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Building worlds in fiction, film and video games

Guardian Masterclasses

Sunday, May 18, 2014 from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM (BST)

London, United Kingdom

Building worlds in fiction, film and video games

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Event Details

Create immersive, evocative fictional worlds your readers will remember

From Middle Earth and Metropolis to Liberty City, there are some fictional worlds we know better than our own neighbourhoods. Nothing captures an audience's imagination – or suspends their disbelief – like an immersive, believable backdrop, with its own people, customs, geography and shared history. And few writers know as much about building and maintaining evocative worlds as Jeff Norton, author, producer and creator of the MetaWars, Princess Ponies and Memoirs of a Neurotic Zombie series.

Whatever the setting for your own stories – a distant planet, a magical dimension or an alternate past, present or future version of Earth – this course will help you develop a rich, interwoven reality for your characters to inhabit. Whether you're working on a book, a video game, a screenplay or a graphic novel, this hands-on masterclass will help you explore the parameters of your setting, to define the forces which drive the everyday lives of your world's inhabitants, and raise the stakes of your plot.

Course description

This practical workshop is led by writer-producer Jeff Norton, who has created worlds for a variety of audiences across books, films and television series. Starting with a basic concept, you'll develop a detailed blueprint of your fictional reality, and establish a consistent internal logic for the geography, history, biology and society of your world. Topics covered include:

  • Why worldbuilding matters: immersive worlds in great fiction
  • Tapping the five senses
  • Internal consistency: ensuring your fictional world feels as real as reality
  • Geography: the importance of the natural environment
  • Social hierarchy: understanding social order
  • Economics: what do people do all day?
  • Real world drama and historical drama: special considerations when tethered to reality
  • How characters interact with your world
  • Using your world as the basis for new stories

This course is for you if...

  • You're a writer or game developer eager to make your fictional world feel real for your intended audience
  • You have a great idea for a fictional world but are unsure how to approach fleshing it out in detail

Tutor profile

Jeff Norton is an award-winning author and producer. He is the author of the MetaWars books for young adults, and the upcoming Memoirs of a Neurotic Zombie for middle-grade readers. He is also the creator of the bestselling Princess Ponies books for young readers and executive producer of upcoming pre-school TV show Trucktown. Previously, Jeff managed the Enid Blyton literary estate, produced the Choose Your Own Adventure interactive film, and worked in Hollywood in both business and creative capacities.

Full course and returns information on the Masterclasses website

Have questions about Building worlds in fiction, film and video games? Contact Guardian Masterclasses

When & Where


The Guardian
Kings Place
90 York Way
N1 9GU London
United Kingdom

Sunday, May 18, 2014 from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM (BST)


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Organizer

Guardian Masterclasses

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.

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