Coaching Programme: Focus on scenes


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Sign up for a fourteen step programme with your own personal writing coach.

On this particular coaching programme the focus is on writing scenes. We’ll tackle ten different issues involved in writing compelling scenes.

  • The course is designed to be done over fourteen days.
  • Each step includes a few fundamental points of writing practice, encouragement to write, and a prompt to get you going.
  • You’ll receive personal written feedback from your mentors, Jo-Anne Richards and Richard Beynon, on twelve assignments within 48 hours.


Imagine you had your own personal writing coach.

Before or after work each day, your coach would give you a few fundamental points of writing practice, encourage you to write, provide a prompt to get you going, and give you full personal feedback.

Our Coaching Programmes offer you the chance to form a writing discipline and develop your creativity. Each day we provide a page of cogent notes to reconnect you with some essentials of writing, and a simple but challenging assignment – all designed to fit into a busy daily schedule.

Write whenever you have the chance: morning or evening, noon or early hours – we don’t care. Do it daily over a two week period.

Reading the notes and trying the assignment should take you no more than an hour. We’ll provide you with full feedback which is honest but kind, and guaranteed to develop your writing.

On this particular coaching programme we are going to focus on writing scenes. We’ll tackle ten different issues involved in writing compelling scenes. Here they are:

  • The dramatic imperative is what gives scenes their kick.
  • The fuel that drives scenes, though, is conflict.
  • Scenes take the story forward, but they also tell us more about your characters.
  • Although it’s not present in all scenes, when it is present dialogue must work.
  • Every scene has a context – however sketchy, it’s the frame within which the drama plays out.
  • And what’s happening – the business of the scene – can be a critical dimension adding layers of significance to the action.
  • Scenes have their own structure, to make them as effective as possible.
  • What is very frequently true, is that conflict in a scene is
  • How do you rewrite and tighten a scene to make it as good as it can be?
  • We end with a checklist that highlights all the ingredients of compelling scenes.

Your coaches

Jo-Anne Richards is an internationally published novelist with a PhD in Creative Writing from Wits University. Her novels include The Innocence of Roast Chicken, Touching the Lighthouse, Sad at the Edges, and My Brother’s Book and The Imagined Child. Six of her short stories have been published in collections. She ran the Honours programme and taught writing skills in the Wits University Journalism Department for fifteen years and has supervised in the Wits and Cape Town Creative Writing Masters.

Richard Beynon is a story consultant and an award-winning film and television scriptwriter with a long and accomplished career in the industry. He has written for – or headed the storytelling teams of – many of South Africa’s most popular soaps, dramas and comedies. These include S’gudi snaysi, Going Up, Soul City, Isidingo, Scandal, Rhythm City and Isibaya. He has lectured on writing for film and television at Wits.

Jo-Anne and Richard, together with Trish Urquhart, founded All About Writing in 2007 and offer courses, both online and face-to-face, that promote good writing. They include creative writing and scriptwriting courses, intensive online writing workouts, coaching and mentoring programmes as well as workshops and writing retreats including our annual retreat in Venice, Italy.

Sign up for this stimulating online programme for two weeks of daily writing tutoring, which will make a real and lasting difference to your writing.

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