In this course aspiring writers will be introduced to perhaps the most elemental and often the most challenging element of story: plot. We will learn what keeps it moving, how it manipulates our feelings, expectations, and desires. We will examine the choices storytellers make to snag our imaginations, drag them into a fictional world, and keep them there. We will learn how to outline and structure a plot, discuss narrative arc, pacing and reversals and reveal the inevitable surprise: connecting the beginning, middle and end.
Plotting a Course
In this module, we'll learn essentials about plot definitions and mechanics. What is plot? How does plot shape a narrative? What makes a strong plot? How is plot different from a story? We'll also discuss how plot works in actual books you're probably familiar with, such as the Harry Potter series, how character and action equals plot, and the five key questions you should ask yourself when creating a dynamic character.
The Power of Structure
In this module we're going to learn what story structure is and how by understanding structure you can learn how to sequence the events in your plot to help maximize your own storytelling abilities.We'll talk about Freytag's pyramid, the five act structure, how that structure can be found in works of classic literature, and have a conversation about how structure and outlines can help organize the stories you want to tell.
A Scene in Motion
Scenes are the building blocks of storytelling. But what is a scene? And how does a scene move plot forward? In this module we'll learn about the difference between telling and showing, the five key elements each scene should have, offer some examples of effective scenes, and have a conversation about how setting and description can make a scene come alive.
Cut It Out
This modules deals with the specifics of editing and revising your work. This process of revision starts with the first draft (which will now become your second draft) and continues until the manuscript’s ready to send to an agent. Included here are a twenty-one point checklist on what to do once you have a completed first draft, and conversations about creating characters with strong motivations, and how to define language that gets rewritten vs language that gets cut.