Script Writing Lessons 3: Scenes

Task 1

Watch a scene from any television program or film! Yes, really. Go and watch a scene from any television program or film. But only one scene. When you’ve watched it, answer these questions.

  1. What were the names of the main characters involved in the scene?
  2. How did you know that they were the main characters?
  3. What happened in the scene?
  4. Give the scene a title that captures the events of the scene.
  5. How did the scene change the direction of the film or program?

Task 2

Watch this YouTube clip and then answer the questions:

  1. According to Dawn King, what is the purpose of a scene and what had to be achieved in each scene?
  2. What is Simon Stephens advice on helping write characters into scenes?
  3. How does Tanya Ronder approach writing scenes? Does she write it all out in notes first or does she do it different?
  4. What advice does Dawn King give on knowing whether the scene you’ve written or planned is going to work?
  5. How does Evan Placey create an overview of his plays?

Task 3

Use this table (available to download from here) to plan out your play in more detail.

Follow each of the playwrights advice.

  1. Start with Evan Placey’s advice of writing a sentence or two about what is going to happen in that scene.
  2. Then think about Dawn Kings advice of the purpose of each scene and how it is going to move the story forward.
  3. Think about the characters you need in each scene. Use Simon Stephens advice of making sure that every character has some kind of motivation for being in each scene.
  4. Take Tanya Ronders advice of only writing a few more brief notes on each scene. Such as where it is set and when it is set. It’s a good piece of advice to have each scene take place in a different location or time of day.
  5. Finally finish with Dawn Kings advice and review each scene. Does it move the story forward? Has anything changed from the beginning of the scene? If it hasn’t, how can you change it? Or do you need it?

Task 4

Write the rest of the exposition section of your play. I would recommend that this should take place over 2 or 3 scenes. Of course, it could be shorter or longer.