zoom writers workshop - Blue Pencil Agency

Three Evening Craft Tutorials with Emma Darwin

15% Discount when you book all three by January 27

In this series of three monthly online craft workshops, creative writing tutor and author Emma Darwin will guide you through six key aspects of a novel: characters, themes, plot, structure, voice, and prose. While you will get the most out of this series if you join all three, each workshop will offer a great deal as a one-off. Each tutorial runs from 6 - 8 pm, with a break and plenty of time for questions at the end. Writers signing up for the full programme will receive a 15% discount on the price of the three sessions.

Characters & Themes

Thursday January 27, 2022

Everyone tells you that character is the foundation of storytelling, but what does that mean for how you build your characters? What do you do if it’s not people that excite your creativity but ideas? What if you’ve no idea what your idea might be?

In this practical workshop we’ll think about how characters can show you what your ideas and themes are, and conversely how you might create characters who embody those ideas. We’ll explore what that means for characterisation from the page-by-page scale to the arc of your novel, and try our hands with some short exercises; you should leave with a new understanding of what makes storytelling tick.

Plot & Structure

Thursday February 24, 2022

Thinking of structure as the architecture of a novel, and plot as the engineering, can be very helpful – but without characters acting and interacting on your pages, who would ever read it?

In this practical workshop we’ll dig into how plot and structure are built through the actions of your characters to become a story that keeps the reader reading, and what that means for the order in which you tell it. We’ll put some of that thinking into practice with some short exercises, and you should leave with a range of ways to strengthen your storytelling.

Voice & Prose

Thursday March 31, 2022

Voice is the element which all agents and editors say they are looking for in a manuscript – but that’s by no means the only reason to work hard on the word-by-word text and textures of your novel: in the end, the words on the page are all you have to transmit your story.

In this practical workshop we will explore through short exercises how to make your prose rich and rare but never purple (except when you mean it to be), how to strip it back without it becoming drearily threadbare, and what this all means for how your characters and your narrative speak.

Emma Darwin

Emma’s memoir, This is Not a Book About Charles Darwin, was published in 2019. Her widely-read blog This Itch of Writing gave rise to Get Started in Writing Historical Fiction which publisher Scott Pack describes as ‘essential reading’. She has taught for the Open University and is a regular guest lecturer and workshop leader.

EmmaDarwin credit JPMasclet 0229

Blue Pencil Online Tutorials

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£45 per tutorial
£115 for all three tutorials