Here’s what it comes down to, we’re all showing up to help you get where you’re going. So, late work just won’t be evaluated unless a student wants to do you the favor of reading it. By signing up, you’re committing to learning the hardest part of being a writer. Working writers regularly meet deadlines and are well-prepared for meetings and classes. The professionalism you practice here will help prepare for a career as a writer. If you have a serious reason for not submitting an assignment on time, please contact me by email as soon as possible.