Joe Pemberton

Image courtesy Joe Pemberton

Learn to write stories – and add punch and vigour to your writing.

Stories drive us. They feed our imagination. They entertain us. They make sense of our world. They help us make decisions about our own existence.

Story is what writing’s all about. It’s where inspiration begins. A good story-teller can make us believe in anything. They can make us care about real-world issues, or about people that exist only in their imaginations.

What is the secret to great stories?

Allaboutwriting’s evening Story Seminar, run by novelist Jo-Anne Richards and scriptwriter Richard Beynon in Johannesburgwill show you how to:

  • Set a story in motion
  • Create characters that keep the story moving along
  • Maintain the highest stakes
  • Structure your story to have the greatest impact
  • Come to a dramatic climax and a satisfying resolution

The seminar will be built around

  • a little theory
  • a series of story examples form books and film
  • a writing exercise, and
  • a discussion about some of the issues thrown up by your responses for the face-to-face group
  • or for the online group, personal and individual feedback by Jo-Anne and Richard and discussion on an online forum

The course will be of benefit to anyone who wishes to write – fiction, non-fiction, film, book or television. It’ll inspire novice writers to throw themselves into story-telling – but will also give more experienced writers a boost that’ll take their writing to a new level.

It’ll help people shape their own – and their family’s – story.

But most important of all, it will help them turn great ideas into even more compelling stories.

Allaboutwriting’s Story Seminar is available in two versions: online or face-to-face in Johannesburg

The Johannesburg evening will be held in Parkview on April 15  from 6.30 pm to 9.30 pm  2013. We’ll serve drinks and snacks.

Cost: R 550 

Contact us to sign up today.

Course outline:

  • We begin by asking the fundamental question: what is story? Not every anecdote we tell friends qualifies as one. What are the essential ingredients – and how do we turn a great idea into an even better story?
  • We ask what a story requires to be kicked into life? We examine the so-called “inciting incident” by looking at a couple of movies and short stories, both South African and from around the world. The “imbalance”, or ripple in the pond, is where all stories begin. Not until that imbalance has been righted, will there be a satisfying resolution.
  • We consider characters because, once a story has been set in motion, it is characters and their choices that keep it going, and maintain the tension and the suspense.
  • We talk about the critical importance of raising the stakes for your characters over the arc of the story, reminding ourselves that the higher the stakes, the greater the tension and the faster we’re propelled forward through the story.
  • And finally we consider how stories are structured.
  • We end with a short writing exercise and a lively discussion of the issues raised by the stories some of the participants read.

Email us to request the booking form and payment details.

Allaboutwriting is a partnership between Richard Beynon and Jo-Anne Richards who have both made their livings from writing for many years. They are passionate about good writing, and have devised their courses to help communicate that passion – plus the skills that make it all much more than an academic exercise.

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