Writing for Fun and Profit online course
Tutor David Thorpe runs this new course that is based on successful classes run in the real world.
Who is it for?
This course is for anyone interested in telling stories. The aim is to provide a safe, constructive, encouraging environment in which you can get the best from your story, whatever it is.
How does it work?
It consists of modules with exercises. Students proceed at their own pace although the recommendation is to complete one module per week. If this is done, it should take about six months. Once the exercises are returned you receive feedback and the next module.
We spend a lot of time at the start on character and structure development because this helps to focus on what is really important in the story and the possibilities for how it will unfold.
The principles of the course are applicable to all kinds of storytelling, since they cover plot, character, suspense, dialogue, structure, imagery, pacing, and so on. These universal rules and guidelines work whether you are doing oral storytelling, writing screenplays, novels, graphic novels, short stories or stage and radio plays.
The course is delivered by email and Skype.
Here are some sample pages from different course modules. You can find some testimonies are at the bottom of the page.
The modules are:
- Developing characters – since all stories begin with characters – and how characters develop storylines.
- The four basic plots and the four possible endings.
- Ideas and how to evaluate them.
- Structure I: the three act structure, and writing your story summary and logline.
- Character design and the inner conflict. Attitude and style.
- Mapping all of your characters.
- Theme, moral and imagery.
- Using the 'story map' to generate and fix the story's details.
- Writing the detailed plot synopsis.
- The use of suspense. Storytelling and spell-weaving.
- The meaning of 'show don't tell'.
- First or third person?
- Prose style and the art of writing descriptive prose
- Writing convincing dialogue.
- Structure II: the monomyth, the cosmogonic cycle and the 12 stage story structure.
- Opening lines.
- Beyond plot: slice of life, mood, etc., mosaic structure, allegory.
- Subplots and minor characters.
- Comic writing and satire (optional).
- Pacing (mood, time, transitions, flashbacks, framing devices)
- Genres and 'literature'.
- Editing your work.
- Writing for radio, tv, film.
- Writing for magazines and websites.
Having completed your work:
- Finding an agent or editor
- Finding markets for your work
- Publishing and self-publishing
- Marketing yourself and your work, including the use of social media, book signings, etc.
The cost of the course is £260, which is £10 per module. Don't forget, this includes individual feedback on your exercises.
The fee is payable up front. If at any point you decide not to proceed, you will receive a refund for the modules not taken.
Alternately you can set up a direct debit of £44/month.
Comments from 'real world' students:
- "I thoroughly enjoyed last week's session. I know I'm a professional in the script-writing field, but to be honest I think any writer no matter how much they've done can benefit from a 'reboot' as it were." Julian Dutton, professional tv/film comedy scriptwriter
- "I lack confidence and belief in myself, you have no idea how much your support and guidance is appreciated." Jacquie Hyde, writer of Young Adult fiction
- "Thank you so much for all your teaching, most enjoyable and I've learnt a lot." Joy Daniels, playwright
- "Your classes have provoked some great ideas." Sara Fox, writer of historical romances.
Send an email enquiry with some information about your writing interests.
You will hear back very shortly!
David is a successful writer of fiction for adults, young adults and older children, who believes strongly that with imagination we can change the world. He's the author of Hybrids, "a stunningly clever novel" – The Times – which won the UK HarperCollins-Saga Magazine 2006 Childrens Novelist competition.
He co-founded the London Screenwriters' Workshop and has written many short stories, TV scripts, comics and graphic novels, including for Marvel, HarperCollins, Titan Books and Macdonald-Futura.
He has also worked as a commissioning editor for various book publishers, plus as journalist and news editor, is the author of over ten non-fiction books and is a director of Cambria Publishing Co-operative.
He has a City and Guilds Further Education Teachers Certificate and has completed a City and Guilds course in Contracts and Rights. He is a member of the Society of Authors and the Society of Childrens' Book Writers and Illustrators.