Previous Announcements

Week 1

  • I will share all weekly announcements in this space, as well as have a link to the previous ones.
  • Be sure you have signed up for our Discord.
  • These announcements will be updated regularly in the first weeks as the class finds its rhythm. Please check in for changes.
  • I've added a guide for new users of Discord. (Please let me know if there is anything you'd like me to add or clarify).
  • If you have a name on the Discord server that is different than the one the university has for you in the class, please change your server nickname to help me know who you are.
  • Please, you do not have to sign up for an account on the website.

Week 2

  • The Week 2 Lesson is now available.
  • ‼️ As the class gets going and students join and leave, the URL of this page will change. If you can’t access this page, please go to UR Courses for the updated link.
  • When you receive your feedback on your first assignment, please refer to Dealing with David's Notes and Things to look out for in your scripts as handy guides.
  • When doing feedback, I'd appreciate it if all groups could decide upon threads or replies. I am fine with either one, but I'd like it if the group remains consistent with the choice. It makes it easier to read and locate everyone's feedback.
  • Some groups are starting to organize threads for discussion and sharing their scripts before submission. I'm totally fine with it. If you need anything from me, let me know.

Week 3

  • The Week 3 Lesson is now available.
  • When you receive your feedback on your first assignments, please refer to Dealing with David's Notes and Things to look out for in your scripts as handy guides.
  • Still a lot of -ings slipping into your verbs. Please be mindful of them.
  • As well, avoid the use of "tries," "starts," "begins," or "is" around your verbs. For example "He tries to run away." Either he runs or he doesn't. If he's interrupted, maybe it requires rewording: "He pulls back but Gary grabs his arm."
  • Montages and phone calls are not required for every script.
  • When doing your reflection, wait until you've received all your feedback, including mine, before submitting. You should be using these notes as ways to improve.
  • ‼️ As the class gets going and students join and leave, the URL of this page will change. If you can’t access this page, please go to UR Courses for the updated link.
Wednesday, Sept 13, and Thursday, Sept 14 are travel days for David. Due to a long drive and spotty internet, my responses may be delayed quite a bit. Please be patient. I will do my best to return your messages.
If you are coming into the class in Week 2 or later, don't worry. Contact the instructor, David, and he can help ease you into the class so you won't feel overwhelmed or behind.

Week 4

  • The Week 4 Lesson is now available.
  • 🎉 Congratulations! You are one of the 37 students that stuck through the first few weeks! Hopefully, some of you have fallen into the rhythm of the class. Keep writing and practicing and it will happen.
  • 👉 The URL for this page changes Monday morning. I will update URCourses and Discord with the new URL on that day.
  • As you saw, we officially have our TA. Jana has been in your place a few semesters ago and knows what you're going through. She's on Discord and will answer the occasional question as well as help mark scripts.

Week 5

  • The Week 5 Lesson is now available. 
  • Now that you have learned descriptions, I expect them to be used in all your scripts from now on.
  • We now have an ongoing list of favorite character descriptions. Use these as examples of a character's essence. There is also a link below.
  • If you want clarification on my notes or just need help, I'm always available for meetings. Also, it gets you out of doing your reflection for the week.
  • I’ve noticed a lot of back-and-forth responses in groups with regard to feedback. If you’re the writer, I encourage you not to respond to any discussion of your script.

    When we send scripts out, we don't often get to defend how our work is interpreted, so we need to practice that. But also, this is an opportunity to see how it is interpreted, so I encourage you to only listen so that you may apply this to future drafts.

    Not everyone will like our writing, and that's okay too. Not everyone needs to. But show gratitude. They gave us their time and energy to read our writing and that's awesome. Consider it, and decide what you want to use, whether it is good or bad feedback, and then move on.

Week 6

  • The Week 6 Lesson is now available.
  • On feedback:
    • please don't give feedback on scripts until after the deadline on Sunday midnight.
    • even if someone asks a question in their feedback on your script, please don't answer it. If you are giving feedback and want an answer, please direct it to me.
  • On not directing in your script:
    • I like white space, so if you can cut action, cut it.
    • if you can remove the line and it doesn't affect the flow of the story, then cut it. If it does break the flow of the story, leave it, but keep it simple: "She cries."
    • Sometimes direction is required, especially if it is a response to another character. But again, don't overdo it.
    • Actors bring the emotion and nuance. I often cite Gene Hackman who plays the opposite of the emotion (threatens with laughter and smiles).
  • On describing a scene:
    • treat it like a camera movement—but don’t actually use camera movements. Move from a wide view of a location to a small detail, a small detail to a wide view, move from left-to-right or right-to-left, or up-to-down or down-to-up.
  • After polling the class on Discord, this week's assignment is due Sunday (Oct. 8) 🦃. However, feedback is not due until next Tuesday (Oct. 17) and reflection is due next Saturday (Oct. 21). I want you to enjoy your break.
  • Heads-up, new groups are coming in Week 7. I'll decide on groups over the break. I'm looking for category options for new names. Share them in Discord.
  • Lastly, Jana and I are seeing some lovely stories that move us and make us laugh, so thank you.

Week 7

  • 👋 Welcome back to the class. Hope you all had a nice break.
  • Lesson 7 is now available.
  • Your new groups are now active. Say goodbye to group-letter and say hello to team-fruit.
  • Blocking is allowed in a scene and is different from directing. Blocking indicates where a character needs to move in order to progress the story (i.e. the character moves to the couch, the character enters the room, the character picks up a knife, etc.). On the other hand, directing is telling the cast and crew how they should be filmed and acted within the scene.

Week 8

  • Lesson 8 is now available.
  • I will be flipping “Character and World-Building” and “Theme and Symbols” next week. Please let me know if you have any concerns.

Week 9

  • Lesson 9 is now available.
  • Remember that I flipped “Character and World-Building” and “Theme and Symbols” this week. Please let me know if you have any concerns.
  • Please keep in mind:
    • I want you to state your theme for this week's lesson when you post your script.
    • If you have concerns about a theme you don't want to read, please contact me.
    • Only discuss the writing—don't argue about the theme—when giving feedback.

Week 10

  • Lesson 10 is now available.
  • Although the video doesn’t state it, I want to emphasize that I want to see a unique world for this week’s assignment. Don’t make it ordinary. Change at least one detail or aspect of how it is different from our world.
  • A reminder that the last day to withdraw from a course without a failing grade is November 15, 2023. I will be updating the UR Courses marks in the next few days.
  • Remember that you can always book a meeting with me.

Week 11

  • Lesson 11 is now available. (Sorry the video is very long—almost 40 minutes.)
  • Remember that you can always book a meeting with me.

Week 12

  • This is it! We are almost to the end: Lesson 12 is up.
  • This is the final assignment you will be sharing with your group. Your final script will be sent directly to me.
  • Remember that your outline or one-page is not set in stone. You can change it or toss it out for your final script.
  • Remaining deadlines:
    • Saturday, Nov 25: Personal reflection for Week 11 due.
    • Sunday, Nov 26: Assignment 12 is due at 12 p.m. midnight (Saskatchewan time).
    • Tuesday, Nov 28: Week 12 Feedback due.
    • Saturday, Dec 2: Personal reflection for Assignment 12 due.
    • Sunday, Dec 3: Assignment 13 (Final script) is due at 12 p.m. midnight (Saskatchewan time). ‼️ Send it to me on Discord. Don't be late.
    • Tuesday, Dec. 5: No feedback due. End of Classes. No final exam.
    • Thursday, Dec. 21: End of Term