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Teaching: Fundamentals of Story at UCLA Extension

Fundamentals of Story

Film TV X437.99-005, Summer Quarter

June 24th to August 26th, 2019

7 - 10, Monday Nights

You have a story to tell, and you want to tell it. 


In this course you will learn to:


  • integrate successful story principles into your writing

  • embrace revision

  • develop a critical eye for your own work

  • and ABOVE ALL: revitalize your creative spirit

For writers from beginning to advanced. 




Course Description: 


Whether you want to be a writer for film, television, or theatre, a dynamic understanding of story is absolutely necessary for success. In this course you learn how to choose and develop your best story ideas while examining point of view, structure, character development, dialogue, subtext, crisis, and climax using classic and contemporary scripts as models. Tools to stimulate your writing incorporate acting improvisation as well as photography, painting, and music. Individual and group writing exercises are shared in a supportive atmosphere, with guided rewriting as a core task in the course. At the end of the class, you will be able to integrate classic story principles in every facet of your work as well as use these tools to analyze your own writing and take it to the next level.



What you can learn.

  • Examine structure, subtext, crisis, and climax to enhance your story's dramatic arc

  • Determine point of view and character development to enhance storytelling

  • Apply creative tools to stimulate your creative process and avoid cliche

  • Complete exercises and give and receive feedback in class




One student writes:  

"I found John Henry’s genuine enthusiasm for the subject matter downright contagious. I learned a lot and benefitted greatly from his complete dedication to his students."

Another student:  

"John Henry's experience and guidance gave me the skills and knowledge I needed to pursue my dreams of becoming a successful screen writer. I completed his class feeling inspired and motivated."

The award-winning editor, Kendrick Simmons, writes: 

'To anyone contemplating this opportunity–you'll never have a more engaged, passionate and story smart teacher to enliven your creative life."


Sign up for the course in Summer Quarter, 2019 at the following link:

Note: Students need to scroll all the way down to view info on the summer section.

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