One of the biggest challenges for new and emerging writers is without a doubt, structure (that and making a living from writing, but that’s one for another day!). Even more established writers have to grapple with getting their structure right. How do you know you’re building up the tension in the right way? How can you be sure you are telling the most interesting version of events? How can you tell if you’re on the right track with putting your story together?
Structure sometimes seems like an unfathomable challenge but if we can crack it, we can use it as a powerful writing tool. Getting to grips with structure means we can take the audience on a powerful, dramatic journey – and convey our ideas as writers in the clearest possible way.
With this in mind we’ll be launching an online course which will allow you to explore and master dramatic structure. This is not about learning to write to a ‘formula’, it’s about developing an in depth knowledge of how building a story works, and how that transfers to the pages of stage play.
How the course works: the course is made up of videos, downloadable worksheets, and exercises designed to get you to go deep in to the principles of structure and learn how to use them your advantage as a writer. There are 8 sessions in the course which will be released on alternate weeks, giving you plenty of time to fully explore the materials. Participants are invited to discuss the course in the members Facebook group, where members of the LPW team will be on hand to offer their insights and answer your questions.
Who’s it for: everyone! Whether it’s your first play or you’ve been writing for a while, you’ll find this course useful.
Dates: The first session is released on Thursday 7 May 2020, and sessions will then be released on alternate Thursdays. The materials will remain live on the members site to pick up whenever you like.
How to take part: new sessions will be released here on alternate Thursdays from 7 May 202, just login and head to this page to find them.
Session 1: Introduction - Structure Problems and an Overview
Live Now! Why is mastering dramatic structure often such a challenge for writers? What are the common structure problems in early drafts of plays? It it possible to make structuring a play simple? In this session,we will explore the common challenges playwrights face and delve in to the basic components of structure.
Session 2: The beginning (plot point 1)
Live Now! In this session, we will explore in detail how the first section of your plot works in terms of the structure. How much information should you include? Should your start with a bang or build up the tension slowly?
Session 3: What happens next (plot point 2)
Live Now: In this session, we'll explore that troublesome bit of plot after the beginning but before the middle. How can you keep your story on track and make sure the audience stay engaged?
Session 4: Staying focused in the middle of your story (plot point 3)
Live Now: In this session, we will explore the half way point (whether you are working on a short or full length piece). How much should you give away here? How much conflict should there be?
Session: 5: Plot Point 4 - Things Go Wrong (Conflict)
Live Now: In this session, we'll explore how increasing the tension by upping the level of conflict (through obstacles) allows you to build towards the climax of your piece. Are the stakes high enough? Is there plenty of conflict?
Session 6: Climax (plot point 5)
Live Now: In this session, we will explore how structure works as you reach the climax of your story. Have you got your pacing right? Are you spending enough time showing us the most important components of your plot?
Session 7: Resolution - The ending
Released 30 July: In this session, we will explore the different ways of tying up your story. What kind of impact do you want to make on the audience and how can you use structure to help you achieve this?
Session 8: Putting it all together
Released 13 August: In this session, we'll put everything you have learned together to help to you to create a solid structure for your next masterpiece!