This activity was designed to enhance students’ understanding of the writing process. Working with a range of material from an author’s archive enables students to identify, understand and discuss stages of the writing process and product.
Students were given facsimile copies of business letters, drafts and treatments from Darke’s archive. Their task was to organise the material in chronological order,which proved more diffficult than it initially seemed. Working with the materials enabled students to begin to develop the high-level interpretative research skills that much archival sources require.
The activity highlighted the collaborative nature of screenwriting itself, which involves co-writers, editors, agents, producers. It also gave the process of writing, which for students is often just in the classroom, or in their lone garrett, its industry context.