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Publisher's Summary

Whether you want to write your own scripts or simply gain a deeper appreciation for the great stories you see unfold on the screen, Professor Angus Fletcher is here to show you the way in Screenwriting 101: Mastering the Art of Story. Professor Fletcher, Professor of English and Film at The Ohio State University, brings both a personal and scholarly perspective to this craft. As a screenwriter himself, he has experienced the ins and outs of the process first-hand. And as a key faculty member in Project Narrative, a think tank devoted to using cognitive science to study the effects of stories on the human mind, Professor Fletcher offers unique insight into storytelling from both a neuroscientific and a literary perspective.

Despite what you may have been told, writing a great script is not about formulas and three-act structure. Great scripts - great stories - are those that create the desired emotional response in audiences, something that can only be achieved by knowing which methods are most effective and how they suit the story you want to tell. As you study the work of over a dozen great screenwriters and several television shows, each story you encounter will use different tools to achieve a variety of psychological and emotional responses. From the redemption arc of the Western Unforgiven to the romantic longing of Annie Hall, each story offers invaluable insights you can bring to your own writing - and viewing - experiences.

There is no cookie-cutter formula for writing scripts and no checklist for what makes a film or television show great. What Screenwriting 101 offers instead is an infinitely flexible storytelling tool that has worked for the greats - from Euripides to Shakespeare to Pixar - and a selection of resources to show you how to put it to use. How you decide to use these limitless creative possibilities is up to you.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2017 The Teaching Company, LLC; 2017 The Great Courses

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

best class

who knew that Toy Story had ties to Hamlet or that Pulp Fiction is so deep. this couese helps you discover that. The professor tells you up front that even if you don't want to write scripts you will come away witb a deeper understanding of storytelling. I did. this course makes me want to go back and watch Unforgiven again, Casablanca, and Game of Thrones. Highly recommend this course for storytellers and those who appreciate good stories. If you don't appreciate a good story, you will after this.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Screenwriting 101 - Angus Fletcher

I have read at least 30 books on the craft of screenwriting. This is by far the BEST there is hands down. Wish I had this 4 years ago when I started.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

it's great

the lecture is well narrated and offers more than a dozen excellent plot analysis. It's only weak point is it's repetative style, though it may just be me.

The prof. makes his point in the first third of the courseand the rest is emphasizing this method in a myriad of examples.

It wasn't the best Great Course I've listened to but it's in the top 5.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fabulous

This course was fun, entertaining, and helpful! A truly great experience! Thank you Prof. Fletcher!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Unexpected exercises

This ends every chapter with exercises. That's a great thing. Buuuut... I listen while I drive, which I happen to do for a living. So I can't say anything about how good or bad they are.
The rest was pretty good. He breaks down 12 or so classic screenplays. Well done.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Great course

Well organized and presented with many examples from film and television. The exercises are fun and helpful.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • WaltyS
  • Boston, MA USA
  • 06-07-18

Quick paced and deep

I love the pace of the narrator as much as I love all the details he shares in how to take the audience on an emotional ride.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Nauseating.

I'm a screenwriter and I know many professional screenwriters. This is not a book for aspiring screenwriters or active ones. If you loved Cassablanca you'll hate the way Fletcher turns a classic into a math problem. No writer I know knowingly "reverse engineers" the plot to create the best "cognitive effect." They write stories. This book is for students, not writers. But even students would expect at least a little magic with the math. Nothing to see here. Just a dude who thinks he cracked the code and wants to sell a math book because it's easier than selling a screenplay.

14 of 29 people found this review helpful

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  • Shaw
  • Long Beach CA, United States
  • 12-12-17

too many script covered. should stick to 6

pick only 6 to cover which will give you what you need. didnt need to cover tv

1 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • miso121
  • 06-21-18

Quality of recording is bad

The recording keeps jumping, cutting out and stuttering throughout the book. This makes it difficult to focus on the content which is pretty good.

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  • Richard
  • 05-05-18

Learn about life, love & story on-screen!

This is a gem of a course for anyone who likes literature, film or TV. Learn not only about the craft of screenwriting, but also dive deep into iconic scripts to deepen your appreciation of their stories. While at times Prof Fletcher unnecessarily trivialises screenwriting "blueprints", he does so out of a motivation to make the subject accessible and less daunting. For me, it took 2 or 3 returns to the series to complete it, but now that I've done so, I'm glad I persevered to the end!