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Course content

Humber’s Creative Writing – Comic Scriptwriting graduate certificate program prepares writers to enter the entertainment field with confidence. You will learn the essentials (story, structure, conflict and, most importantly, comic voice) and the business of getting in the door (pitching, dos and don’ts, how to handle rewrites and writing for producers). You will graduate with the satisfaction of knowing that your experience is truly a one-of-a-kind accomplishment.

Students work on a one-to-one basis with an award-winning, internationally acclaimed writer who critiques, supports and helps improve their writing. Program faculty have made millions laugh and have included Joe Flaherty (Second City Television (SCTV), Happy Gilmore, Freaks and Geeks) and David Flaherty (SCTV, Maniac Mansion).

Your experience will span 30 weeks. Correspondence is as close as your fingers are to your laptop. No classroom here – just you and your ideas. Our advisory committee provides regular review and input to our curriculum, ensuring our program is always on the cutting edge of industry developments.

Course detail

Upon successful completion of the program, a graduate will:

• Analyze personal and recognized works of fiction and creative non-fiction for form and structure and delineate story features such as conflict, crisis and resolution. Students should be able to differentiate between story and plot and compare various types of conflict used in story writing. Students will explore various methods of plotting a work of fiction such as working backward from the climax, working forward from the initial interaction or borrowing from tradition.

• Distinguish the qualities of short stories versus novels.

• Evaluate personal and recognized works of fiction for the inclusion of techniques used in creative writing for making narrative an emotional experience. These techniques include the use of significant detail, active voice, and strategies for establishing cadence, rhythm and prose. In addition, students will be expected to be masters of the mechanics of writing and demonstrate the correct use of spelling, punctuation and grammar.

• Assess personal and recognized works of fiction for characterization and the techniques used for establishing character credibility and complexity. Students will explore how character motivation is revealed and how characters are presented both directly and indirectly.

• Outline and compare personal and recognized methods for establishing setting and atmosphere in stories as well as techniques used for adjusting narrative time.

• Critique and manipulate the point of view in personal and recognized stories. In their development of point of view, students will develop strategies for deciding who is speaking in their stories and whom they are addressing. In addition, they will determine which techniques best convey the story and determine the best distance between the reader, author and characters. An analysis of point of view also includes the use of spatial and temporal distance and how to include unreliable speakers in the story.

• Evaluate the methods used for developing the theme in personal and recognized stories. They will explore how theme helps dictate the selection and organization of details, style, voice and other elements of the work.

• Evaluate personal and recognized works of fiction and creative non-fiction for unity of effect.

• Recognize and revise weak spots in their writing. They will explore common errors and the technical questions writers should ask themselves as they review and revise their work and apply them to an analysis of plot, characterization, style, setting, narration, dialogue, point of view, structure, clarity, length and originality.

• Conduct the required research to authenticate their story and make it come alive. They will be able to select and use a variety of research methods such as the internet, the library, interviews and site visits.

• Evaluate personal and recognized works of poetry for the poetic tools used to shape and focus ideas and feelings and to create texture and vividness in a poem. These techniques include: devise for rhythm; devices for sound; stanza and poem forms; and imagery and figures of speech.

• Develop a plan for marketing their creative writing and handling the business requirements of being a writer. This will include researching the needs and demands of the market, preparing query letters and/or book proposals, identifying suitable publishers for their work, finding and working with agents, negotiating a contract, submitting their work in suitable formats, setting fees where appropriate, and keeping appropriate records. In addition, they will explore some of the legal aspects of being a writer such as copyright and libel. Students will also develop an awareness of writing awards and competitions as well as writer support programs.

• Identify opportunities to publish freelance works of fiction and creative non-fiction to local, national and international magazines, newspapers, television, film, textbooks, and the Internet. This will include the analysis of the research and publication requirements of a variety of publishers, strategies for introducing ideas and personal works to various media and a thorough understanding of the features of freelance contracts. Students will prepare, review and submit works for freelance submissions.

• Evaluate the elements of successful professional writing careers and develop methods for promoting personal works and developing personal relationships with media contacts. This will include exploring ways to make public appearances and provide public readings of personal works. How to manage interviews and participate in a variety of media events will be examined. Public appearances and public speaking.

Modules

Semester 1
• WRIT 5001: Narrative Styles 1
• WRIT 5003: Character, Plot and Stylistic Development
• WRIT 5005: Editing for Publication 1
• WRIT 5007: Issues In Contemporary Writing
• WRIT 5009: Freelance Writing

Semester 2
• WRIT 5500: Narrative Styles 2
• WRIT 5501: Advance Character, Plot and Stylistic Development
• WRIT 5502: Editing for Publication 2
• WRIT 5503: The Business Of Writing
• WRIT 5504: The Writer and The Media

Your Career

Think you have a funny premise for a TV show? How about an idea that would make a great movie? If you’ve ever dreamt about writing a comedy, make it happen. And the beauty is, you can write comedy anywhere, any time your schedule allows.

How to apply

Click here to apply: http://humber.ca/admissions/how-apply.html

Funding

For information on funding, please use the following link: http://humber.ca/admissions/financial-aid.html

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