Intermediate Screenwriting

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An online short course available at:

You’ve got an idea for a film, you’re aware of the fundamental screenwriting principles (you may even have attended our Introduction To Screenwriting course), now it’s time to delve deeper into the three main elements crucial to a successful screenplay – plot, characters and dialogue.

  • What’s your story’s message?
  • How do you create authentic characters who will captivate an audience?
  • What makes their dialogue memorable?

This 12-week screenwriting course delivered in a virtual environment via Zoom will take an in-depth look into three of the main elements of screenwriting.

Participants will be able to progress with their own writing throughout the weeks, ready for the table read at the end of the course.

Who teaches the Intermediate Screenwriting course?

Diane Messias is a drama writer with 35 years experience in the business.  A comedy specialist, she is a former BBC Comedy producer/director (One Foot In The Grave), who has worked with many of the top actors and comedians in the country.  She teaches degree-level drama/comedy & satire writing at Goldsmiths, University of London, and at various other respected arts institutions in the country.

'I learned more in two hours with Diane than I have from any book – and I’ve read most of them. I was struck by her depth of knowledge, and her detailed notes on my script were inspiring. I’ve never come across anyone else who approaches the subject in the way she does. Diane’s a real pro who knows all the tips and tricks on how things are really done. Right on the money!’

Course Specification

Mode of attendance: Online

Length of course: 12 weeks, 6:30pm – 9:00pm

Campus delivery: Brighton

Start date: Tuesday 18th April 2023


Students can progress directly onto the 9-month Filmmaking professional Diploma and then proceed into a career in the film, television and screen industry in areas such as producing, directing, screenwriting, sound, post-production, cinematography and first assistant directing.

Course Fees

Because we’re an industry-led practical film school, we’re uniquely positioned to offer outstanding value and quality to all our students. Course fees are currently £355 –  deposit of £100 is required to secure your place on the course.

This is a self-funded course.

Course Information

This course is a natural progression from the Screenwriting for Beginners course, although it’s not necessary to have attended that first.

On this course we will go more deeply into three of the main elements of screenwriting – plot, characters and dialogue.

There will be greater in-depth discussion than on the Screenwriting for Beginners course, and whilst films, or extracts from films, will be set for group analysis, there will be more emphasis on attendees’ own writing.

Once again, there will be a post-session email from the tutor, recapping the main points covered during the session, with links for further research.

Weekly Schedule

Week 1 – 10

Discussion and analysis of:-


  • What type of story is suitable for a feature film?
  • Plot development
  • What are sub plots for?
  • How do sub plots relate to the main storyline?
  • Is plotting the same for different film genres?
  • How do short films differ from features?
  • How do TV series differ from film?



  • Who do you need to tell your story?
  • How do you make them authentic?
  • How do they relate to the other characters?
  • What do they want / what do they need?
  • What motivates them?
  • The crucial importance of backstory



  • Where does it come from?
  • How much dialogue do you need?
  • What do your characters talk about?
  • What does their dialogue reveal about them?
  • How do you make the way they speak different for each character?
  • How do you create memorable dialogue?

Weeks 11 & 12

Table read of attendees own scripts – up to 10 pages of, say, the opening scenes, or perhaps an example of dialogue in a specific scene. 

Any questions?

For any questions regarding our courses or if you’d like more information on how to apply to Screen and Film School, please contact our Admissions Team on 01273 602070 or email [email protected].


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