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FICT 50 W — A Map to Writing Success: Creating a Story That Works

Quarter: Winter
Course Format: Online course (System Requirements)
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Jan 16—Mar 9
Drop Deadline: Jan 19
Units: 2
Tuition: $725
Instructor(s): Jeff Lyons
Limit: 17
Status: Registration opens on 12/04/2017
Please Note: Online courses have a new refund policy. The full tuition refund deadline for this course is 1/19 at 5:00 pm (PT); 50% tuition refund deadline is 1/24 at 5:00 pm (PT).
Winter
Date(s)
Jan 16—Mar 9
8 weeks
Drop By
Jan 19
2 Units
Fees
$725
Instructor(s):
Jeff Lyons
Limit
17
Registration opens on 12/04/2017
Please Note: Online courses have a new refund policy. The full tuition refund deadline for this course is 1/19 at 5:00 pm (PT); 50% tuition refund deadline is 1/24 at 5:00 pm (PT).
This course is about story in all its forms: short stories, novels, memoirs, screenplays, and plays. In fact, any piece of writing—any story—can find its footing through our work together.

The two linchpins of story planning are premise and synopsis. If a story is going to fail, it will first do so at the premise level. The skills of creating, designing, and validating a premise idea are essential to every writer’s toolbox. We will begin the course learning how to master the process of premise-line development. In the first week, students will write out their idea as a baseline for a compare-and-contrast to their final premise. Each week, students will work two or three steps of the process: identifying story structure elements; defining the high concept; designing the logline; and finally, unit testing the final premise.

In the second half of the course, we will transform our solid premises into a plan of action—that is, a synopsis. Each student will have the option to meet one-on-one with the instructor on a live videoconference to work through their premise idea and their synopsis writing. Throughout the course, we will give and receive feedback on our premise lines and our synopses. Students will finish this course with a thoroughly tested premise and a concrete, well-developed synopsis.

Jeff Lyons, Author; Story Consultant

Jeff Lyons is the author of the book Anatomy of a Premise Line: How to Master Premise and Story Development for Writing Success. His writing has appeared in Writer’s Digest, Script, The Writer, and Writing (UK).

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Jeff Lyons, Anatomy of a Premise Line: How to Master Premise and Story Development for Writing Success (ISBN 9781138838857)
DOWNLOAD THE PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS » (subject to change)