Creative Writing Course - online

A web-based interactive course in ten lessons to transfer creative writing skills and build confidence through focussed exercises and personal feedback.

Click on the pebbles below for an outline of the content of each module.

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Module 1. Getting started

Objective: To introduce the basics of creative writing

  1. Finding ideas
  2. Tools of the Trade
  3. Getting fresh – the power of description
  4. Active reading

Module 2. Finding Believable Characters

Objective: Understand the importance of strong characterisation

  1. Get a life - the importance of character
  2. The man in the bobble hat - markers
  3. Psychological consistency
  4. Transformation
  5. Voice

Module 3. Point of View

Objective: Learn how to choose a viewpoint for your story

  1. Look who's talking
  2. It's my story - writing in the first person
  3. Omniscience for beginners - using the third person

Module 4. What happens next – Plot and counter-plot

Objective: Understand how to construct and use plots

  1. Deriving plot from character
  2. Genre fiction – constraints and opportunities
  3. Thinking ahead – how to avoid the deus ex machina

Module 5. “And then she said…”

Objective: Learn how to write captivating dialogue

  1. An invented language
  2. Angled reponses
  3. He said, she said - speech attribution
  4. Speech markers

Module 6. The Structure of Fiction

Objective: Understand how to use description, narrative summary and immediate scenes

  1. 21st century fiction
  2. The power of descriptions
  3. Leave the past behind - narrative summary
  4. Immediate scenes
  5. Show, don't tell

Module 7. Where’s the cheese – Tension and Desire

Objective: Learn how to keep the reader's attention

  1. Shaping the story
  2. Don't go there - confounding the reader
  3. Escalations
  4. Managing Time
  5. Flowcharting the Muse
  6. Transactions
  7. Where's the cheese - introducing tension
  8. Narrative hooks

Module 8. Stepping Back

Objective: Become an objective reviewer and know how to revise your work

  1. Stepping back
  2. Reading yourself
  3. Survival of the fittest - clichés and modifiers
  4. Less is more - losing weak scenes
  5. Silencing the author
  6. Writing groups

Module 9. Bringing it all back home

Objective: Review previous modules and complete a short story

  1. Characterisation Part 2
  2. Another point-of view
  3. Another Voice
  4. Ideas
  5. Plot Part 2

Module 10. Professional writing and writing for publication

Objective: To examine outlets for fiction and the role of agents and publishers

  1. The market for fiction
  2. The fiction industry – agents and publishers
  3. Submitting your work
  4. Style & format

Module 1. Getting started
Objective: To introduce the basics of creative writing

  1. Finding ideas
  2. Tools of the Trade
  3. Getting fresh – the power of description
  4. Active reading
image description

Module 2. Finding Believable Characters
Objective: Understand the importance of strong characterisation

  1. Get a life - the importance of character
  2. The man in the bobble hat - markers
  3. Psychological consistency
  4. Transformation
  5. Voice
image description

Module 3. Point of View
Objective: Learn how to choose a viewpoint for your story

  1. Look who's talking
  2. It's my story - writing in the first person
  3. Omniscience for beginners - using the third person
image description

Module 4. What happens next – Plot and counter-plot
Objective: Understand how to construct and use plots

  1. Deriving plot from character
  2. Genre fiction – constraints and opportunities
  3. Thinking ahead – how to avoid the deus ex machina
image description

Module 5. “And then she said…”
Objective: Learn how to write captivating dialogue

  1. An invented language
  2. Angled reponses
  3. He said, she said - speech attribution
  4. Speech markers
image description

Module 6. The Structure of Fiction
Objective: Understand how to use description, narrative summary and immediate scenes

  1. 21st century fiction
  2. The power of descriptions
  3. Leave the past behind - narrative summary
  4. Immediate scenes
  5. Show, don't tell
image description

Module 7. Where’s the cheese – Tension and Desire
Objective: Learn how to keep the reader's attention

  1. Shaping the story
  2. Don't go there - confounding the reader
  3. Escalations
  4. Managing Time
  5. Flowcharting the Muse
  6. Transactions
  7. Where's the cheese - introducing tension
  8. Narrative hooks
image description

Module 8. Stepping Back
Objective: Become an objective reviewer and know how to revise your work

  1. Stepping back
  2. Reading yourself
  3. Survival of the fittest - clichés and modifiers
  4. Less is more - losing weak scenes
  5. Silencing the author
  6. Writing groups
image description

Module 9. Bringing it all back home
Objective: Review previous modules and complete a short story

  1. Characterisation Part 2
  2. Another point-of view
  3. Another Voice
  4. Ideas
  5. Plot Part 2
image description

Module 10. Professional writing and writing for publication Objective: To examine outlets for fiction and the role of agents and publishers

  1. The market for fiction
  2. The fiction industry – agents and publishers
  3. Submitting your work
  4. Style & format
  • I have no hesitation in recommending The Writing Forge Courses... more 

    It rewarded the effort I put into each exercise and did not shy away from clearly pointing out areas for improvement. more 

    ... probably the best investment you could make in your writing. more 

  • The Writing Forge was founded by CJ Emerson, author of 'Objects of Desire'

    (Shortlisted for the 2007 Crime Writers' Association 'New Blood Dagger' Award):
    "I started creative writing after spending years working in offices, staring at computer screens, frustrated at my own lack of motivation to fulfil a promise I'd made to myself at school - that one day I'd be ... more 
  • 'Beautifully written ... with a plot like a nest of seething vipers' Andrew Taylor, author of The American Boy
    image description