Fiction Skills: Plot

Improving | Fiction
Whatever genre or form you want to write in, you need a story to tell and a way to tell it.

Nothing beats the pull of a book that keeps you up into the small hours, turning the pages to find out what happens next. But how do you craft tales that make your readers miss their train stop? This four-week course introduces you to some of the secrets of storytelling: how to draw readers in, keep them hooked and leave them feeling satisfied. It explores key plotting techniques and shows you how to lay the foundations for your own compelling narratives.

How it works

• Fortnightly guided reading extracts, practical exercises and creative writing prompts

• Podcast introductions from the tutor

• Tutor instruction and tips on crafting a satisfying story

• Forum discussions about hooking and keeping your readers engaged, plus deadlines to get you writing

• A supportive group of fellow writers to read, discuss and feedback on your work

• Guidance on how to turn a sharp lens on your creative work and become a better editor of your writing

• Q&A forum to post your critical writing questions for your tutor

• Carefully curated additional reading and resources so you can take your interests further

• Opportunity to produce a piece of writing of up to 2,000 words based on one of the exercises you've worked on during the course.

11th October 2021 - 7th November 2021

Availability: In stock

14 Places

The course consists of two fortnight-long sessions, which you work through progressively with a small group of peers, your tutor and a moderator. There’s no need to log on at a certain time each week – as long as you complete the set assignments and peer feedback by the end of each session, you can work at any time of the day or night.

Session content

Session 1: What stories are all about

This first session will explore why we tell stories and the fundamental building blocks on which all stories and narratives are built. It also explores where stories come from, and how writers turn their original ideas into compelling narratives.

Session 2: Putting your plot together

The second session will look at plot development: the different ways it's possible to structure plots, and the arguments for and against plotting before writing. This session will also look at various elements a compelling plot should contain and the relationship between the end and beginning of a story in its set up. You will post your final piece to the forum for comment from your peers.

NB: Your tutor won’t give detailed feedback on your creative work during this course but will be available to answer your questions about the process and craft of writing.

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Tom Bromley is an author, editor and ghostwriter. He has written ten books under his own name,...

"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