Course Title: Write simple stories

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2010

Course Code: COMM5910C

Course Title: Write simple stories

School: 345T Media and Communication

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6088 - Advanced Diploma of Screenwriting

Course Contact : Program administration

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4368

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Teacher contact details:John Reeves
Location:Building 94, level 2, room 35, 23-27 Cardigan Street, South Carlton, 3053
Phone:9925 4895
Fax: 9925 4362

Nominal Hours: 30

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

This course delivers the skills and knowledge required to write simple stories, both linear and non-linear.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CUFWRT302A Write simple stories


1. Clarify storytelling requirements.

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Discuss with relevant personnel storytelling briefs, including target audience, format , timelines and delivery platforms

1.2 Identify purpose of dialogue, characters, point of view and setting to help structure storylines

1.3 Discuss with relevant personnel possible visual and aural storytelling structures that would meet the requirements of briefs


2. Prepare to write stories.

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Research stories from a range of creative works that may inspire story ideas that meet requirements of briefs

2.2 Use information sources to research subject areas

2.3 Experiment with linear and non-linear storyline structures

2.4 Use imagination to develop ideas for characters, plots and settings

2.5 Develop ideas for scenarios, contexts and situations in which characters act, react and resolve

2.6 Select story structure and content that best meet requirements of briefs

2.7 Seek feedback from relevant personnel on proposed story and refine approach as required


3. Draft stories.

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Use a creative writing style appropriate to specified stories

3.2 Use tools to draft stories

3.3 Use correct grammar, appropriate punctuation and accurate spelling

3.4 Proofread copy to check for spelling, grammatical, typographic and other errors

3.5 Submit draft stories to relevant personnel for feedback and amend as required


4. Refine stories.

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Participate in the testing of stories in line with agreed criteria

4.2 Discuss and confirm with relevant personnel additional requirements or modifications to stories

4.3 Complete necessary amendments within agreed timelines

Learning Outcomes


Details of Learning Activities

• lectures
• demonstrations
• guest lecturers
• peer teaching and class presentations
• exercises
• discussion
• group activities/projects
• workshopping

While you will be introduced to concepts and theories by way of short lectures, screenings, student reports and selected readings, most class time will be given to writing exercises and story workshopping.

Teaching Schedule

1Introduction1, 2, 3
2Sourcing: Looking for stories that matter
Story Structure: Beginning, Middle and End
Story workshop: One Afternoon
1, 2
3, 4Sourcing: Fairy Tales
Reading: Little Red Riding Hood, The Sleeping Beauty, Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella
Reports: The Grimm Brothers, Charles Perrault
Story workshop: Found Stories
1, 2
5Sourcing: Classical drama
Reading/Reports: Aristotle, Aristophanes, E M Forster
Story Structure: The Inciting Incident
Story workshops x 3
1, 2, ,3, 4
6Sourcing: The Power of Myth
Reading: Joseph Campbell, Christopher Vogler
Story Structure: Conflict
Story workshops x 3
1, 2, 3, 4
7Storytellers in the Screen Industry: The Early Days
Viewing: Frances Marion
Reading/Reports: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Daniel Fuchs
Story workshops x 3
1, 2, 3, 4
8Sourcing: A Sense of Place
Viewing: North By Northwest
Reading/Reports: Lisa Dethridge, Wim Wenders
Screening: Story workshops x 3
1, 2, 3, 4
 Weeks 9 to 17 will cover the competency Write Extended Stories 
9Sourcing: The Hero Myth
Extended Story Structure: Characterization, Character Development, Motivation
Reading/Reports: David Mamet
Story workshops x 3
 1, 2, 3, 4
10Sourcing: Road Tales
Storytellers in the Screen Industry: David Goodis
Reading/Reports: Syd Field, Helen Garner
Story workshops x 3
 1, 2, 3, 4
11Sourcing: True Tales
Extended Story Structure: Set-up, Payoff, Antagonists
Stories for short film
Reading/Reports: Henry Lawson, Peter Carey, Tim Winton
Story workshops x 3
 1, 2, 3, 4
12Sourcing: Imagery
Extended Story Structure: The Middle, Upping the Stakes
Stories for feature film
Reading/Reports: Mary Fortune, Barbara Baynton, Linda Seger
Story workshops x 3
 1, 2, 3, 4
13Sourcing: Looking for Subtext
Extended Story Structure: Mystery, Suspense, Irony
Viewing: Roger Corman
Reading/Reports: Edgar Allan Poe, Patricia Highsmith, Robert McKee
Story workshops x 3
 1, 2, 3, 4
14Sourcing: The Story Within
Extended Story Structure: Emotion - Beyond Story
Reading/Reports: Tom Hanlin, Colm Toíbín, Adrian Martin
Story workshops x 3
 1, 2, 3, 4
15Sourcing: Family Ties/Valued Objects
Extended Story Structure: dramatic action
Reading/Reports: Writing For Children
Story workshops x 3
 1, 2, 3, 4
16Sourcing: True Crime
Extended Story Structure: Climax, Crisis
Reading: Australian Police Journal
 1, 2, 3, 4

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on your knowledge and ability to write simple stories that engage the target audience and meet the requirements of a storytelling brief.

Assessment Tasks

Story 1: A Fairy Tale: A Magical Object or Happening
(1500 words)

Story 2: The Extraordinary Within the Ordinary
(2000 words)

Story 3: A Suspenseful Tale
(2500 words)

Assessment Matrix

CUFWRT302A Write A Simple StoryStory 1Story 2Story 3
Clarify storytelling requirements.
Prepare to write stories. X X X
Draft stories. X X X
Refine stories. X X X
write simple stories that engage specific audiences
 X X X
purpose of basic elements of a simple story, including:
point of view
 X X X
CUFWRT402A Write An Extended Story   
Analyse extended story writing requirements  X X
Prepare to write extended stories  X X
Draft extended stories  X X
Write final drafts   X X
initiative and enterprise sufficient to:

Develop original, innovative and creative approaches in the storytelling process

Experiment with narrative styles and elements to develop a creative sustained vision
Find creative solutions to problems identified during the process of story development
  X X
Storytelling techniques appropriate to a range of extended story contexts
  X X
In-depth knowledge of storytelling narrative, structure and formats appropriate to audience and purpose  X

Other Information

These assessment tasks are designed for you to demonstrate competency in the required skills and knowledge of this unit.

This unit will also be graded. Your teacher will provide a grading guide for you at the commencement of the course.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview