What do we do when we feel the world is ending? We write through it, together.
Your Instructor: Francesca Lia Block, author of the Weetzie Bat Books and The Thorn Necklace
Where: Online — Available everywhere!
When: This class is not currently enrolling. To be notified when it is offered again, Click Here
What do we do when we feel the world is ending? We write through it, together
In this four-week course and workshop, acclaimed author Francesca Lia Block will teach you the basics of how to write an end-of-the-world story, examining your apocalyptic scenario through your setting, the impact it has on your characters and the themes you want to explore. By the end of class you will have written your own ten-page “End-of-the-World” story by bringing together the elements of a unique scenario, dimensional characters and a strong plot with a relevant theme.
Each week includes a lecture, a writing assignment, to be critiqued by Francesca and your peers, as well as ample opportunity for discussion. All skill levels welcome!
Francesca is the author of over twenty-five acclaimed and award-winning works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, including the memoir/writing guide The Thorn Necklace: Healing Through Writing and the Creative Process and the cult classic Dangerous Angels: Weetzie Bat Books.
What This Class Covers
Week 1 – World Building and Theme
What is your end of the world scenario? How can you build a believable world to create conflict for your protagonist? What is the thematic significance of the scenario you choose and how can you find ways to effectively show rather than didactically tell this?
Week 2 – Character and Plot
Who is your protagonist and how will they navigate this scenario? What is special about them? What is their childhood wound? What do they want? What stands in their way? Who is the antagonist (hint: it shouldn’t just be the end of the world scenario/setting)? What is a stake? Create a brief outline of the story structure. Be sure to include an active hook, a set up where we get to know and care about the character (this can include brief back story), a crisis and an ending image.
Week 3 – Voice
This week we will look at elements of voice including diction, syntax, rhythms, figurative language, verb tense, point of view, grammar and punctuation.
Week 4 – Crafting the Story
For the final week, we will create a finished ten-page story using the elements we have previously studied.
Not the End of the World by Kate Atkinson
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
California by Edan Lepucki
Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
Goals Of This Class
- Create an end of the world scenario.
- Create a sympathetic protagonist and a strong antagonist without relying solely on the setting to provide conflict.
- Develop themes without sounding didactic.
- Write a first draft of a ten page story about the end of the world.
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.