Fiction Boot Camp (Five Days)

Starting out | Fiction
Join Erica and fourteen other brave souls for a hardcore five-day summer writing course that will really get your writing into shape!

Maybe you’re in the middle of something but need some more gas in your engine. Maybe you have that great idea but don’t know where to begin. Get ready to move forward with your project in a week with author and critic Erica Wagner – who promises this workshop will be the British Military Fitness of writing courses!

Wherever you are in your writing project, this week will give you the equipment to take your work to the next level -- and offer the you the space to really write. Instruction will be closely tailored to what you want to achieve; everyone is different and this course will take account of that. You’ll learn tips and tricks to get yourself started and keep moving; you’ll discover tools to develop your writing. Come with your notes, chapters, or even just an idea, and every day you’ll apply what you’re learning in a hands-on way, touching on the fundamentals of character, pace, structure and dialogue.

'A very rewarding experience. Great atmosphere, top writers to learn from and interesting peers/students.'
Fiction Boot Camp Student, September 2018

You’ll share your work with the rest of the group in a lively workshop environment, bonded by the camaraderie of working hard together and solving problems together. You’ll get plenty of feedback on the exercises we do – and the project you bring to the course.

Your work room will be available to all participants each afternoon until 4pm, if you want to stay on and write.

3rd - 7th August 2020

Availability: In stock

15 Places

The morning session runs 10.30–1.30pm each day. You then have the room for quiet writing in the afternoon.

Monday 3 August

Motivation/structure/planning & plotting

Morning: In the morning we’ll discuss what each writer wants to achieve in this week; and with feedback each writer will begin to sketch out a plan for their work. We’ll discuss what’s brought you here, and what is at the heart of the story you want to tell, as well as discussing the methods by which you can tell that story. How much do you want to plan your plot? How much freedom do you want to allow yourself?

Afternoon: writing time.

Tuesday 4 August

Invention v reality: what’s useful to you?

Morning: We will get to the business of finding the shape of your story. Where do real events end and where does fiction begin? The business of invention -- making stuff up, plain old lying, call it what you will -- can be complicated, but we will look at -- and use -- the techniques you can use to free your imagination and make any story a possibility.

Afternoon: writing time.

Wednesday 5 August

A Guest Tutorial from a leading writer

Afternoon: writing time

Thursday 6 August

Character, Dialogue and Conflict

Morning: The Catcher in the Rye has Holden Caulfield. Wolf Hall has Thomas Cromwell. Eat, Pray, Love is one woman’s story told in a distinctive voice. Your characters will make your story: but how do you find out who they truly are? How does the way they speak help move the story forward? Characters’ voices and thoughts can be used to move a story forward; conflict is what drives change in a story. We’ll look at ways to exploit conflict to propel your work, and how your characters can best express that conflict.

Afternoon: writing time.

Friday 7 August

Keeping going, editing and recap

Morning: Congratulations: you’ve got quite a bit of work down on the page! But what happens now? Revising, that’s what. Now is the time to see where you are and plan how to move forward when the course is over. We’ll look at how to step back and find what’s really necessary to the story you’ve told -- how to make it the very best story you can write. We’ll look at techniques for editing your work; and we’ll go over what we’ve done to reinforce everything you’ve learned.

Afternoon: writing time.

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Erica Wagner was born in New York City. She moved to Britain in the 1980s and now lives in London; she is consulting literary editor for Harper...



Come to one of the world's great literary cities and study creative writing at Faber Academy's home in historic Bloomsbury. Our London courses take place at Faber and Faber's offices.

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