Course Modules

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
  • 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
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