Welcome to our May Newsletter featuring our most recent video of participants from our creative writing courses sharing their experiences.
For those doing our 4-Week Unlocking Creativity course, we trust that you are finding the process inspiring as you learn to tap into the power of your imagination and write in a way that makes other people want to read what you have written. And if you are writing your novel or screenplay, we hope you are enjoying the creative journey of discovery while learning the art and craft of storytelling.
The video below features writers who have completed our 4-Week Unlocking Creativity course and our 10-Month Novel & Script courses, talking about the impact the courses had on them and their writing.
For those of you who haven’t done our courses, this video offers you the opportunity to hear first hand what you can expect to get out of our courses. If you have already done our courses, the video will remind you of your experience and inspire you to keep creativity and story telling alive in your life.
Our next upcoming 6-Week course, the Character & Critique Short Story Course – Online starts on 17 June. (Unlocking Creativity is a prerequisite for this course and all of our courses. Please register early & reserve your place, as these courses book out.)
The 10-Month Novel & Script First Draft Online course starts 28 October for those who have not undertaken Unlocking Creativity. The 24 June course is still open for bookings, but you need to be undertaking, or have undertaken Unlocking Creativity to be eligible to join the June course. Please check you are booking into the correct course when registering!
Whether you are a complete beginner, a professional writer or somewhere in-between, this is the first step towards achieving your writing goals, whatever they are. This introductory writing course will give you essential tools and techniques to unlock the power of your imagination and dramatically improve the quality of your writing. The ideal place to kick start your writing journey.
“After two unsuccessful manuscripts I was searching for a creative writing course I could do to give me the confidence and tools needed to find a stronger voice and allow me to tap into my imagination. Unlocking Creativity did all this and more. I walked away from this course feeling much more confident in my own abilities as well as full of motivation to start my next manuscript, which turned into my first fictional crime novel Sinister Intent.” Karen Davis
If your dream is to write a novel or screenplay our first draft course will get you doing it. You don’t need to have a clear idea for a story to start.
The course’s step-by-step process begins by helping you find and clarify the key characters and story in a broad outline before embarking on writing your actual first draft. The course then provides the structure, accountability and support you need to complete your first draft in 10 months, and is designed for people working full-time.
“The Writers’ Studio is my testing ground, and a place equipped with the finest mental technologies, which unlike the thousands of books on the subject, are designed to nurture the screenwriter through that arduous practice and discipline of animating a story step-by-step, day by day, and refining it so that it represents the best of what you are.” – Nico Lathouris, co-writer Mad Max IV Fury Road
The same principles apply to novels. Writers’ Studio graduate and former tutor, Alex Gilly, whose first novel, a high-seas action-thriller that he developed in this course, was published in July 2015 in the US by an imprint of Pan Macmillan.
‘I’m thrilled,’ says Alex. ‘By sticking with my story and to the principles I learned at the Writers’ Studio, and by getting lucky, I’ve realised a life-long ambition. Thank you Roland and Kathleen!’
With a maximum of 20 writers, the First Draft Live course includes one weekend intensive and 9 monthly Saturday all-day workshops with weekly feedback to keep you on track.
This course is ideal for writers who have completed Unlocking Creativity and/or the Genre or Gym courses and want to continue with their creative process. It will give you tools and techniques to further develop your writing and storytelling skills.
Structure and character are two sides of the same coin. One exists to reveal the other. Structure is the key to creating powerful stories and characters. It gives your writing shape and meaning and helps evoke emotion in your readers. Some of the structural techniques you will learn during the course include:
Character Arc: You will learn techniques to build a strong character arc into your stories. You will take your characters on a journey where they will change as a result of the structural challenges you force them to face.
Ghost: All characters should have a past or a back story. You will learn how to flesh out a character by giving them a ghost or a history that drives them and your story giving both added depth and meaning.
Prison/Opening: At the start of most good stories a character is trapped in a physical, emotional or spiritual prison which puts pressure on your character.
Challenges: Learning how to challenge your key characters to crisis point will make your characters and writing come to life.
Worst Nightmare: Readers and audiences are fascinated by characters forced to face their greatest fears, which brings out the best and worst in them.
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“I must confess to being a bit skeptical when Roland said the Second Draft would improve my story 200%. After all I had just spent a year driving my story forward, putting my hapless main character under intense pressure and finding out, at the end, how my story ended. Boy, that was a revelation. How could the Second Draft improve my story that much?
And I am happy to report I was right. The Second Draft course didn’t improve my story 200%. It actually improved it 1,000%! Irrelevancies were discarded, subsidiary characters came to life and revealed formerly hidden depths, events took on an internal logic and my main character, Aaron Stern, deepened and broadened before my astonished eyes. And I saw the same thing happen with everyone else’s stories as well.” – Gilbert Mane
You have found the dramatic spine of your story in The Second Draft.
The Third Draft is where all the hard work you have put into finding, developing, clarifying and structuring your story in the First and Second Drafts dramatically pays off.
The Third Draft is where we focus primarily on the writing. It is amazing how everyone’s ability to write a page turning story that engages your reader dramatically improves when you learn the art and craft of re-writing and editing.
“This has been my favourite course. I have loved focusing on the writing and the detail that needed to be fleshed out from Drafts One and Two. And I now see how important it was to get the structure in place before embarking on the Third Draft. I have learnt so much about the actual craft of writing in this course. The first lesson was about point of view and it has stuck with me ever since.” – Kylie Keogh
By following the course process, learning advanced tools and techniques and giving and receiving feedback enables everyone to take their writing and story to another level.
“The voice of each writer is much clearer and confident; there is a sense of finding and settling down with the voice. There is a shift from being a slave to language to owning it. This is really satisfying to see. As I was reading everyone’s work for this session, I felt that the writing in general has reached a close-to-publishable standard, better than many of the printed books I read.” Wallace Lee