A basic plot is like a jack in the box – a simple mechanism with a predictable conclusion. A complex plot is like the mechanism of a watch – intricate, intriguing and satisfying to see in motion.
This two-day course is devoted entirely to the art of crafting dramatic, absorbing story development which advances the themes of your novel and results in a more immersive and rewarding experience for your readers.
Led by Edgar Award-winning mystery writer Jason Goodwin and creative writing teacher Greg Mosse, you'll learn how to write well-structured, gripping narrative, unpredictable without being contrived, and which makes the world you're building, and the characters within it, more enthralling than ever. The course will conclude with a chance for students to ask their question to Kate Mosse, author of the bestselling Languedoc series (Labyrinth).
This weekend masterclass is a practical, well-structured workshop, designed to take students beyond a basic understanding of narrative structure and teach them to marry creative inspiration to editorial awareness. Attendees will improve their ability to solve plot problems, and resolve plotting difficulties within their existing work. Each session analyses and develops a specific aspect of plot development, with many opportunities for open-ended discussion of students' specific questions. Topics covered include:
- The balance between your main plot and subplots
- Creating tight knots of incident and motivation
- How new action begins to unravel those knots
- Managing delay without losing focus
- Revealing your main characters through action
- Interconnections with your secondary characters
- How minor characters enrich your imaginary world
- Using character to intensify and complicate your plot
- Understanding the final crescendo
- Resolving all your plotlines in a unifying climax
This course is for you if…
This course is designed for students who have been writing for some time and who seek help with turning their creative ideas into well-structured, gripping narrative. Attendees need not have a completed novel to work from, but do need to have a reasonable idea of a story they want to tell, and be able to provide a brief summary in the form of a 200 word synopsis.
Jason Goodwin is a prize-winning author in both fiction and non-fiction. His Yashim series of 1830s Istanbul thrillers is original, skilfully constructed and vividly imagined – the fifth volume, The Baklava Club, will be published next year. His novel writing is grounded in his deep knowledge of history and the Ottoman world. Click here for his website.
Greg Mosse is an exceptional teacher with vast experience of working with diverse writing styles and media, including novels, short stories, poetry, theatre and audio-visual. A published writer and translator in his own right, he has studied what makes for effective teaching of creative writing at the highest level.
Kate Mosse is the internationally acclaimed author of bestselling novels Labyrinth, Sepulchre, The Winter Ghosts and Citadel. Her new collection of short stories is The Mistletoe Bride, published in autumn 2013. She is honorary director of the Woman's Prize for Fiction and a highly sought-after broadcaster and commentator. Click here for her website.
Dates: Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 January 2014
Location: The Guardian, 90 York Way, King's Cross, London N1 9GU
☻Early bird special (a limited number of places at a reduced price for people who book in advance) £349
☻Regular price £399
(all prices include VAT, booking fee, lunch and refreshments)
Dress code: There is no dress code for Masterclasses. Please dress however you feel comfortable.
When & Where
Welcome to Guardian masterclasses – a unique programme of learning embedded within one of the world's most forward-thinking media organisations.
Masterclasses offer a broad range of short and long courses across a variety of disciplines from creative writing, journalism, photography and design, film and digital media, music and cultural appreciation.
Harnessing the expertise and specialisms within the organisation, our courses are led by first class and award winning guardian professionals whilst also drawing on the skills and expertise of other leading figures at the forefront of the creative and digital industries.
The programme is aimed at anyone interested in personal or professional development whether that be refining your skills, focusing your ambition or simply broadening your mind and gaining inspiration.