Tell Me a Story: The Crafty Art of Plotting

Whether you’re writing flash fiction or an epic trilogy, your work is built on the foundations of a story structure. If the foundations are weak—if the story is not worked out well—everything else will seem difficult. Happily, the opposite is also true: if you get the foundations right, it is a lot easier to build what you want on top of it.

This workshop starts with the idea that there are three essential components to a story: Who, What and Why not. That is, who the story is about, what they want and why they can’t have it. We’ll look at examples when stories fail because one of those three is unclear and, to become completely familiar with these three elements, we’ll play with them. We’ll play around with protagonists, antagonists and MacGuffins to discover how easy it is to create a plot and then we’ll look at how other components such as character, voice and setting fit into the mix.

Drawing on a range of examples from children’s cartoons to literature, we’ll also consider how best to use this knowledge; when to construct consciously and when to let imagination run free. We’ll make some stories up as we go along and we’ll consider how to subvert, invert and segment story structure.

What Participants Will Take Away

  • Confidence in your enhanced ability to create or correct a story or plot.
  • Renewed raith in the importance of playing with things.
  • Trust in your own instincts and feelings.
  • Simple toolkit for addressing problem stories.

There will be an optional opportunity to share.

Suitable for all levels.

Date Sunday, June 4, 2023: 7 AM EDT / 10 AM EDT / 3 PM BST / 7:30 PM IST

About Instructor
Andy Charman is an author and writing coach. He is a lauréat of the Festival du Premier Roman Du Chambéry 2022 and his first novel, Crow Court, was longlisted for the Desmond Elliot Prize 2021 and shortlisted for the 2022 CWA Historical Dagger Prize. His work has appeared in Litro, Nothing in the Rulebook, Every Day Fiction, The Battered Suitcase, Cadenza, and Ballista.

Registration: Want to register? Sign up for the mailing list and you’ll be notified when registration opens in May.

Click here for the text version of the June 4 time zone map.

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