Writers' Studio: Scene Writing

Lights, camera, action! How do you take the chaotic flow of life and craft it into meaningful narratives? What details pull readers in, and how do you generate the electricity that propels your story and keeps your audience engaged? Study the craft of scene writing to take your storytelling to another level. Whether you are writing fiction, practicing journalism, creating a podcast, making a video documentary, or even writing a college admissions essay, your storytelling will benefit tremendously when you learn to build compelling scenes.

Explore the fundamentals of narrative by reading and analyzing stories, participating in rich discussions with your peers, and crafting your narratives across several genres. Gain confidence in your writing skills using essential techniques such as framing, pacing, creating tension and conflict, revealing by implication, and expressing character through action and dialogue. Learn and practice the written discipline of restraint to create scenes that will drop the reader right into the action and invite their imagination to be your ally in world-building.

Writing scenes is a type of awakening to the awareness of moments and the power of linking those moments together in that essential human activity: storytelling. Have you always wanted to publish feature articles in your school’s newspaper? Interested in writing a one-act play? Collaborate with your peers across genres on projects of your design while sharpening your research skills in Duke’s Perkins Library.


How to Apply

Duke Pre-College uses a 2-step enrollment process: 

  1. First, students apply to the Pre-College program, indicating their course(s) of interest. Apply now.
  2. After they receive notification of their acceptance into Duke Pre-College, they enroll in the course(s) indicated in their Pre-College Application. 

Learn more on our How to Apply page.