This course is ideal for: Anyone wanting to learn how to write immersive scenes that combine all the elements needed for a superb story.
Shape your scenes so they flow seamlessly through your story
Explore when to use scenes and when to use summary
Understand how scene construction changes throughout a story
Identify the common pitfalls in scene writing
Create vivid scenes that evoke deep emotions in your reader.
“It’s shown me in practical ways what I need to do to improve my writing. I had a gut feel before that, but this has highlighted specific ways I can improve. Do it. It’s a great resource to help write better.”
– Dave Clark, Fiction Essentials: Scenes graduate
Whenever someone announces, “That was a great story!”, typically what they’re communicating is that the author constructed a series of memorable scenes that advanced the plot at a good pace and kept their interest the entire way. Plot is always important – the very essence of a back cover blurb – however, if you want your readers to be engaged in your story, strong scenes are vital. Beautifully constructed scenes that seamlessly move a plot forward while also providing key character development – that’s the stuff readers crave!
In almost all works of fiction, 80% of your writing time will be spent choosing, constructing, writing and editing scenes. For this reason, knowing how to manage your scenes effectively can not only improve your storytelling, it can also save you several drafts and countless hours.
This online self-paced course, Fiction Essentials: SCENES, builds on some of the core principles from our introductory courses, as well as delving deeper to give you concrete methods to plan, construct, write and edit compelling scenes.
This course will help you do the following:
Writers often have one of two problems: they have an idea for a story but no idea how to tell it; or, they are telling their story but they are not satisfied with the result.
In both these cases, it comes down to choosing the right scenes, picking your point of view, constructing a tight, interesting situation, and putting your characters on the page in a way that engages readers – and then ending the scene in a way that makes readers want to turn the page!
As an author, you’re no different to a director creating scenes for a film. Scenes are simply how you tell your story and this course will help you to look at them in entirely new ways, guiding you away from common mistakes and giving you the nuts and bolts techniques to improve your writing.
Completing this course will give you a greater understanding of how scenes work in creating effective fiction. In particular, you will master the art of constructing compelling scenes, deciding which scenes to write, and editing your scenes for maximum engagement from readers.
“The Scenes course with AWC covered all aspects of writing scenes that help move the story along including character, pacing and setting. I now feel confident to edit my novel and ensure that all the scenes that make up the whole are earning their keep.”
Naomi Shippen, Fiction Essentials: Scenes graduate
This is one of AWC’s 35+ “self-paced” online courses. But what does that mean? Allow us to explain:
Q: Why are scenes so important to storytelling?
A: Scenes are the building blocks of a narrative – allowing the reader to get to know your characters and learn details that drive the story forward. When done well, scenes can create tension, deliver emotion and provide memorable moments. This course will show you how.
Q: I've completed Creative Writing Stage 1. Will I learn anything new here?
A: Yes! In fact, this course has been designed for writers who already have a basic understanding of core fiction techniques and want to hone their skills further. Advanced writers can also benefit from deep diving into this subject, as it's such a key player in successful novel writing.
Q: I'm a complete beginner. Will this course suit me?
A: We recommend absolute beginners start with Creative Writing Stage 1. It covers the core skills and knowledge you need to become a great writer. This course will help you hone scene writing once you have those foundation techniques under your belt.
Q: Wait, isn’t everything in a book just writing scenes?
A: Mostly yes – which is why they’re so important! However, unlike a screenplay, fiction also uses narrative summaries to “fast forward” the story. Deciding which parts of your writing to slow down and play out as scenes is a skill – this course shows you how to get the right balance.
Q: Will this course help me choose good places to set my story?
A: Much like a film’s location scout will choose spots for the action to happen, it’s true that you also need to decide where your story will visit. But more than just the backdrop, a successful scene blends many elements – including characters, dialogue and point of view. You’ll learn how to bring it all together to pack a narrative punch.
Q: Do I need to log into this course at a set time?
A: No. As one of our self-paced courses, you have access to the online course material for a full year. There are no set classroom times or deadlines – simply learn at a pace that suits you.
Q: I quite like these “fiction essentials” masterclass courses. Are there more?
A: Yes – there’s a whole suite of them! You can see all of them here.