Online: Writing Conflict
We hate it in real life, but in realistic narrative fiction which involves characters a reader can care about, it’s a necessity. In this two-week online writing workshop, Cate Kennedy will help writers explore how to take characters not where they want to go, but where they need to go: into the vortex of conflict.
This online workshop is designed for writers who want their work to feel enlivened with greater dramatic tension and compelling storylines. The group will look at how a story’s shape is structured around a central conflict, and how external and internal conflict interact in a story to create a satisfying sense of unity and momentum.
From the ancient Greeks to what’s on Netflix, this workshop will take a long-range look into what galvanises a plot and what a character struggles with in their rocky path to transformation. To develop these insights and skills, participants will engage in writing and rewriting scenes during the weeks.
This interactive online course has limited places. Book early to avoid missing out.
Expected Learning Outcomes
- An understanding of how a story’s structural integrity is built around a character in conflict.
- The usefulness of studying and integrating the three arenas of conflict in fiction, and an inclusive approach to integrating ‘dark’ material into storylines while acknowledging that this a process which challenges us to dig deeper.
- Some keys and prompts to creating fiction which is naturalistic, plausible and compelling.
It is recommended that participants have written short stories or have a novel in progress as part of their creative writing experience, and have thoughts to share about structure, characterisation and setting.
Internet access and confidence using basic computer software are essential for this program.
You do not need to log into the course at a specific time. There are no live meetings. You will receive an email with an invitation link to join the online classroom by 10am on the day the course starts.
- Participants will work through several lessons, which will open sequentially over the first few days of the course (see course dates in the blue box above).
- You can complete the lesson material in your own time.
- This course includes short writing assignments which will have deadlines. Some of your assignments will receive tutor feedback if completed by the deadlines provided.
Please expect to spend a minimum of six hours on the course, noting that the amount of time needed to read, respond to discussions, write, revise and critique will vary from person to person.
‘Excellent course – perfect for my current learning needs. The combination of Cate’s well presented content and the well aligned assignments with peer and teacher feedback.’ – Rachel
‘It was good to have well-explained tasks with realistic deadlines. Having fellow-writers critique each others’ work was a fantastic idea. Cate’s feedback was incredibly well-considered. Reading her feedback to all the works was where the lessons were translated into practice. The lessons were gold and I know my writing has benefited. I’m already unpicking my earlier stories, rewriting for conflict, tension and drama. I’m very happy!’ – Claire
‘The material was incredibly detailed and specific and this was the most useful aspect of the course. I really appreciated how the techniques provided to create conflict were so explicit. It’s exactly what I needed to learn. Having to then interpret those lessons in your own attempts at writing short pieces made the exercises very valuable.’ – Susan
‘This was the best writing course I’ve done. The content was excellent, Cate’s feedback was encouraging and inspiring. I was very impressed.’ – Peta
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About the tutor
Cate Kennedy has taught extensively in story structure and craft and has conducted many workshops exploring the elements that make up good fiction, with students at all levels of practice. She currently has a collection of short stories on the Victorian Year 12 syllabus and is a member of the faculty of Pacific University’s low residency […]