Attention: This site looks better in the latest Mozilla or Internet Explorer.

The Book Conference 2003 Home Newsletter Call for Papers Register Now

Presentation Details


A Screenwriting Model for OnlineWriting: Redefining the Ways we Tell Stories

Dr Jack L. Hillwig.

Screenwriting models of storytelling divide stories into key scenes, each dynamically advancing the story and designed to always get the viewer to want to be concerned with one element: what is coming next. A screenwriter is also concerned with using exciting words, tight writing and active voice. All of these things can translate easily into a set of rules and guidelines for writing for the online media, particularly the telling of short narrative pieces.

Online writers must be concerned with brevity and with getting readers to follow one or more story lines. Screenwriting also uses the ideas of plots and subplots, allowing viewers to easily follow multiple plotlines. This is easily adaptable to the idea of links in online writing. Using story linking devices is merely the deviation into another plotline that, in an effective story, amplifies and elaborates on and eventually returns to the main story.

Using these and additional techniques that screenwriters have used for decades can enrich and improve online stories of all types, but particularly those stories classified as short narrative pieces.


Dr Jack L. Hillwig  (United Arab Emirates)
College of Communication and Media Sciences
Zayed University

Dr. Hillwig has taught media writing and screenwriting for more than 20 years in universities in the United States and abroad.

  • Narrative Writing
  • Screenwriting techniques
  • Online storytelling

(30 min Conference Paper, English)