Character Driven Plotting (which also works for pantsers) - ONE-ON-ONE
Got a great character concept, but no idea what sort of story to tell about that character? Or... want to write a story set in a specific context, but have no idea how to create sensible character plot conflicts within that setting? Do you struggle to come up with enough 'incidents' to fill your story line, while keeping character behaviour consistent?
If you answered yes to any of those, then this course is for you.
Step back from more traditional and complex seeming approaches to plotting, and try something different (that even works for pantsers!)
You will learn how to create a story / plot fast, easily, and in a way that will make your characters feel well rounded and deeply real.
The course will run over approx three months, and comprise an introduction plus 8 lessons (delivered as PDF with discussion), a conclusion and weekly zoom calls with each participant.
The lessons are provided up front, so that the participant can work through them at their own pace, but the weekly calls will focus on each lesson in order, making sure that the participant has completely 'got' each part. The final two weeks calls will be very feedback and 'next steps focused', working with the participant to take their book plan and add in the story structure layer, so that they will be completely ready to start writing (or revising, if they have been compulsively writing bits as we go....)
Whilst weekly calls will need to be at a mutually agreed set time, pretty much everything else is flexible, to suit the participants working style, and speed of taking action.
The introduction covers the principles on which the course is based - why should characters drive your plotting, what impact does doing this have on the consistency of characterisation throughout your story, and on the alignment of character actions with personality, why does taking this approach make plotting easier and quicker, why does this work for people who have traditionally been pantsers. Also a very quick definition - this is not 'another story structure type' - this is a methodology for getting to a plot, which can be overlaid on almost any story structure that you might want to use.
The lessons after that cover the following:
- Defining story context - what world do these characters live in?
- Choosing your characters - who are they?
- Refining your characters' backgrounds
- Understanding their strengths, weaknesses, goals and motivations, within the context of both the world they live in, and their backgrounds (Assignment 1 happens after this lesson, and involves the participants submitting a short character definition for their two main characters. (approx 1000 words total) Feedback will be provided by email, and in discussion on a call.
- Assessing how those goals etc might bring them together / put them in conflict, and beginning to capture ideas for possible plot incidents
- Refining those plot incident ideas, and getting a feel for how many of them might fit together in a single story
- Do these characters / this context lend itself to a series? if it does, what ideas might you reserve for a later book? Reviewing the ideas you have identified as suitable for being in a single story, and working out how to intensify those 'incidents' in a way which leverages the characters' personal qualities for greater drama or conflict.
- Creating a 'book plan' from what you have done, which will still allow full flexibility for pantsers, yet provides a solid, believable, consistently 'in character' story with a satisfying ending, and no plot holes or continuity issues. (assignment 2 happens after this lesson and asks participants to submit their book plan (approx 3000 to 5000 words) for comment and detailed instructor feedback)
The conclusion sums up what has been learnt, and what the next steps from this are, to overlay this technique on common story structures.
None specifically, although some understanding of the concepts of story structure and character development will be useful
20+ hours. approx 3 months
- PDF content via Moodle
- Weekly zoom calls
- Assignment 1 involves the participants submitting a short character definition for their two main characters. (approx 1000 words total) with feedback provided by written comments and in discussion on a call.
- Assignment 2 asks participants to submit their book plan (approx 3000 to 5000 words) for comment and detailed instructor feedback
Kim (who writes regency as Arietta Richmond – more than 40 books so far, and has two other fiction pen names, in other genres) has published more than 100 books, most her own, but also some non fiction for Australian business people, and also does editing, formatting and cover creation for others as a business. She also provides mentoring services for those who wish to have detailed one on one support on launching themselves into publishing. Both her non fiction books on writing, and her regency fiction books have won awards. She believes that it is possible for anyone to succeed with writing - but that to do so involves finding the tools and methodologies which align with how you, as an individual, think. The Character Driven Plotting course is a result of that belief – it is one of a series of courses, each focussing on one narrow aspect of writing, and dealing with new approaches, to help writers get ‘unstuck’ in the writing process.
- 1 Feb - 30 Apr 2021
- 1 Mar - 31 May 2021
- 1 Apr - 30 Jun 2021
- 1 May - 31 Jul 2021
- 1 June - 30 Aug 2021
- 1 July - 30 Sep 2021
- 1 Sep - 30 Nov 2021
Cost: RWA-Member – $165.00 Non RWA-Member – $198.00
* Please note, there is a $0.50 Trybooking fee at checkout.
Venue: Online - RWA Moodle Platform
Participants will receive a log in 2 days prior to course commencement
(Participants will be notified of access/login details via email from the RWA Academy Registrar 2 days prior to the commencement of the course)
RWA Academy Courses PO Box Q740 Queen Victoria Building NSW 1230
Contact Details: Claudine Tinellis RWA Academy Registrar firstname.lastname@example.org