This workshop focuses on the principles of storytelling, in particular classical storytelling as often seen in bestsellers and cinema, and how structure and character are used as building blocks. The role of structure is to incrementally build pressure that force characters into dilemmas; the role of character is to bring to the story the qualities required to authentically act out choices in response to those dilemmas.

Many tips and tricks synthethised in this workshop are thoroughly explored in Robert McKee’s book Story.

The work on the shape of stories began when Vonnegut noticed in 1947 the similarities between Cinderella and the New Testament. The study of story shapes has grown into a big field with many contemporary writers following the “bestseller code”, a story shape guaranteed to hook the audience. Image above is taken from Kurt Vonnegut’s talk and book, A Man Without a Country, which further explores other topics on writing.

See also a video of Kurt Vonnegut giving this lecture in 2004:

When: 30 Apr 2019, 00:00
Where: Bath Writer's Workshop