Fiction Boot Camp (Five Days)

Starting out | Fiction
A one-week online bootcamp with Erica Wagner and guest TBC to kickstart your project, whether you’re starting out or in the middle: inspiration for all.

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 online course will give you the equipment to take your work to the next level – and offer 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

The course will be a mix of teaching time and exercises to get you writing. You’ll share your work with the rest of the group in a lively workshop environment, bonded by the camaraderie of working hard and solving problems together. There will be plenty of opportunities for feedback and discussion

The online classroom will be available to all participants each afternoon until 4pm, if you want to stay on and write in the company of your coursemates, or you can log off if you'd like to get your head down on your own.

26th - 30th July 2021

Availability: In stock

13 Places

Monday 26 July

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? We’ll be doing exercises to get you writing, we’ll be “reporting back” – as we will of course throughout our time together — on those exercises. We’ll be working in pairs/small groups online, so you’ll get to know your fellow students.

Afternoon: writing time.

Tuesday 27 July

Finding the texture of a world

Morning: We’ll start to consider how we experience the world, and how we build a world. We’ll do exercises based on this, looking closely at our surroundings and bringing them to life. We’ll be thinking about the five senses, how we use and experience our bodies, how we interact with each other in the world, and how this affects our writing.

Afternoon: writing time.

Wednesday 28 July

Guest Tutor TBC: will focus on plot and structure

Afternoon: writing time

Thursday 29 July

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 30 July

Keeping going, editing and recap

Morning: Congratulations: you’ve got quite a bit of work down on the page! But what happens now? We’ll discuss the process of revision and do exercises to help with the process. We’ll discuss the challenges of the course, the changes you’ve experienced, and what you are looking forward to as you progress with your writing. At the end of the course, you'll be invited to send Erica up to 2,000 words of your own writing for her to look at and comment on.

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...

"There's no point staring at a blank page waiting for inspiration to strike - to get your creative muscles working you need to start writing, reviewing and sharing your work."

Helen Shipman