For Long Tomorrow: A Regulated Writing Community

Hello again Capstone folks. New semester, new chance at making decent blog post mumbles. I took the gateway course only a year ago, in the fall of 2015. Well, year and a half ago I suppose. But now I’m ready to get right back into the thick of things!

My name is Rachel and I’m a senior in the SAC program, Screen Arts and Cultures. It’s typically just easier to tell people I’m a film major. The SAC program in itself creates two very different writing communities, one focused around academic writing and one focused on creative writing. During my time in this major I’ve written many a term paper as well as short film scripts and even a feature length screenplay.

For me, fiction writing was always an open world of fantasy and freedom much different from academic writing, where everything is beautiful and anything goes. I would come to learn however that script writing and standard fiction are VERY different, where script writing can instead be thought of as tightly regulated fiction. Anything does not go. Everything has to be done a certain way, must be explained in a certain fashion. The goal is to convince the reader that your story may actually be worth a damn and would look good on the screen.

This was news to me of course, and even now as a senior and having finished my first screenplay I’m still learning to adjust to the strict format that script writing demands. It’s a tough process but an enjoyable and ultimately rewardable one, the same way I feel after finishing an academic term paper. To me, it’s important that these two writing communities, though very different, at least leave me feeling the same way. Perhaps not so different after all.

Academic term papers left me feeling more at ease with a concrete grade. Either I satisfied the requirements or not, answered the question or not, argued my position well or not. But with script writing, what position is being argued? What questions are being answered, and how can you grade them?

My screenplay was very good and everyone liked it??


Rachel Hutchings

Los Angeles born, Ann Arbor raised. I'm a film student at the University of Michigan and an ardent music junkie on the side. I'm sure you'll catch me at local gigs around town.

One thought to “For Long Tomorrow: A Regulated Writing Community”

  1. Hi Rachel,

    Wow, what an interesting major! I can not imagine writing entire films. That is so cool. Also, I understand your struggle when considering whether your writing is good enough. Every time I submit a paper, I contemplate changing it until the deadline closes. Haha I feel so much relief knowing that I can no longer change it.

    In regards to the class, I am excited to be in your group this semester, and I look forward to reading your work.



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