Visual Storytelling Course: 30 Exercises For Screenwriters
VISUAL STORYTELLING WORKBOOK & COURSE
Explore theme, symbolism, viewpoint, character, setting, and action.
By Anthony Ehlers
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What You Need
1. A Notebook & Pen
You can use the course workbook (available for a small fee), but a notebook or yellow legal pad will also do. You can also type your exercises on your computer.
2. Software For Screenwriters (optional)
You can download basic screenwriting software (Final Draft, Trelby, Fade-In, etc.) if you want to use that.
3. Script Examples
Look for scripts online to get an idea of how other writers are creating stories for the screen.
Collect your favourite music to inspire you. Listen to it as you write.
5. Belief In Your Own Unique Font
While anyone can learn the technical aspects of writing a screenplay, only you can bring your own stories alive on the page!
It’s not always the best screen writers who get their stories picked up by producers. It’s the ones who believe in their story with passion and conviction – and don’t give up.
7. An Inquiring Mind
Be open to new ideas and notes from first-readers or mentors. Accept challenges. Be willing to learn. Everyone has something that can add to your experiences.
8. A Love Of Movies Or Television
Write because you are in love with movies or television, and you want to express your love on the page.
The Objectives Of This Course
1. To show the importance of visual storytelling in a script.
2. To help you explore theme through images in your screenplay.
3. To demonstrate how visual subtext and symbolism adds depth to a screen story.
4. To explain how subjective viewpoints can shape your story.
5. To help you understand the visual and emotional transformation of characters.
6. To explore time and setting in your film or TV script.
7. To understand how action lines are created for your script.
8. To give you fun and engaging exercises and prompts to get you started.
9. To help you find your unique, visual storytelling voice.
What Are Your Objectives?
How To Use This Course
We suggest the following to get the most from this course.
- Set aside 30 minutes to one hour a day to read and complete the exercises.
- Take some time on weekends to review and edit/revise your work.
Complete these exercises at your own pace in the comfort of your own space.
Remember: You have permission to write badly! We just want you to write.
- Simply open a new screen page on your writing software or put pen to paper and see where it takes you.
- Set a timer for 10 minutes. Use the timer on your phone if you want, but don’t get distracted by messages and notifications. You can keep writing after the timer has gone off, but don’t stop before then.
- For the more structured exercises, try to follow the instructions, but then again, it’s creative writing and there are no rules.
- When you are finished with this course, use the same time every day to write your own screenplay.
If you still need help, we have the perfect course to help you. Sign up for The Script and learn how to write for the screen.
The Purpose Of This Course
- This course is a companion set of exercises that complement The Script – How To Write A Screenplay.
- It is for any aspiring or experienced screenwriters who want to become more creative when writing.
- It is designed to help you find your unique, visual storytelling voice.
Have fun and happy writing!
About The Author
Anthony Ehlers is a screenwriter. His script, ‘Lostalgia’, was shortlisted for the Much More Than A Script competition for the ECU Film Festival 2014. In the same year, ‘Radiant Lady’, set in 1940s Hollywood, was shortlisted for the US Jameson First Shot film initiative.
From 2012, he also wrote screenplays for the locally produced TV miniseries, ‘Mzansi: Big City Love’, for Fireworx Media. In 2017, a full-length gospel drama he wrote ‘Voices of Faith’ (directed by Alan Farber, produced by Chris Avant Smith) premiered in the Diepsloot community where it was filmed.
Anthony is also a facilitator and blogger for Writers Write. He is the creator of The Script – How To Write A Screenplay.
He currently works as a senior copywriter and content editor. He is obsessed with lip balm, coffee, and the Pink Panther.
Follow his blog on Writers Write.
Please click here for Lesson One