There’s a source code to telling a good story. Basic tenets that, once you see them, you can never un-see. Let Rob Hart open your eyes in this four-week class.
Your Instructor: Rob Hart (author of The Warehouse)
Where: Online — Available everywhere!
When: November 23, 2021 - December 21, 2021
Enrollment: 16 students
Writing can be hard to teach. How to craft a languid, luminous sentence that lodges itself in a reader’s heart? Whew. That comes from a place that’s hard to quantify.
Storytelling, though, is different. That’s a little more science than art. It’s about mechanics: pacing, character, dialogue, worldbuilding.
Sure, there’s plenty of art in the machine, and everyone’s process is different. But there’s a source code to telling a good story. Basic tenets that, once you see them, you can never un-see them. And they’ll inform your work going forward, helping you to craft the kinds of stories that demand to be read.
The focus of this four-week workshop is to find ways to look for that code, and build a process around it, with an eye toward crafting stories that are commercially appealing.
Rob Hart is the author of The Warehouse, which imagines a world where one company dominates the online retail economy and puts its workers into dormitory housing, so they can better fulfill the needs of consumers. It sold in a pre-empt to Crown at Penguin Random House. It also sold in more than 20 languages, and the film rights were optioned by Ron Howard and Imagine Entertainment. His next novel, The Paradox Hotel, is due out next year.
This class is open to all skill levels, and includes written lectures and homework assignments, to be critiqued by both Rob and the class. You can come in with a work in progress, or completely cold. Some of the concepts here were covered in Rob’s previous LitReactor class, The Big Idea.
What This Class Covers
WEEK 1 - Building
Learn the difference between a good idea and a good character, and how to start roughing out your idea, including discussions on research, the power of forgetting, and the importance of reading.
Assignment: Rough out your elevator pitch and your characters.
WEEK 2 - Structure
How to underpin your story with a solid structure and set yourself up for success in the early stages, including how to outline and why it’s important.
Assignment: Write a synopsis and start outlining your story.
WEEK 3 - Storytelling Toolbox
A wide range of examples that will help you see the mechanics that go into telling a good story, including The Simpsons Rule of Characters and the Sexy Beast Rule of Dialogue. Plus, one of the best secrets for pulling your reader through a story.
Assignment: Write the first five pages of your story
WEEK 4 - Editing, and Everything After
Learn how to build an editorial process for yourself that’ll bring you closer to a finish, sellable product, plus tips and tricks for navigating what comes after you type ‘the end.’
Assignment: Turn in edits on the first five pages, and start planning for next steps
Goals Of This Class
- Learn the difference between having a good idea and a good character
- Find out how to underpin your idea with good research and worldbuiling
- Learn how to build out a roadmap or blueprint for your story
- Learn how to structure a story and build your writing and editorial process
- Either sharpen your work in progress or start a brand new project
- Get your opening critiqued by Rob, with detailed edits and suggestions
LitReactor offers a unique approach to a writing education: You study what you want, when you want, at your own pace. We bring in veteran authors and industry professionals to host classes covering a wide range of topics in an online environment that’s interactive and flexible. You get detailed feedback on your work and take part in discussions in a judgement-free zone. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or an experienced writer, our workshops are about working together to achieve your writing goals.
Where do classes take place?
Entirely online. So, anywhere you have Internet access.
Are there certain times when the whole class needs to "meet" online?
Nope. Our students come from all over the globe. Everything is posted online and accessible 24/7. (We do occasionally schedule phone chats, but try to reach a consensus on timing.)
What does a typical class consist of?
It varies, but nearly all our classes include weekly lectures, homework assignments, peer reviews, critiques from instructors, and discussion forums.
How much experience do you need to take a class?
Beginner or pro, everyone is welcome. We encourage all skill levels.
Got more questions? Click here for an extended FAQ.
And click here to explore a sample class that shows our layout and features.