Human beings are hard-wired to tell stories. From the first caveman recounting his adventures through grunts and signs to his fellows sitting around the campfire, to the literary pyrotechnics of a David Mitchell novel, storytelling touches something deep inside all of us.
These are the opening words to Adam Lebor‘s crash course on storytelling — a course I will be attending next week.
All my previous invitations to similar courses have come from aspiring writers who can only write when drinking coffee, facing east on a rainy Thursday afternoon. The thought of being stuck in a room of similarly impractical artistes fills me with dread.
Needless to say, I have never accepted an invitation.
This time is different: my company has organised this course as a form of “personal development”.
Across three sessions, Lebor will cover the narrative arc, key elements of a good story, narrative building techniques, and how to use storytelling in everyday and business life. Participants also have to write a short story to present to the rest of the class.
The first session — next Monday — will kick off the course by looking at creativity and narrative drive. I’ll report back with my findings.
Have you ever been to a writing course, and would you recommend it?
Adam Lebor is an author, journalist and teacher of creative writing. He has written eleven critically acclaimed books – three novels and eight non-fiction works – including The Geneva Option, Tower of Basel and City of Oranges. Two have been shortlisted for literary prizes, and his books have been published in fourteen languages, including Chinese and Hebrew.
Part Two: The Basic Framework of a Story
Part Three: Character Development
I like writing courses. They’re fabulous to help organize thoughts particularly before you tuck into a new project. Admittedly, the richness of interaction with other participants varies from class to class. But I think what I most like about writing courses are the analytical skills you pick up. My long term goal is to be able to pinpoint the source of my writing problem and then having the ability to fix it.
I am in fact tucking into a new project so glad to hear you say that!
My analytical skills have been honed by editing other people’s writing – catching their mistakes makes me more aware of my own.
Since the other participants will be my colleagues I’m not sure how rich the interaction will be (especially compared to my few online writing buddies). However I quite like the idea of mingling with people I wouldn’t usually talk to about writing.
We will see!
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