Fantasy Writing - TEN lessons from Sarah J Maas | Damien Walter | Skillshare

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Fantasy Writing - TEN lessons from Sarah J Maas

teacher avatar Damien Walter, Writer for The Guardian, BBC, Wired.

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

17 Lessons (1h 47m)
    • 1. Intro - How to write like...

    • 2. What is fiction writing?

    • 3. Analysis & Synthesis

    • 4. Analysis - Reading Sarah J Maas

    • 5. Building the action

    • 6. Writing Tools - Character & Event

    • 7. More on events

    • 8. Structure & Content

    • 9. The best writing advice...EVER!

    • 10. Narrative & Scene

    • 11. Inner & Outer

    • 12. Exposition & Progression

    • 13. Style & Voice

    • 14. Synthesis - The First Draft

    • 15. The Second Draft

    • 16. Land of Hare & Falcon

    • 17. Conclusion & workshop practice

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About This Class

Fiction Writing 101

Learn to write like YOUR favorite writer.

You don’t learn to write fiction just by taking classes. You learn to write by reading the writers you love.

Fiction Writing 101 is an introduction for beginner students new to writing and for those struggling to get published.

This short and simple course shows you powerful techniques to get you started writing the style of your favorite writer.

  • understand the real reasons we love to read fiction (HINT - Immersion!)
  • learn to Analyse and Synthesise short pieces of writing by top writers
  • build a toolkit of essential skills for fiction writers including Narrative & Scene, Style & Voice, Inner Monologue & Outer Worldbuilding.
  • And the best piece of writing advice...EVER!

Part One: Introduction

One of Damien’s students is in love with Sarah J Maas and wants to write just like her. We look at why we love to read fiction - immersion.

Part Two: Analysis

A deep reading of The Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas and analysis of her key strengths as a writer.

Part Three: Writing Toolkit

Building a toolkit of writing skills based on the analysis of Sarah J Maas that you can apply to your own fiction writing.

Part Four: Synthesis

Damien writes his own opening chapter based on Sarah J Maas and invites you to learn by completing the exercise of Analysis and Synthesis.

About your teacher

Damien Walter teaches The Rhetoric of Story and Writing the 21st Century Myth to over 35,000 students worldwide. His stories and non-fiction have been published with the BBC, Guardian, Independent, Oxford University Press, Wired, Buzzfeed and many more.

Meet Your Teacher

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Damien Walter

Writer for The Guardian, BBC, Wired.


Damien Walter ( BA / MA / PGCHE / HEA) teaches good writers how to be great. His research and critical writing have been published in The Guardian, Wired, BBC, The Independent, Aeon and with Oxford University Press. He is a former director of creative writing at the University of Leicester, a member of the Higher Education Academy, and a graduate of the Clarion writers workshop taught by Neil Gaiman. He consults widely for businesses in technology, healthcare, and manufacturing to help them tell great stories.


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1. Intro - How to write like...: Professor Damien, good. I like being called professor. I am your student and I have a question, dot, dot, Smiley face. I started reading the court performance and roses, very good and excellent novel. And I fell in love with Sarah J. Moss and our characters, Fire, fire, fire, We're gonna go with fire. One of the great things about fantasy writing is the ambiguous pronunciations of the names of the characters, phase and Tomlin. So I came to ask my best professor if there's one thing I like even more than being called professor, it's being called Best Professor of Creative Writing. How can I study? Has Sarah J. Masses writing? That is a very good question. Talia, thank you for sending it to me. And I'm going to answer your question with this video. And also take the opportunity to do a fiction writing one, oh, one class for anybody who's trying to get fundamentals of their fiction writing in place because this is where we all stopped. Many people might think it's wrong to copy. Know. It's the best way to learn is to copy, to imitate, to read. Very closely the writers that you really admire. This is where my fiction writing began. I have very strong memory of spending lots of hours trying to write and not being able to do it, getting frustrated, getting stuck, rewriting the first sentence, the first paragraph or whatever it was, I was trying to write. What was struggling with. I didn't have the fundamentals, the basic tools, the fiction writing one or one to do it. And then one day I read American Gods by Neil Gaiman, one of my all-time favorite storytellers, fiction writers, novelists. And the first chapter of American Gods was so wonderful. It drew me in, Merced me into the story. When I looked up from reading, I think I was in the Starbucks cafe the first time I read it. When I looked up, I realized that as much as I love the story, I didn't know how Neil Gaiman had immersed me into the story. And that's quite natural. Because when we're reading, we immerse into the experience of the character. But we don't see how that emotion is achieved by the author. It's like a magic trick, a good magic trick. Just inside the experience of the magician showing you which card you picked from the deck or the huge object which has been made to disappear in the illusion by the magician. And good writing is something of a magic trick. But to write the stories that we dream about and to create narratives in the world, we need to learn the magical techniques or the fiction writer, which is the point of fiction writing 101. So what are we going to do in fiction writing 1, 0, 1. We're going to think about what story is, why it's a mercy of why we enjoy it so much. We're gonna do a reading as Sarah J. Mass. And we're going to use that reading to do an analysis and a symphysis. Don't be scared by those terms, please. We're going to come back to what they are. And then we're going to take from the reading of Sarah J. Mass. Lessons for fiction writing 101, really cool fundamental lessons that every fiction writer will find useful. And then finally, I, I'm going to use those lessons to write a piece of fiction in the style of Sarah J. Mass, which ever writer you admire. You can use this to learn lessons from them. How to write, like insert your favorite writer. We're going to be using Polya's favorite write down one of mine, Sarah J, mass. You can use whenever rights as you admire. 2. What is fiction writing?: And now let's get into fiction writing 101. So let's start by asking the question. What is fiction writing? It might seem very obvious. We have these words around. We don't want fiction, It's just a book. Thanks to his book that I like reading. But let's try and dig a little bit more deeply into that question so we know that fiction is something like a made up story. So there are many, many kinds of books in the world. But when we think of fiction, we're thinking of a novel. And fiction novels do something particular. They're not like a textbook which gives you information about a subject. They are not like non-fiction biography, which tells you about a real person who lived all of these different kinds of books. Fiction, novel is telling you a story. In words. There's lots of different mediums you can use to tell a story. You can have a story in film. And you're watching the story happening. Actors playing characters, events being played out, seen, shown through the cinematography of the film. But you're gonna have a FET, theatre story, story on a stage. And again, you're watching the actors and there's kind of bits of word which giving you the layout of the story. You can have a story told to you by a great storyteller. Many of the oldest stories like Homer's, Iliad and Odyssey, were written out as epic poetry, which was then recited by a storyteller. You'd have a puppet show that tells you a story. You have a story. In a video game. Stories come in all kinds of media. When we're talking about the fiction novel, we're talking about story that's in words. And it's really interesting. Why is it that these little marks on a page? When we read them, when we look at them and then read them, why is it that they immerse us into a story? Because it's not automatic that they would do that. We might think. And for many people who may be very strong at reading initially, it can be kind of alienating. It's not as automatically in massive to be immersed into the written or typed word on a page. But when you get into it, novels or maybe the most immersive storytelling media. Why is this? Well, let's think about where these words come from, the words on the page or come from inside the head of a writer. And if we could look inside my head, Waldstein speaking, or worse, I'm walking around in the world or your head whilst your sitting at home watching this, you have words going on all of the time in your head. You may not even notice them most of the time. And in fact, it's really difficult to stop the words in your head from going on all the time. And one of the reasons why reading a fiction novel can be really enjoyable and relaxing is because for a time the words on the page seemed to take over from the words that are going on in your head. And whilst you're reading your own word, stop and the words of the author replace them. And the words that we offer is using describe a story which has going on. And not only do they describe the story, they describe the form of the character who is experiencing the story. And we're going to be thinking a lot about this. The way that the words of the story both describe the world and the events of the story. And describe the fourths, and feelings and emotion and experiences of the characters. And it's this combination of the two that makes the novel super immersive. And this is our goal as the fiction writer is to describe the conscious experience of the characters in the stories. This combination of on the one hand, sensation that I am at the same time touching the table. And there are my words giving me a description of what it's like to touch the table. And the two of these mean that the novel is really good at representing this stranger, mysterious thing, consciousness. And this is why we love novels. They take us more than any other media. I would argue deep inside the conscious experience of another human being whilst they're going through their story. And we take on that being as ourselves, we get what we call immersed. We suspend our disbelief in this being just some words printed on a page. And it becomes real and immersive to us. 3. Analysis & Synthesis: And that is the miracle of the novel and a fiction. And now we're going to dig into some of the tools that you will use to do that. But how are we gonna do that? We got going to read in just a moment the opening chapter of a novel by Sarah J. Mass. And we're going to do something quite specific because you can't just read the novel over and over again and learn something from it. You might do, you will do, but it will be very slow. So instead, we do something very specific, which has two special words and analysis. And then symphysis don't be turned off by these old Latin words, but it's useful to know them. What does an analysis mean? And now osis means literally taking apart. So if you have a car and you want to fix the car or understand how the car works. You take off the wheels, you take off the doors, you take out the engine and you take the engine apart, you take the pistons out, and then you find what the problem is or you understand the processes that make the car work. And then you put them back together again, which is synthesis and analysis, taking things apart, synthesis, putting all the things together in a way that they work again. So as writers, the way that we learn from reading off favorite offers is first by analysis. So as I read Sarah J. Mass, I'm going to do an analysis of how writing, what are all the parts of a single chapter, Sarah J. Mars, that make it work and what can I learn from them? And then I'm going to do an act of synthesis. I'm going to put those parts together in a piece of my own writing, written in the style of Sarah J. Mass. And this is a brilliant way to learn and analysis. First, take apart a piece of writing by one of your favorite writers, and then synthesise second, write a story of your own in the style of that writer. You don't have to do this with a whole novel. We're certainly not going to be analyzing and then synthesising the whole of the novel by Sarah J. Mass. Today. You can do it with just one chapter. In this case, we will use the opening chapter from Sarah J. Mass is novel. You can use an opening chapter where you can use really any chapter that you really liked and enjoyed. Because with a good writer, what you will find is that they're writing does many of the same things in every chapter over and over again. So just stunning one chapter through analysis and synthesis and then writing a single chapter of your own can be enough. You could also do this with a single short story. By short story or that you like. You can do it in any media. You can take a single seen by a film director that you like, an analyze and synthesize. This is the basic way of learning any creative art form. Take a small piece, single seen a single chapter, one song by a songwriter that you like. Analyze it, take it apart, and then synthesized that, put it back together again. 4. Analysis - Reading Sarah J Maas: Let's get into reading the court. Fauna rose is by Sarah J. Mass. But first, I think I need a cup of tea. This is a nice pure tea. Like many, most writers, I'm quite addicted to my caffeine, so I need coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon to keep me writing. Welcome by the way, to my house in Bali where I live and do most of my writing and film, most of my classes. It's still a little bit hot. Good, excuse me if I stop occasionally whilst reading to have a sip of this very fine t. This is the opening chapter or the courts. And for num rows is by Sarah J. Mass. I have a copy and pasted the opening pages into my notes app so I can annotate them as we go along, but please do pick yourself up a copy of the novel. This goes for any writer that we want to study by their work support, what they're doing. You can read the opening chapter is an extract on Amazon and other books sites as well. Chapter one, the forest had become a labyrinth of snow and ice. This is a very strong and confident opening. You can compare it to the typical opening of a novel, which might have a very long paragraph of description. That here we have one single sentence, but it's a sentence that's doing a lot of work. It's describing the scene, which is great, but it's also putting us into the consciousness of the character because who is the library becoming a labyrinth of snow and ice full? For the character that we're following. I'd be monitoring the parameters of the thicket for an hour. Straight into narration. Um, we're in a first-person narrator here. That's good is very often how young adult fantasy is narrated. Not always, but very often. I've been monitoring the parameters of a thicket for an ala and my vantage point in the crook of a tree had turned useless. The gusting wind blew FEC flurries to sweep away my tracks, but buried along with them. Any signs of potential quarry were write-ins. The story we're no, we're hunting and we're into the quandary, the problem faced by the character. They got this hunting point up in the trees, but it's no longer useful to, I wiped my numb fingers over my eyes. This is sometimes called an eyeball kick. You take us into a real detail what the character is doing. So I love this and Sarah J. Mass, they would remain until the bark ran out, travel north past the wolves territory. Good foreshadowing here, introducing the existence of the wolves before a wolf appears in the chapter. And perhaps enter the ferry lands of prefix when no more holes would dare go. Not unless they had a death wish. More foreshadowing and amping up the stakes. Not only are we hunting, but we're in a dangerous landscape. A shudder scattered down my spine. Beginning of a new paragraph, we're into the character again. Shutter scatter down my spine. We're getting sensation and emotion of the character. And I shoved it away, focusing on my surroundings, on the task ahead. This was all I could do. All I've been able to do for years, focus on surviving the week, the day, the hour ahead. This is really good. I had the wrong voice to read this character because I have quite a male voice and this is a young woman in this line. That was all I could do. All I've been able to do for years, focus on surviving the week, the day, the hour ahead. And who is the reader for a young heroic female huntress was probably predominantly young women. And this is a way for a young person, my optimum think they're in survival mode. The world seems harsh around them and they're facing this harshness alone. So not only are we going inside the consciousness of the character, but it reflects the consciousness of the readers. The icy snow crunched under my fraying, boots, crunched. So it giving a variety of sensations, how things look, how they sound, how they smell. Like ground my teeth, not a good eyeball, kick, low visibility, unnecessary noise. I was well on my way. Yet another fruitless hunt, giving an expectation of what generally happens in a hunt. Most hunts or fruitless, you spend a lot of time on this task, but not today. Only a few hours of daylight remained. If I didn't leave soon, I'd have to navigate my way home in the dark and the warnings of the town, hunters still rang fresh in my mind. Giant wolves were on the prowl and in numbers, another little piece of foreshadowing, not to mention whispers, looks strange for spotted and Yara, tool and eerie and deadly anything. Fairies. The hunters had besieged on long forgotten and guards. That is a nice piece of technique. Anything but berries. So Sarah J. Mass is both telling us about the fairies and also shifting towards different points of view. So we've been told this story in first-person point-of-view by the character. Anything but fairies the hunters had besieged are long forgotten gods. So this is the character thinking into really importantly something that happens. The hunters that she knows back at her village beseeching any for him. But fairies and I had secretly prayed alongside them in the eight years we'd be living in our village. Today's journey from the immortal border or Parisians, we'd been spared an attack. Traveling peddlers sometimes brought stories again, another perspective, the traveling peddlers who comes in to the village sometimes brought stories of destine border towns left in splinters. Yet another perspective, an image of a desk and border town knew here that they are often left in splinters and bones and ashes. The buildings are splintered. The bones of the dead are left to decay and ashes. The buildings are burnt to the ground. I need a quick separate team. I addressed much incoming so far in the Far East, but we've finished our last loaf of bread yesterday and the remainder of our dried meat the day before still, I would rather have spent another night with a hungry belly that found myself satisfying the appetite of a wolf or a ferry. Not that there was much of me to feast on. I turned ganglia by this time of the year and could count a good number of my ribs. A good piece of characterization, character versus characterization. Characterization tells you about how the character looks. Character is how they respond to important events which we will come to. But this is a good piece of characterization and again mirrors the consciousness of the reader. The reader who may well be a young woman, thinking about her own body and counting a good number of ribs. Moving is nimbly and as quietly as I could between the trees, I pushed a hand against my hello and a king stomach. So this is rarely good writing because it's taping new deep into the character who mirrors the reader. When I think about my own piece of writing in this style, I tried to think about this, how to take my readers into the character who mirrors their experience. I knew the expression that would be on my two older sisters face fairs when I returned to our cottage. Empty handed. Yet again. Now this is again really good. Let's put a quick highlight here. Because instead of starting off all the way back at the cottage with this character's oldest ancestors. We roll it into the action of the story. That's really important. You start at the action and you give pieces of exposition behind. After a few months of careful searching, I crouched and the cluster is snow heavy, brambles free to forms. I had a half decent view of a clearing and a small Brooke, Brooke flowing through it. A few holes in the ice suggested it was still frequently used. Hopefully, something would come by. Hopefully a little bit of inner monologue there. Hopefully. I signed for my nose. They're getting the tip of my toe into the ground and leaned my forehead against the crude cover word, we wouldn't last another week without food. A good piece of show. Don't tell them. It's not that I was feeling desperate or despairing. I did the actions that you would do. Instead show don't tell, an overused maximum of writing. But here is a good example of it. We wouldn't ask not a week without food and too many families had already started begging for me to hope for handouts from the welfare townsfolk. I witnessed firsthand exactly how far their charity went. A little bit of social commentary there on the lack of charity at the wealthy, towards the poor. That does become significant in the story. I eased into a more comfortable position and calmed my grieving, straining to listen to the forest over the when the snow foul and foul dancing and curling like sparkling spin drifts. Good. Again, the snow fell and fell dancing and curling like sparkling spin drifts. The white, fresh and clean against the brown and gray of the world. This writing is very prosaic. That means it's clear, it's easy to understand. But at important points, Sara Jane mass frozen a poetic device. The snow fell and fell. That's a cool poetic device because if the repetition of the term dancing and curly, like sparkling spin drips, we have a good piece of assonance. Their sparkling spin drips, the white, fresh and clean against the brown and gray of the world. So inside the prosaic writing we have, boom, this nice piece of poetic imagery. And despite myself, despite my num limbs, I quieted that relentless, vicious part of my mind to take in the snow veiled words. The underworld is relentless and vicious. The outer world is cool and calm and snow veiled. For now. Once they had been second nature to save at a contrast of new grass against dark tilled soil, An anaphase brooch nestled in folds of emerald silk. Another nice piece of poetic imagery. Once I dreamed and breathed and fought in color and light and shape, sometimes I would even indulge in envisioning a day when my sisters were married and it was only me and father with enough food to go around, enough money to buy some paint and enough time to put those colors and shapes down on paper or canvas or the cottage wolves, what do we have happening here? Okay, We've been following the action and the inner life of the character. And now we have a little piece of the characters fantasy life, her fantasy of how life could be the sisters gone. She's able to have her father to herself. There is enough to eat, enough to buy some paint, enough time to be a painter. You don't have to be a hunter. You can be a painter instead. What a beautiful fantasy that so many of us have, that we want to have to struggle through life and survival. We could instead be creative, be an artist, not likely to happen anytime soon, perhaps ever. So I was left with moments like this, admiring the glint of pale Winter Light on snow. And I couldn't remember last time I done it. Bothered to notice anything lovely or interesting. How many of us are often lost In this? When was the last time we notice something interesting instead of survival, stolen hours in a decrepit barn with Isaac hail didn't count. Those times were hungry and empty and sometimes cruel but never lovely. So again, we have little shift in perspective into a memory of Isaac Hale, who we assume is a young man and lover. And then there's contrast, this excellent contrast. Those times a hunger and empty and sometimes cruel but never lovely. Even with your lover things and never lovely. This is a tough world. 5. Building the action: Bush's rustled across the clearing. A shift here we're going from setting up the scene into the action of the scene description into action bushes, Russell, across the clearing, drawing my bot was a matter of instinct. I peered for the forms of my breath Court. Less than 30 paces of waste to the small DO NOT yet to scorning for winter, but desperate enough to wrench bark from a tree in the clearing. A deer like that could feed my family for a week or more. So we have the stakes. If I take the dough, I can feed my family for a week. I took a steadying breath, double-checking my aim. And now let's bring him to the action. A complication, a major complication. This is what makes the story compelling. Okay, you have, this is a typical scene of hunting a deer, even though it's rare to catch it there. But now they're worlds. A pair of golden eyes shining from the brush adjacent to mind, the forest was silent, the wind died, even the snow pause. So as these eyes appears, now we have a real event happening. It's not just a good day of hunting. There's something utterly different happening. A real event, deforest went silent. The wind, I didn't the snow pores. We mortals no longer kept Gods to worship concealed in the ticket. The wolf inch closer, its gaze set on the oblivious DO he was enormous, the size of a pony. And though I'd been warned about their presence, my mouth turned bone dry, building the event. This is the first time our character, our little huntress here, has ever encountered a giant wolf. But worse than his size was his unnatural stealth. Even as he inched closer in the brush, you remained on her and on spotted by the dough. No animal that mass it could be so quiet. But he was no ordinary animal. If he was a Peruvian origin, if he were somehow ferry. Next complication is not just a wolf, it might be a ferry than being eaten was the least of my concerns. But despite his size, he looked like a move like a wall animal. I reassured myself just an animal. Now we have in this italicized text, the spoken in a monologue. This is good distinction to make. So good technique often used by successful fancy office door Dora Martens. Another example. He looked like a wolf animal. I reassure myself just an animal. All of the text is the inner landscape of the character combined with the unfolding outer world. But here we have words that are actually coming up with a service animal. I reassured myself just an animal. I didn't let myself consider the alternative, not when I needed my head clear, my grieving, steady. I had a hunting knife and three hours, the first two were ordinary heroes, simple and efficient, and likely no more than these things for a wolf that size. But the third arrow, the longest and heaviest I bought from a traveling peddlers during a summer when we had enough corpus for extra luxuries and arrow Todd from mounting up with an ion. Now this is actually a powerful piece of symbolism because the arrows is doing more than just describing our data. Good, give us the details of the arrow that's going to be fired, but it's also symbolic. It's being forced by the character represents that there isn't a way. Symbols are powerful because we can never clearly articulate what they are, but they focused our attention onto the thing that the character is focusing their attention on. They unify our consciousness where the character, now I drew it, keeping my movements minimal, efficient. Anything to avoid that monstrous world. Looking in my direction. The arrow was long and heavy enough to inflict damage, possibly killed if I aimed right, greg my bot and drew the string further back, I was a decent shot, but I'd never faced a wall. I'd thought it made me lucky, even blessed, but now I didn't know where to hit or how fast they move. I couldn't afford to miss, not when I had only one hours shot from the brush in a flash of gray and white. And he's yellow fangs gleaming. As we get into the moment of action. The time slows down. Everything is happening at a heightened reality like it would the consciousness of the character. I fired the ash hours before he destroyed much else alter. The hour found its mark in his side and I could have sworn the ground itself shuttered. He barked in pain, releasing the dose neck as his blood sprayed on the slow, slow, really bright, bright. So you can imagine this section as like a special CGI effects in a movie, the arrow bang. And you feel this shutter coming roughly up, booming back through the character. Is blood sprayed on the snow. So Ruby, right. He world toward me. Those eyes wide hackles raise his growl low, reverberated in the empty pit of my stomach. As I Serge to my feet, snow churning around the another arrow drawn. All of this great action. A really passionate read of world. Do the movie making in their own head if you're given the right cues. But the world merely looked at me, is more stained with blood. Miami tower protruding so vulgarly from his side. That's a nice word. The ash arrow is protruding vulgarly. So on the one hand, this is piece of description, but this word gives us the perception. It's vulgar for this arrow. The perception, the character is vulgar for this Arrow to be sticking out of the wall. Very good. The snow began falling again. He looked and with a snort of awareness and surprised that made me fire the second hour, just in case, just in case that intelligence was if the immortal, wicked sort, they are immovable and wicked. The placement of that word there, just in case, just in case that intelligence was of the immortal. We could sort the beat of the lines gives you the placement of the word it. If you replace that definitely on the line, you wouldn't get the proper emphasis. He didn't try to dodge the arrow, is it went clear. Food is why yellow. A great image again. The collapse the ground color and darkness world emptying and my vision mixing with the snow. Where the pen side, the consciousness of the character, because coloring, color and darkness are whirling in the world. They're whirling inside her mind, snow world around us. I stared at him until that co of charcoal and obsidian. This is a good way to do description, I think, because when the wolf came in, you could have stopped everything and said his coat was charcoal observing and he was as big as a pony. His eyes were yellow. You don't do that. You give the description as the, as they come into the consciousness of the character. This is the first time she's had time to really see that his coat is charcoal and obsidian, an ivory. The tightness in my chest is and I loosed aside. Without the description, with the action. We're going to think more about their structure description, action. Now we get a motion. But tightness in my chest is I loose, assign my graph cloudy in front of me. At least the SRO had proved itself to be lethal regardless of who or what it took down the rapid examination to DO told me I could carry only one animal. And even that would be a struggle. But it was a shame to leave the world. Wasted precious minutes, minutes during which my predator could smell the fresh blood. I skinned him and clean my arrows as best I could. Let's think about character for a second. We'll go more deeply into this. You go into the woods, you encounter a wolf, you're probably going to want array. Has this character done? She has based and killed the wolf, and then she can't carry them both. So she skins the wall. That only takes her a couple of minutes. We're dealing with a badass. You can kill a wolf and then scan it in a few minutes. That's how you show character in relation to events. I'll talk about this more. If anything, it warmed my hands. Great display or the motion. She's the warmth of killing off is warmed our hands actually, it makes her feel good to kill them. To kill the door. I wrapped the bloody sign of his pelt around the dose deaf wound before I hoisted are across my shoulders. Another good display, a character strength to carry the wolf. Were several miles back to our cottage. I didn't need a trail of blood leading every animal with fangs and claws straight to me, grantee, against the weight I grasp the legs of the deer and spat a final glance at the steaming carcass of the walls of his remaining golden, I now stared the snow heavy sky and for a moment, I wished I had it in me to feel remorse for the dead thing. But this was the forest and it was winter. You close with a display of emotion. Description, action, emotion symbolized with this image. But this was the forest and it was winter. I would feel remorse that as well is to fantastic say, or a J mass. 6. Writing Tools - Character & Event: That was a very enjoyable experiences through its first chapter. And Sarah J. Bar says, a court of foreign am rosettes, we're going to continue the analysis of this opening chapter now. And remember, you can learn the lessons from a single chapter of any offer that you really enjoy. And Maya, by going through this process of analysis, what we're going to look at first, as I mentioned, what stories during the raid for is the combination of character and event. This is really important to think about because the thing that makes the story compelling and immersive, first of all, is the character. So here we're, we're within the character fail. But what do we learn about file? We learn via as a young woman, she has sister, she has a bone arrow, She's a huntress. These are role characterization because all of these things could be true and you could still be a very different kind of character. So where do we see? Where did we learn about the reality of phi as character? It's in her response to the event. And these two things always length, character or an event they orbit each other light via from the moon. What's the event of the heart of the story? It's not going hunting, finding a dough, it's not being cold and went up. All of these things happened to fail over and over again. She's probably colored every day, she probably hundreds every few days. She probably finds a DO every couple of weeks. Okay. So what is the unique thing that happens is meeting the wolf, that's the event. A huge dial wolf emerges into declaring also hunting opera the dough. So this is the event of a haunted the story and how we showing the character. What would you do if you met or a wolf the size of a pony and the forest, would you pick up your bone hour and try and shoot it? Probably not. You probably run away. Fire is compelled by the world she is in to a certain kind of response, but she could just sneak away. She stays, she fights the wolf, she kills the wolf. She fights the wolf, proving bravery. She kills the wolf, demonstrating competence. She's skins the wolf. She's also a badass. Okay, so that's how the character is. 7. More on events: One more thing to think about with the character and event. This event, because this is a first chapter of his story as a special kind of event. It's often called the inciting incident or the points of magic. And this is the first part of the inciting incident of the character that froze them into their adventure or the magical well that they're going to go on a quest. In, in this case, in the story, this event, the killing of the wolf sets up the payoff, which is being taken off into the world, the land or the ferry. And that's just a useful thing to think about. There are different kinds of events. You can have the inciting incident with it, setup and payoff and have the Midway turning point where the character takes control of their destiny previously, they'd just be running from the events of the story. And you can have the crisis and the climax and a resolution of the story, which are all their own events. But these are all different categories of event. And fundamentally, if you understand that your story is a series of events, you know, 90% of what you need to know for all of your storytelling needs. But if you want to dive deeper into storytelling, going check out my course. So for five hours long, but it's very compact. There's a lot of good information in there I made it was traveling around the world, visiting great places with stories which hold like a Greek amphitheater and French castle. The course is the rhetoric of story. So go and look into that for more information about the broad arc of storytelling here When focusing on Fiction Writing 1, 0, 1. But here's something that you can take just in looking at single chapter, that the reason we divide novels up into chapters, because every chapter has an important event that reveals character to you. And all you have to do to write a whole novel is right one chapter after another. And make sure each chapter has an important event easily. 8. Structure & Content: Okay, a bit harder to actually do. Let's look at the second part of our analysis here. Structure and content. Let's make a distinction. Here. This is a very, very fundamental lesson to learn, that every story has its own unique content. But almost all stories repeat the same basic structures. Think about, again, a car. A Ferrari is very different from a Mini Metro, is very different from a haulage truck, which is very different from a passenger bus. But they're all fundamentally cause of a kind automobiles. And they all have basically the same structure. They have a chassis, they have an engine, they have a super structure which is bolted to the chassis. They have wheels, they have seats for people to sit in. A car may have four seats or six seats, or boss may have 30 seats. A truck may only have two seats. This is the difference between structure and content. What is the content of the chapter that we just read? It is the forest where we experiencing the cold and snowy, the labyrinth, fine qualities and authorised it is the hunt, the hunt and the dough appearing, and the killing of the wolf. In that great CGI dramatic moment, it is the remorse or the merciless notice the lack of remorse for killing the wolf in the forest. That's the content, but the structure is very clear and you will find the structure again and again in many, maybe even all really good chapters in a book that you read. Any good scene of storytelling, any great event that you remember, location, action, emotion. What's the location in the forest? You need to give this first so that we are oriented in the world. Sometimes in filmmaking you can dive straight into the action. But when we're using words, we need the location described to us. Then we have the reaction and we had a very clear transition between location and action in that chapter. If you remember, the action is the hunt itself, the dollar pairs in the forest, then we see that the wolf is also a hunting her. Then we get some reflection and planning by the character. She's going to shoot with an ash arrow. This is the action of the story, the hunt. And then finally, we have the emotion, the subsumed feelings of remorse. Fad does I think feel remorse but she can't let yourself feel it. So she hardens and motions, she becomes merciless. And this is a great piece of show. Don't tell. In that final line. It's an overused max m, m writing. But instead of saying, I felt terrible, I felt empty inside. But this was the forest and it was winter. You've shown, you've shown how the emotions express themselves and how the character perceives the world. So use this structure in your own writing, news, the structure of location, action and motion, and then give it your own unique content. Let's say location. It's the desert action that has a man walking for the desert. And he is, he's dying of thirst, say manages to locate a well. But at the well, there's a warrior gotten the well, so he has to fight the warrior. And the emotion is just gratitude, winning the fight and then drawing up the water and drinking his, his desperate first is quenched at the end. So you see how the structure, location, action, emotion, and using show, don't tell, gives you content. You can fill in the structure with your own content. To very important license character and events and structure and content. That's the storytelling part of the chapter. Now, we're going to go more deeply into the writing itself, how the words on the page, and thus you within the consciousness of the character. 9. The best writing advice...EVER!: I promised I would share the single piece of writing advice. It's just a single line from the author Kurt Vonnegut. And that has been more helpful than any other to improving my craft as a writer of fiction, 1, 0, 1. And it is this, every sentence of a story must, every sentence of his story must reveal character or advance the action. That's when the author, Kurt Vonnegut, one of the all-time great offers full stop and also offers of science fiction and fantasy. It's part of his eight rules for writing. You can look them up. They're all very insightful and useful. But that one particularly really helps because when you're writing fiction, you're writing with sentences. They are the building bricks of the walls of your story. But what should you be doing with the sentences? And when fiction loses you or when it immerses you, which are the two options, you either get lost in your concentration of strays or you're immersed in the story. When it succeeds, it's because it's doing. One of these two things. Take a look at the chapter from Sarah J. Maas that we're using in this, or take any chapter of fiction that you find really effective and immersive. And you will find that in addition to the techniques that we're looking at for fiction writing 101, it will almost certainly obey this rule. Every sentence will either reveal character or it will advance action. And you can go through every sentence by Sarah J. Marks. And it will do that when I shared this quote on Twitter some years ago when I was a younger, more naive or RFA. Just still learning lots of different things about the craft of writing. I got a response from the fantasy writer, one of my all-time favorite writers, Neil Gaiman. The reason I got a response is because Neil was one of my instructors at the Clarion Writer's Workshop, which is a great institution and the science fiction and fantasy writing world. And I was very fortunate to go in 2008 when Neil Gaiman was teaching Kelly Link, Geoff Ryman, other great teachers as well. And Neil Gaiman, response to this advice from Kurt Vonnegut, the every sentence should reveal character or advanced the action was a third option, or be funny. And I think that's a very good addition. I'd also add, be very intelligent or insightful or inspiring. So there are other things you can do and being funding is one of them. Neil Gaiman, along with writers who inspired him like Douglas Adams and Terry project. They are very amusing offers and sometimes they won't advance the action or show character. They'll just be funny. When you look at Sarah J. Mouse, That's not a very funny chapter. So she doesn't ever stopped to just be funny. But take this advice on board if you learn nothing else. If you make sure that one sentence after another is either revealing character or advancing the action or ideally doing both. And you'll see with Sarah J. Mass that has sentences often succeed at doing both. As long as you do that, you're going to have some level of immersiveness and this is what we're looking at now how to make the words and sentences and paragraphs on the page. Immersive. 10. Narrative & Scene: So let's have a think about a good technique for this and this again, as you will notice in this class, we're looking at dualities, things that work together. We have character and event. We had structuring content for storytelling. And now looking at the words and sentences and paragraphs on the page, we have narrative and seen. Think of them like a hammer and tongs. If you're blacksmithing and good fantasy fashion, you're holding your story with the narrative and you're hitting it with a hammer, which is the scene. So these are two things you can be alternating between in your story. So we're Sarah J. Mass, the narrative, the narrator has a particular point of view. It is first person. There's number of ways you can tell a story. We're not gonna go into a lot of detail here. But the three basic ways you can tell a story in fiction writing is in first person. The character is telling their own story. I did this, I did that. A common problem with first-person narration is using too many eyes on the page. And sometimes you can just look for and see Sarah J. Mars does not fall into the problem, the tumbling eyes down the page. But she's writing in first-person or you can write in third person. Jeff did this, he did that, she did that they did this. You have a narrator who is telling the story most commonly today. Third, pass and close. So you are having the story told, but you're still very much within the consciousness and the character. Or the third way is an external narrator. And you will find this most commonly in oldest styles of novels, Charles Dickens, for instance, at a third-person narrator, which was him telling the story and the numerator skips around from the perspection through the perception of different characters. And interrater can even be omniscient. They can see the whole world at any given time. There's much more to be said about points of view. The important point is that there are all ways of narrating the story. Let's think about a commonly known story, Jack and the Beanstalk. There was a young boy called Jack. There was a young poor boy called Jack. That's the narrator. Then we have the scene. And the scene is where you come into the world. You describe the world and how the character perceives that world. You're forming a scene in the same way you would set a scene on stage for theatre, or setup shots of a movie to show the scene. The narrator can move quickly through the story that you can cover, days or weeks or months of time. This scene is always happening in real time. Or as we see with Sarah J. Mass in more than real time, when the actual fight is happening against the wall. The perception of the scene is stretched out. So things take much longer than they actually would to read than they would do in real time. In the same way that the narrative has a point of view. The scene in good fiction writing is colored by the perceptions and the consciousness or the character that you are seeing the scene through. So in that brilliant first line from Sarah J. Mass, it doesn't just say there was a forest and it was Woody and Farsi know it says the forest had become a labyrinth of snow and ice. This is the way to set the scene through the colored perception because who is it elaborative to? It is a labyrinth to fail to the character who we are following. So always remember that you have these two tools you can tell the story is the narrator and you can come into the scene as perceived by the character. 11. Inner & Outer: And this links to another very important technique, which is the inner and the outer perceptions of the characters. As you're reading through a chapter or writing your own chapter, you have all of the things that you need to describe or setup for the story to happen, the actions that you need to present. And these are all happening outwardly. They are the outer world of the character. They are the senses that you show the world through. The how things smell, how things look. Those poetic terms that Sarah J. Mass used. This is all the outer world, but you also mix there same with the inner world of the character. And what's our inner world? It's the things we are thinking. Remember those moments of italicized text. They're coming from the inner world of the character. The emotions that we feel, especially at the end of the chapter, the way that they are expressed. Thoughts, emotions, feelings, how it feels to be there, we show but don't tell the feelings when failure is putting her bow against her head because she's, she's sick of these fruitless hunts that she goes on. So good fiction writing always has a mixture of the outer and the inner. If you're too much in the inner, it's confusing. We go into what you might call stream of consciousness and they can't be good reasons to do this, especially more advanced forms of fiction writing. So you want a flavor at the end of the world, but you don't want to get lost in the, in the world. It can be too disorienting for the reader to just be inside the forts of a character. If you're too much in the outer world, in description an action, it can be alienating to the reader. This is a very common problem in a lot of fiction writing from people who've watched a lot of television. Because of course, television and films are showing us more the outer world, although they do have ways of expressing the inner as well when they're done artistically. So if you just describe objects and describe people without filtering through the inner world of the carriage is very alienating and the reader will bounce off it. They won't get absorbed into it. Always have a good blend of the inner and the outer. 12. Exposition & Progression: When you are doing this. The third tool that we will look at with that narrative and saying We've had inner and outer exposition versus progression. Exposition is what you need to know and what the character already knows about the world that you are in. So an example of exposition in the chapter that we read was the information that we're given about the village, about the social hierarchy of the village with the rich people not being charitable about the family. We know that as a founder, we know there are sisters. We know about the relationship is difficult with assistance. We even learn that one sister likes or anything that somebody else owns. This is all expository. It's all exposing things that we already know about the world. And it's another common problem for a writer to just expose things that were already known about the world. Because if we went on this hunting trip with my hours, she found a dough and killed it and took it home. There would have been no event, very important and we would have only of hand exposition because nothing has rarely progressed. So along with the X position, you need progression. The sentences that are written on the page, some sort expose the past, but we must also have new knowledge being learned. Bind a character and by us of course. So what is the progression in the story? It's understates the emergence of the wolf, what the world looks like. And crucially, and this is what really makes the chapter on many levels is fail. Learning her own response to the wolves, sheep, sheep has always succeeded in avoiding these big dire wolves, but folder might be fairly folk. She hasn't avoided at this time, so she doesn't know what's going to happen. So all of her emotional responses are new to her. If we only have the dough, she'd just be going through the responses that she had experienced before. So we must always be exposing, giving exposition and progressing, giving progression. And every sentence is doing one or the other. 13. Style & Voice: Let's take an a fourth and final, rarely useful tool, hair style, the style that you are writing, and thus is the voice of that style. So why am I talking about with style? If you take a look again at Sarah J. Masses style, how short direct sentences sometimes mixed with a longer sentence that tends to be more poetic. Clear, direct words. Most of the language is a selection of words that every reader will easily understand mixed with than the occasional word like Volga, a slightly more or slightly rarer word. This is a good balance and these are all stylistic choices, are quite short paragraphs and then occasionally a longer paragraph where we're going to get a mix of things happening. You can go and look. A writer like picked at random, really Michael Siobhan, also a writer I really enjoy who will have much more florid, a much higher register of language that he's using. Many more complex words, much longer paragraphs, much longer sentences. Neither of these are wrong or right. They're stylistic decisions. And there's many things you can mix together. But when you're doing your analysis, look at what the style is or the writer, direct or more complex, very clear, or more allegorical and poetical. And if you're only doing, if you're always direct, That's a stylistic limitation. If you only use short sentences. That's quite limiting. If you only use long sentences, that's going to be very confusing. The style that the writer is working in versus the voice. And voice is crucial. Let's spend some time thinking about all the ways that voice appears in a piece of writing. Because of course, we're used to reading writing from the page. But we also hear voices, usually language words spoken by a voice. And for most of human history before we had writing and printing, they were only ever spoken by a voice. So they must have a voice. I'm writing on the page has a voice. In fact, it has many voices. There are multiple voices that blend together. So we have the voice of Sarah J. Mass as the narrator. Again, that first line, which does such wonderful work, the forest had become a labyrinth of snow and ice. Now, I have the wrong voice. It's not a bad voice, but it's the wrong voice to read this because I think it should be a woman's voice and that narrative voice. If you think, if you've seen the Lord of the Rings movie with the wonderful Galadriel. And she does the narration at the beginning. It's that kind of voice because this is a fantasy novel. It's quite a high tone and register. It's like an enchanted voice, the forest hand to become a labyrinth of snow and ice. So think about that narrative voice, thinking back to that tool of narrative and seen. So we have that wonderful enchanted voice of Sarah J. Mass, and then we have the voice of failure. And this voice is very human. And it's, it's very direct. And it's a voice with some fear and desperation. Let's look at a sentence again. My mouth watered quiet as the wind hissing for the dead leaves, I took aim. Now I actually here phi as more of the, in English would be more of a no oven acts and more of a, a working class accent. I could dry half the meats and we could immediately eat the rest stews, pies has skin can be sold or perhaps turned. And he was in the meeting point of these voices. The real beauty of the pros comes out and then there are more voices. As we have those perspective shifts into what the hunters might say. What might the voice of the hunters be? A deeper, rumbling, more masculine voice. Better the agenda stereotype there, sorry. But, you know, it is this mixed voice, the voice of the villagers fearfully. Have you heard about the villages burned down by the FEI? Came this is voice and its interaction with style. So you have this style, the stylistic decisions that you make. Length of sentence, word selection, paragraph type, all of these things mixed with the voices, the wonderful voices up the narrator, the character, the other voices, the character is all blending together to give you the voice of the text, the voice of the story, the voice of the world. And if from all of this you only take one thing. If you can hear the voices that you're writing. For instance, with Sarah J. Mass, I'm sure I'm certainty hears that in chanted Royce that it's telling the story. I'm certain she hears the voice of fire. She hears all the voice of their villages. If you can work with all of these together, thinking about the tools that we have covered here, so character and event and the way they into play. You know, the character is revealed by the event fire is revealed by meeting the wolf structure and content, location, action, emotion, and how you can use that structure to give you the shape of the story, which in this case it's the content, the forest, the hunt, the emotion of remorselessness. As we talked about that great piece of advice, every sentence must reveal character or advance the story. All be funny, according to Kurt Vonnegut, Neil Gaiman. Then the tools of narrative and seen what's the point of view, first-person in this case, and how the scene is colored by the perception of character, the exposition, and the progression. How they interplay. The inner and outer worlds, the thoughts and emotions in a well, the outer world description, action, the stylistic decisions. And then if all of that is too much to begin with, start by hearing the voice of the story of how they interplay on the page. That is my deep analysis. All of that came from. I've done a few readings, read more than once to do analysis. Do a first reading, get your response. Do a second reading, make notes, do a third reading, see what arises. More details will come on that third reading and then write down. In this way, you can use the tools I've given you here to do your own analysis of your favorite offer, just a single chapter. You will learn so much from doing this kind of analytic work. But you'll learn even more from the final stage of fiction writing one or one eye and going to synthesize this analysis by writing a chapter of my own story in the style of Sarah J. Mars, that this may take a little bit of time. Q. A montage scene of me writing in different places while drinking. Come back to fiction writing 0101 to see and read my own take on a style of Sarah J. Balance. Thank you. Hello guys. This is my favorite coffee shop in Uber. Colicky cochlea has the best coffee, please. The kids who walk here on friendship now cinema guys. Thank you for staying healthy. I don't have a wonderful in the jungle. 14. Synthesis - The First Draft: Welcome back to fiction writing 1, 0, 1. My name is Damian Walter and I am full of caffeine. You may not know it, but the evolution of the fiction novel and the coffee bean go hand in hand. It was when coffee beans were first imported along with their blissful caffeine load to continental Europe and the British Isles, that writers began to have the mental focus and clarity create the first novels. That may not be an entirely true story, but it is very fun for us writers who are caffeine addicts. I have drunk free fall mugs of coffee whilst planning out my story, my opening chapter in the style of Sarah J. Mass, which has become something of a chapter in the style of Damien G. Walter, you will find as you do your analysis and then your synthesis that learning the techniques and the structures of your favorite offers will actually bring through your own ideas, your own stories, your own voice. As a story teller, how have I been doing this? Well, I've taken those tools that we have fought about, character and event structure and content, narrative, scene, exposition, progression, inner and outer style and voice. I've listed these down a page. And this is what I recommend that you do just less those headings and then go through for that chapter that you're analyzing what the writer has done and how you can do this with your own work yourself. So what am I going to do? Character set of a young woman hundredths and going with a boy wizard, he doesn't know he's a wizard yet. He's a groom, a small. His fast is clever, but it's kind of rude and wild as well. How is this character revealed through event? The boy finds a lost ring and has to enter a game of wits with the old nasty wizard who lost at more cunning the nasty. You see just using these techniques and structures, it's going to bring out your own story and storytelling structure and content. What was the structure we were working with? Location, action, emotion, location, a forest. In action, the wizards game, a motion power, the feeling of first having power as a young potential wizard narrative and seeing what's the narrative that this is coming from? The boy has been beaten by the landlord of the end and he wants to read. He's exposed to books, but you can read and they can't get reading lessons. This scene, let's say it's the end of the drunken donkey. So I'm going to draw the whole scene within which the action happens. And it's summer heat and it's the kind of abandoned and joy of summer. To contrast, Sarah J. Mars is winter environment exposition. Okay. Well, I've got the landlord and he's kind of slightly healthy, not very nice wife. They're both about unhealthy. And I want to paint in like a war of intrigue between great houses going on in the background. I don't know if this is particularly original. That's not the point. We're not trying to do something great and original. We're trying to study and learn the techniques for analysis, synthesis. And let's have some scheming guess at the end as well, maybe the cunning old wizard among them progression. We are showing the boy take his first steps into the wizarding well realm and learning his own intelligence. He thinks he's a dummy, but he's going to learn how smart he is. Exposition, regression, inner and outer, inner. The boy being a nobody is in a narrative of, I don't matter, I'm not important, I'm insignificant. I'm just an orphan. Maybe his inner dreams and fantasies of his mother being with a caring parent in the world. The outer world. It's kind of aggressive and clever. It's a land in decay. Finally, style and voice style. I want to mirror that direct, unfiltered style from Sarah J. Mass. And these are punctuated moments of poetic for this young boy wizard, painful visions of the future. Perhaps that he's having C, This is what. Working with the analysis does, is you take on the analysis. It brings out and enriches your own imagination and vision. And then the voice, I want the young boy wizard to have a kind of sacks and Germanic fois. I want the old wizard to be a kind of cock NY, London untrustworthy voice coming into that. And then because I'm working here with the first person's style of Sarah J. Mass. I'm going to add a little bit to that and make it first-person historic. So we have a sense on the old powerful magician looking back on his days as an orphan boy and a GRU. And that will be more Latin, it more, a little bit more high register in reflection. Wow, I am so excited to be going through this. This is how you get really deep and powerful writing. And now I'm excited to go and write my chapter, a few notes on how to do this. As you can tell, I'm doing this over a few days. I would suggest do your analysis on one day, get it all in place, and then write the first draft of your chapter in one go. That's a really good writing beat to get into. Do a chapter in a day, first draft, the next day, redraft it, polish it up. And then you can get into a kind of rhythm if you want to carry this through, write a whole novel. In the mornings, write your first draft. Over your lunchtimes, polish up the second graph in the afternoon. Do the analysis, plan out what's going to happen in your next day's Chapter 3 writing sessions in a day. That's the kind, if you can dedicate the time to it, that's the kind of beat That's going to produce a novel in very quick time. I'm going to do this. We have one chapter. If you find yourself stuck, and I will do this and then give you some notes when we look at the final draft, but I'm going to produce, you find yourself stuck. Take the chapter from the right of that you're analyzing. I will do this with Sarah J. Maas and literally imitates how they are writing. So Sarah J. Mass, you've got a strong opening single line. I will have a strong opening single line. Next paragraph, some action mixed with description. I will do that. First paragraph, some inner monologue with some outer sin by laser, let's say. And you look for or what mix of these techniques we've been looking at you directly to the analyzing is using and to begin with, to get you started, just copy them and then you will find that this gets you into the flow of your own voice. But to learn, stay within the style and voice and nationally of that offer. Wonderful. Thank you so much for following to this point. Join me for the last part of fiction writing 101, when I show you my own synthesis that has grown from this analysis of Sarah J. Mass. Thank you very much. 15. The Second Draft: The first read through what the first draft of the chapter I've written based on the writings of Sarah Jane mass, my synthesis of the analysis that we began this course in fiction writing 1, 0, 1 with, and I want to talk a little bit about the drafting process, how to get from the draft to second draft. They say that the victory of a NAMI depends not upon the strength of its four says not upon how great It's weapons ABA upon one factor and that is morale. Morale. The thing that new writers will struggle with, perhaps more than anything, is sitting down with that first draft that felt so great. Lost your writing it that's felt so inspired whilst it was coming out piping hot from your imagination. A few days pass and you sit down and you read the first draft. And it's not, the inspired work of genius is not the glittering Jan that you fought. It was whilst you are writing it. And that is absolutely 100%, okay? And nobody's fiction, thus draft is anywhere close to 100%. And I am a professional writer and I have been since my mid-twenties and I got paid for the first time to write in my teens. And I have written feature articles for national newspapers. I have written corporate white papers. I have written blog posts that have had 0.5 million views. I have written scripts, I have written interactive dialogue for video games. I write fiction under a number of different names. I have written almost everything there is to write. And fiction is the most difficult thing. To write. Prose fiction is an order of magnitude. More difficult to write than anything else. I can write a 2000 word feature article and the first draft will be pretty much perfect. That comes from a lot of practice, but however much practice I or anybody else have, fiction writing is much more difficult. Why is the basic wonderful thing about fiction writing that we were talking about from the beginning of fiction writing 101. What is that? Is the way that fiction writing takes us into the consciousness of a character of another living human beings. So every sentence of a piece of good friction is both some how a description of the outer world or an action that is taking place. And also it is colored by the perceptions and the consciousness of the character whose eyes we are looking at the world through. And that means it's difficult. It's very difficult to get every sentence doing its job right in a piece of fiction writing. So when you come back to read the writing, you're going to see that it doesn't work. This is why. This is why we analyze the work of great writers and synthesize them back into our own writing in these kind of practice projects. And it's why we have guidance. Look back to the notes that we have been drawing on to do our analysis and our symphysis. What was the notes that we went through and how do you use them to get from your first draft, your second draft? You've got the first draft, which might be quite a lot of a mess. It might be only 10 percent or 30 percent or 80 percent of the way there. However far is you have further to take it into the second draft. And if you don't have this kind of structured analysis, then you don't know what to do. And your morale is going to full seriously because you'll just be trying to change sentences out random or tinker around intuitively with the text. But what you can do is approach it in a structured way. So you can sit down and say, aha, this paragraph is far too far over into the event, and he doesn't show me enough about character. This. Our graph is a bit too much about the narrative and it's not giving me any details about the scene. This sentence is all about exposition and it doesn't progress anything. This page of writing is far too much in the inner world of the character and isn't giving me more about the outer, You get the idea if you have structured techniques that you're working with, then from your first draft, you can use those techniques again to polish and push you into your second draft. 16. Land of Hare & Falcon: Land of hair and Falcon, a chapter by Damian G. Walter, based on the fiction writing style of Sarah Jane mass. Summer made the land a snap trap. I dragged the rake out to the stables, angry at another day of mucking out. It was just after sunrise, but already the heat was crushing. The stench of rotting apples was heavy on the boiling air, and the salt tank of blood was unlike ton leaf, the landlords backhand slap still stung my cheek, escaped a real beating, kept my eyes down on the saw dust, dirt is he unleashed his anger. Of all I must know is place. Mine was at the bottom. I scrubbed desert and blood off my face but the water or the horses manger was as filthy Zai was. The end of the drunken donkey buzzed with flies and stank of stay alive. A woman cried out from the dormitory block one and leaves painted ladies pretending to be pleasured by some clumsy hand. If Carter, the cards rolled in and out at all hours, two dozen at a time on the holy days, three highways for the dark forest mat nearby the end at a crossroads they call six ways. I'd never been more than a half league in any way from the leaf news business. Beer and whiskey, mutton and rye bread, women and boys. The end sold what a Carter wanted. Easy profits meant leaf and his fat wife never had to work too hard. So the apples of the forest rotted on the Earth in summer. The stables reeked of the last day's business all day. I'd be mucking it out. I stood there in the darkness of the shared head slumped against the handler do rake. I want it to be anywhere anyone else. But there was nothing for it to get working. The book was half buried in one of the private stalls where we host the Steve's of imperial messengers. Black leather bound slight in when I picked up only out of a desire to keep such a rare thing safe. It was only when my fingers touch the book that I felt the desire to never letting go. I'd seen the young Lord lens with their study books. The retinue of a great house had written through last hi Moon. The Lord's only son had spent all his time nose buried in a tome, judged he had 11 years, same as me. I'd never even touched a book, let alone red one. Now here was my very own. Quick as I brushed dirt off the book and tucked it in my tunic, there was a risk. I might get away with half pinching a few copies lost by a drunk and Carter. But no Cartwright ever known had any use for a book. Any member of a great house had the right to kill a little fee flight me. And it was a right they joined in using, I'd seen more than a few legal killings at the drunken donkey who would cast aside a book so carelessly. I walked fast out to the courtyard to fast, as it turned out, a boy half running away from where it's supposed to be looked guilty of anything. And wizards seeing much that the mundane do not. Little hair. I was halfway across the courtyard when the voice caught me. It call with more than the power of words never had I felt anything like it. There flashed over me like fire, my teeth chatter does the breath were sold out my lungs and I took off like a hunted animal, feet flat on the flag stones in the long strides of a full grown man. A hand clawed at the hood of my tunic. I broke into a quick turn and slipped out of grasp, catching a glimpse of a man's enrage face, Laughter. First-out, despite myself, it was so strange to be chased by a wizard. But even as I laughed, I felt the terror of my mistake. Wizard had written then late last Steve and left early in the morning between the done nothing but drink. He must have noticed the loss of his black book and returned to find it. The Y's, we're bound by no law of men and one not famed for their mercy. Now I was his prey, and my luck did not hold long. A moment later I was caught up in his claws. You have a thing of mine. No thing. Wise master. It was no question. Little hair. The hands that gripped me with spiraled with the faded blue tattoos at the spell Weaver, the Achaeans wove over his iron hard arms and shoulders wound around the craggy features that ageless face. One moment, a wizard might look like an ancient. The next like a warrior. Time and form do not constrain them. The wizard made a wicked green and the blue lines formed into his namesake. Give me what is my, it was lost. What is found is the finders. There was a common saying among the gutter life at the end. And what is taken may be taken back. At twice the price. Take it then I pulled the book out from my jerky and then clutched it to my small chest. The wizard hesitated for just a moment, but something in me noted at those smoke gray eyes widened the iron grip loose and he looked at me as though seeing for the first time. No. The Wizard spoke as though to a world far away. No. This thing may only be given. The strain shifts scared me more than anything. I've crossed the book forward, but the wizard no longer seem to care. Who are you? With? Shocking gentleness. The wizards put his hand to my face, his fingertips at my temples, and the fun on my chin, fair flared and I pulled away but the wizard grasp me, titer of struggle had not gone unseen. Contests and other drunkards stood around the courtyard gossiping or the scenes. A pair of old priest laughed at the sentence. I knew better than to seek help from God man, not one of them had noticed that dirty, not stable boy before. Now here he was the heart of the drama. Where were they when the boy was made to shovel shit out of a stable, day in, day out. Where were they when the boy was beaten, when the bell was slapped down again and again, or a hand slapped his cheek or fish, crumpled double. Foo in the world came to the voice aide when he was cry into dirty store night, when he would tumble shuttering into the dream time, falling through a cloud, scape into her arms, her gentle fingers smoothing the hair, assign or miss fee but Brown, how she's sung or whisked with some to end. And then the mother was lost again. And I came back to myself under the high summer sun. It's mine. I held the books and myself. Yes. It is. Strength for left my body. And the wizard held me up in his arms until my legs could carry me again. What did you do? I asked, now is not the time for lessons. Shouting broke into the quiet realms between us, drunk and swearing. I had known all my life leaf the landlord storming over the courtyard, which funder on east face. Do not travel yourself wise master. This little bastard. Well, be dealt with. The wizard. Not look away from my eyes. Who's bastard leaf landlord? What? I know, not what you mean. Then the wizard stood and faced my owner. This boy is not to be beat. And again, should this occur, there will be repercussions. Reaper, what? Now? I won't be told what to do or not with my own bonded labor. Then you will learn what it is leaf landlord to anger. The y's. Leaf was used to getting his own way in his own place, breaking legs and cracking heads with Jess and other parts of the trade. His face became pugnacious. Their memories and the punishments are common than my face plate over he's features. A weak smile did nothing to hide the terror in his eyes. Leaf bowed deftly and pledged his word to the wise master and teach the boy to read. He will need it. The Wizard where sold in his horse or gray stallion, or waited patiently, trotted over to its master. This is no trunk it little hair. Keep it secret. Keep it safe. Learn to read it. I will. The ways of mounted his horse. I stood tall holding the book. I have matched a wizard in widths and instead of mucking out horsemen year, I have made a new friend. Most of all, I had to book, to read and its power to learn. What is your name wise master. The wizard circled is steed and looked at the crowd. I had not understood that every man there must know his name. It was the first time I saw my mental surprised. My name is called as erode away is falcon. 17. Conclusion & workshop practice: Q for joining me and Fiction Writing 1, 0, 1. And also thank you for taking the time there to listen to my take on the fiction writing of Sarah J. Mass, I would probably remove the quote from The Lord of the Rings movie that I put in at the end there. That's a bit too self-referential. I think I would also take the action of that chapter or may be spread it over two or three chapters to give a bit more time and space at the beginning of a novel. And I would also work a bit harder on the motivation of hair because I think he needs to take more agency. At the beginning of the story. Just a few reflections on my own storytelling there, which is exactly what happens when you learn these kind of lessons. If you take the time to analyze and then synthesize the work of a writer you really admire. You're going to learn those lessons or learn much more about your own writing. To round up, Let's look at the takeaways from fiction writing 1, 0, 1. First of all, what do we do with fiction? We use language, writing on the page, the experience of reading it, to draw people deep into the consciousness of another human being, of a character that we're writing about. And that immersiveness is what makes prose fiction so powerful and so fantastic. How do we learn to do that? We can take a writer you really admire, take a chapter or their work and read it deeply and doing analysis on that chapter, break it apart into pieces. See what those pieces are, and then do a synthesis, bring it back together into your own version of the work at that writer. In doing so, in this case, we have learned some very important lessons. We learned about the relationship between character and event. The events of the story reveal the character of your character. We'd learned about structure and content. That the structure of a chapter, maybe location, action, emotion, and the content could be a forest, a hunt, and then the emotions might be remorselessness. At the end, we have looked at the great, the great quote from Kurt Vonnegut. Every sentence of a story must reveal character or advanced the action. And Neil Gaiman. Additive to that quote or be funny. We have looked at narrative and seen points of view. And how you then take yourself into the action of the story would look to exposition and progression and the difference between the two. We've looked crucially at how you represent the inner world of the character and the outer world of the world of your story. And finally, we looked as well at style and voice. The key takeaways there. For fiction writing 101, your mission, your task you're writing workshop. Should you choose to accept it, is of course, to take a chapter from your favorite writer, a writer that you really admire, or a writer that you want to learn from, take a chapter. You could also take a short story from a short story writer. But for these purposes it must be fiction. Take a sample of a righty, really admire and do the analysis, break it apart. Use the tools we've looked at here, but also use other tools that you're thinking about. And think about how the dialogue is written. Think about how the plot is developed. An analysis of that chapter, and then do the synthesis. Write your own chapter. Stay quite close to that style to learn the lessons. Write a chapter in the style of a writer. You really admire. Thank you so much for joining me and fiction writing 101. My name is Daniel Walter. There will be a fiction writing one O2. I would love to know what you would like to look at in fiction writing 1, 0, 2. So thank you very much Natalia, for sending in your question. It's been tremendously useful in shaping this class. Please send me your questions. You can find me all over the internet, just Google my name. I'm everywhere. Instagram is a good place to get me. Thank you very much. I look forward to meeting you again in fiction writing 102.