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9 Videos (42m)
    • Introduction

      3:19
    • CHARACTER

      5:38
    • — Character in "Salsa Nocturna"

      3:42
    • CONFLICT

      3:53
    • — Conflict in "Salsa Nocturna"

      1:40
    • CONTEXT

      4:08
    • — Context in "Salsa Nocturna"

      1:50
    • CRAFT

      13:44
    • Closing

      4:25

About This Class

How do you write a story that feels alive? What makes a story different from an anecdote?

Join renowned urban fantasy writer Daniel José Older for a 40-minute dive into the fundamentals of narrative storytelling! 

Energetic, bite-sized lessons explore:

  • The "4 C's" of storytelling: character, conflict, context, and craft 
  • Breaking down how each "C" works in Older's short story, Salsa Nocturna 
  • Tools and questions to ask yourself as you're developing your own story 

This class is for creative writers (both aspiring and established), and everyone who wants a deeper understanding of what makes a great story so captivating. You'll leave this class armed with a tried-and-true framework for writing your own fictional short story, and inspired to put pen to paper.

226 of 227 students recommendSee All

I'm currently writing a dark fantasy graphic novel with a friend of mine, this class was extremely helpful in defining the structure of story writing. I'd highly recommend.
Excellent course. Instructor was very engaging, and presented a lot of very useful reminders both for creating as well as editing a story.
This is such solid and good information. I like his laid back, matter-of-fact attitude and the way he easily explains everything. It's not too fussy or over complicated.

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Daniel José Older

New York Times Bestselling Author

Daniel José Older is the New York Times bestselling author of the Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series from Penguin’s Roc Books and the Young Adult novel Shadowshaper (Scholastic, 2015), a New York Times Notable Book of 2015, which was shortlisted for the Kirkus Prize in Young Readers’ Literature, the Andre Norton Award, the Locus, the Mythopoeic Award, the International Latino Book Award, and named one of Esquire’s 80 Books Every Person Should Read. He co-edited the Locus and World Fantasy nominated anthology Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History.

His short stories and essays have appeared in the Guardian, NPR, Tor.com, Salon, BuzzFeed, and the anthologies The Fire This Time and Mothership: Tales Of Afrofuturism And Beyond, among others. Daniel has guest edited at Fireside Fiction, Catapult, Crossed Genres, and Fantasy Magazine, and served as a judge for the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, the Burt Award for Young Adult Caribbean Literature, and the PEN American Award. He has taught at St. Johns University, Voices at VONA, Boricua College, and Rikers Island among other sites. You can find his thoughts on writing, read dispatches from his decade-long career as an NYC paramedic and hear his music at http://danieljoseolder.net/, on youtube and @djolder on twitter.