Screenwriting 101: The Basics

screen writing 101

Looking for a screenwriting class that covers the fundamentals, and gives you an opportunity to write and workshop some actual scenes and short scripts? In this Seattle screenwriting class, open to both beginners and experienced writers, you’ll learn how screenplays are written, learn what writing habits to avoid, do writing both during and outside the class hours, and get helpful feedback on your writings.

In this four week workshop, we’ll learn some things about how screenplays are written, then get some practice in writing them. You’ll have a chance to write “minute movies” (just a page long), short screenplays (a few pages long), and scenes from full length movies. There will also be opportunities (for those who want to) to share your writing with the class and get some feedback.

We’ll cover a number of topics, including:

  1. The STEPS most screenwriters go through when writing a screenplay (what most screenwriters do, in what order)
  2. How to FORMAT your screenplay (including indentation, font size and capitalization) (and common mistakes to avoid)
  3. How to write in the LEAN, FOCUSED style most screenwriters use, and break writing habits that don’t work.
  4. FORM AND STRUCTURE: We’ll talk about about some common story structures, and how using them may bring your story into clearer focus
  5. THE HERO’S JOURNEY, or monolith — what it is, why it matters, and how it to use it as a screenwriter
  6. YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE – How to identify the target audience for the movie you’re writing, and why it matters
  7. TREATMENTS – What they are and how to use them in the screenwriting process
  8. WRITING LOG LINES and TAGLINES (very short descriptions or blurbs for your screenplay) You’ll get some practice writing both.
  9. WRITING SCENES – We’ll look at what makes a scene, and get some practice in writing some complete short scenes.
  10. WRITING SOME SHORT SCRIPTS – we’ll talk about the elements of scriptwriting in detail, and will write at least two complete short scripts over the next five weeks.
  11. Plus, we’ll talk about beats, scene length, getting an agent, pitching and selling your screenplays, and more.

By the end of the class, you should have a good working knowledge of how to write a screenplay, how to approach marketing it, and have some solid writing experience under your belt.

The instructor, an independent Seattle filmmaker, has written over 30 screenplays. His films have played at major international festivals. He has taught screenwriting classes in Seattle since 2005. Instructor: Nils Osmar

Tuition: $150 + $10 reg. fee



Full refunds are given as long as the class is cancelled with at least 48 hours notice. is an independent adult education program, located in Seattle, Washington. We were established in 2002. We offer fun, affordable noncredit classes and workshops in the arts.

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