Narrative Structure for Fiction Writers

Timothy Daly

4 x Saturdays: 2, 9, 16, 23 March 2024, 1-4pm.

Full Price: $440
Member: $330
Conc Member: $285

This creative writing course, Narrative Structure with Timothy Daly, will be held at Writing NSW in Sydney.

What makes stories work effectively? Why do some stories move you while others fail? Story and narrative structure is much more important in the overall success of a work than many writers realise. This four-week course will teach you many of the narrative structures and story patterns that lie beneath the surface of successful stories.

Is this course right for you? Read our FAQ >

Participants will learn by applying the many narrative structures studied to their own writing and stories. Both macro-structures (those which drive an entire story) and micro-structures (paragraph structure, page textures, etc.) will be analysed and used by the participating writers in creative exercises. Other structures explored include three-part film structure; the plot snake; the components of linear narrative; episodic structure; and how the character journey and the relationship journey create the form of a story. The last hour of each session will involve participants reading out and analysing sections of their own developing stories and novel chapters.

Week-by-week Course Breakdown

Week 1

  • The vital opening page: different ways you can start a story – and create a world
  • Components of Linear Narrative and other classic story patterns
  • Reading & analysis of participating writers’ work.

Week 2

  • Writing a chapter breakdown
  • Building up a story through fragment writing
  • Bullet-point plot and other story-building techniques
  • The relationship journey and how it applies to your story
  • Reading and analysis of participating writers’ work.

Week 3

  • Structuring the climax and ending of your story
  • Writing the dialogue-driven sections of your story/novel
  • Working methods: Part 1
  • Reading and analysis of participating writers’ work.

Week 4

  • Working Methods: Part 2
  • Imagistic writing and its techniques
  • Reading and analysis of participating writers’ work.

Expected Learning Outcomes

In this workshop, participants will:

  1. Receive a comprehensive picture of a rich variety of narrative structures and story-telling patterns.
  2. Have the opportunity to use some of the narrative patterns as inspiration or formal stimulus for their story ideas.

Short story writers will have completed or revised an entire original short story over the four weeks of the course. Those participating writers working on a longer work of fiction (e.g. a novel) will have the opportunity to have their story analysed and an improved chapter story-breakdown emerge from this analysis and re-writing.

This workshop takes place at Writing NSW in Sydney.

Participant Requirements

Pen and paper, or a fully charged device. Please read our FAQ before enrolling.

If you have questions about this course, please contact us.


‘Tim was an extraordinary tutor. He led the class brilliantly and it was an equal mix of tuition and class contribution. Bloody marvellous.’ — Jessica, 2023

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Narrative Structure for Fiction Writers


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