Eleven weeks are over at First Draft. Fifteen more remain, out of which, the last five will be spent not in any instruction, assignments or workshops, but in writing first drafts of screenplays. So only ten more weeks of instruction will follow. It is all building up – each student busy with their respective stories, each having unique struggles, and individual journeys. The instruction and the feedback process too has changed now. It is no more a uniform approach, but tweaked to suit each individual and the story he or she is developing.
Fourteen ideas are being developed currently. Seven of them are feature films and the aim with them is to have a four-page story document by the end of week 13. Out of the seven show ideas, four are episodic stories with a light-ish long arc and the students are presently trying to write their episodes in half a page each, and understanding the parameters of their shows’ respective first seasons. The other three shows are long narratives and the idea is to first develop the broad story outline before dividing those into episodes. Somewhere, in the middle of all this, the students are also working on a short screenplay.
Week 10 started with each student writing in one page his or her expectations from the rest of the course and from themselves. We had writing lectures on:
- Themes, Premise, Controlling Idea and Image Systems
- Story Development: The Principle of antagonism and Types of Progression (from Robert McKee’s book ‘Story’)
- Plotting: How to Deal with the Second Act, Use of Index Cards, Sub-Plots, Time-Lock and MacGuffins.
- The Hero’s Journey: (from Christopher Vogler’s book ‘The Writer’s Journey’)