Course Information

Unlocking Creativity is a prerequisite for this course.

Our three Intermediate 6-Week Short Story courses are run only once per year. Read More >

The next Six-Week course is the Writers’ Gym course >


Course Details

  • Explore and develop the characters you want to write about
  • Be introduced to the key elements of story structure
  • Develop a writing habit which will improve the quality of your work
  • Write up to two, 800 word short stories every ten days
  • Receive constructive targeted feedback from your online tutor on every story you post

Structural Elements you will Explore

“You might have the insights of Buddha, but if you can’t tell a story, your ideas will be as dry as dust. Craft is the sum total of all means used to draw the audience into deep involvement, to hold that involvement and ultimately reward it with a moving and meaningful experience.” Robert McKee

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.

Targeted Feedback on every Story you post

You will receive feedback from your personal tutor on every piece you post. They will identify what you communicated through your writing, what worked and what could be improved or done differently using our targeted feedback templates.

Our feedback templates are designed to inspire you, help you develop an understanding of the craft and take your writing to the next level.

You will also be expected to provide two pieces of feedback for other participants in the class for every piece you post. The first step to becoming a better writer is to become a better reader.

Interested in signing up for the Character & Critique course?
Character & Critique - Online

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