The Write Journey Agenda

If you want to write a story, our signature course The Write Journey will take you from inspiration, fully developing your idea, characters and plotting, to writing your first pages.

The Write Journey turns the voice in your head into the actual narrative. Imagine the novel you want to read, the film /TV show you want to see, or the theatre production you want to experience live, and write it.

Following in the tradition of 23 years of extensive workshops throughout South Africa, and courses internationally, The Write Journey is an interactive course for writers who would like to write a screenplay for a feature film or television and is ideal for novelists and playwrights.

The Writing Studio has shaped the successful careers of many of South Africa’s leading filmmakers and storytellers and is now honing the skills of future writers in the art and craft of storytelling.

What is the secret behind The Write Journey?

Following 40-years as a Film and Theatre Journalist, and 23 years of screenwriting and creative writing workshops throughout South Africa and internationally, The Write Journey evolved into the Signature course of The Writing Studio, and Independent Training Initiative founded by Daniel Dercksen in 1998.

The Write Journey is about turning ideas into a success story while learning about yourself in the process.

It is uniquely two courses blended into one.

  • It takes you on an insightful and inspirational journey into what it takes to be a writer and how to make the most of who you are as a writer.
  • It offers an up-to-date exploration of what it takes to craft a story from inspiration to final draft, examining all the building blocks required to write a story that is ready for producing and publishing.

The Write Journey fosters an organic process of writing your story and shows how you as a writer write from the inside out, and not from the outside in.

We all serve the story, the writer, the characters, the structure … It is about you and your story, the whole story, and nothing but that.

THE WRITE JOURNEY IS ALSO ABOUT DISCIPLINE.

There is lots of information to digest, question and set into action and you will have to discipline your time and yourself and make personal sacrifices to take on the journey with ease and comfort.

Writing your story will fill your life with new ideas, and new ways of expressing yourself and selfishly demand a lot of me-time, where you creatively bring your story and characters to life and need to spend time becoming their best buddy.

It encourages you to take complete ownership of the process of writing your screenplay, and the process that follows once you have completed your first draft.

The Write Journey focuses on aspects that relate to the marketability of your story, ticking off all the boxes that producers and investors look for.

The Write Journey is not just about learning how to write but learning to write and market yourself in a way that is attractive to managers, producers, and studios.

YOU WILL UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WANTING TO BE A WRITER AND BEING ONE.

There are twelve units that each has:

  • Self-Tasks that you must research and complete in your own time.
  • Tasks that you must submit to your coach to make sure that you are on the right track – during this process, your coach is there to help you understand the material and solve problems.

STEP ONE: Who are you as a storyteller and story maker? Let us take a closer look at who you are as a writer. If you want to be a writer, there are some basics you must know from the outset before start thinking about writing your masterwork. Once you have explored the fundamentals of a well-crafted story and examined how inspiration inspires creativity, you are ready to take an introspective journey into who you are as a writer and explore your strengths and weaknesses as a writer. 

STEP TWO: What does it take to be a writer? Now you can find your home in the creative universe by looking at what medium you are capable of writing for, and what medium will showcase your story best.  You will take a closer look at the writing process vs the film process / getting your writing published; screenwriting and filmmaking in South Africa; the magical world of films and filmmaking; the language of the visual medium and how to read a film; and end this unit with evaluating and analysing a film of your choice.

STEP THREE: What type of story you are writing and who you are writing for? Now it is time to develop your story and explore the building blocks that build story. Before you start developing the idea you have for a story, you need to know what genre you want to set your story in, what type of story you want to write (Genre), and look at who you are writing for (Your audience/ reader).

STEP FOUR:  What do you want to write? Now it’s time to deconstruct your idea and take a closer look at what you want to write; develop the premise of your idea, conceptualise and dramatise your idea, explore your theme, your thematic purpose, and find a catchy title that will get people to listen to your story or read your script.

STEP FIVE:  Who are you writing about? Now it’s time to focus on the people who live your story and identify your characters: Protagonists, Heroes and Anti Heroes; Antagonists and Villains; and supporting and functional characters. You will explore elements that define who the people in your story are, what their function in the story is, and what makes them unique; look at how visual dynamics can strengthen your characters; how to write character biographies, and how characters express themselves verbally. You will end this unit with how to research your idea and characters.

STEP SIX: How do you structure your story? Now it is time to look at the structure. You will look at: The importance of structure, the relationship between character and structure, the relationship between structure and screenplay, composition – the ordering and linking of scenes, turning points and transitional Values.

STEP SEVEN: How do you plot your story? Now it is time to take a closer look at plotting your story, controlling your story creatively. You will explore: The differences between story and plot, what a plot represents, different genre plots, and four different plots to structure your story, the relationship between plot and subplots and 14 structural points /structural signposts that will help you to write a solid story outline.

STEP EIGHT: How do you outline your story? Before you start writing your story outline, it is important to familiarise yourself with story events. Now it is time for you to write a story outline. The function of your story outline is to write what happens in your story from opening to ending, identifying the story events (scenes) of the most important events in your protagonist’s life.

STEP NINE: How do you create a scene outline? Now it is time to make the most of your story events and begin a card outline. The function/ goal of the card outline is to build and dramatise each event, and to explore the exterior and internal lives of your story.  You will identify the line of dramatic action, complete with a beginning (set up), middle (confrontation) and end (resolution), opening and closing story values, turning point, explore the characters in each event: Who drives the event, and who causes the resistance or conflict in the scene?  What the motivational action of each character is, identify the internal and external conflict and how the scene reflects or amplify the theme?

STEP TEN: How do you write your first draft? You will look at the process of writing and re-writing your first draft. You will look at the importance of formatting your draft and write a scene from one of the scenes in your card outline.

STEP ELEVEN: Writing is Rewriting The key to success for writers is getting their screenplay/manuscript / stageplay TV Pilot not only sold but also produced/published, and not only produced/published, but released successfully. Remember that you are going to rewrite 70 – 80% of what you have written anyway.

STEP TWELVE: How do you take ownership of your story Let us take a closer look at copyright, writing a professional Top Sheet with confidence and clarity, and how to market your screenplay and sell yourself as a writer.

You will then write the first 10 pages of your screenplay and submit it to your coach for evaluation before you continue writing your first draft. 

  • Your coach will be available for questions during the process of writing your draft and keep you updated with relevant features in the world of writing and filmmaking.

HOW DOES THE ONLINE COURSE WORK?

  • Once we receive your registration form and deposit details you are ready to take the journey.
  • You will have the choice of commencing at your own pace or working according to set deadlines.
  • The course is done online, via email, offering a one-on-one interaction between yourself and your coach.
  • There are 12 units (with sub-sections); each section consists of user-friendly and comprehensive notes that include self-tasks (which you complete on your own time), and a task.
  • You will read through the notes which include self-activities (for you to complete in your own space and at your own pace) and tasks (for you to complete and forward via email).
  • Once your coach has read through your task and there are no questions pertaining to the specific unit, you commence the next step. 

Sign up and register for The Write Journey

Back to The Write Journey