Starting from Scratch: Creativity for Writers

Hilary Bell

6 x Wednesday evenings:

  • Wednesday 30 May 2018, 6:30-9:30pm
  • Wednesday 6 June 2018, 6:30-9:30pm
  • Wednesday 20 June 2018, 6:30-9:30pm
  • Wednesday 27 June 2018, 6:30-9:30pm
  • Wednesday 4 July 2018, 6:30-9:30pm
  • Wednesday 11 July 2018, 6:30-9:30pm

Full Price: $600
Member: $420
Conc. Member: $360

You’ve got the itch to write, but where do you start? You have a big idea, but what’s the story? Or maybe you’ve got no ideas at all, just the need to write – what can you do? This course will guide you in finding an entry point, from where you can access the idea that’s inside you. The more entry points we have to choose from, the better. This course is designed to help you create characters, narrative ideas, conflicts, stakes, scenes, and even complete outlines, each one being a portal into a potential new work.

After beginning with a warm-up, every session will use a different stimulus leading to a piece of writing. These stimuli range from household objects to mysterious photographs, anonymous letters to fairy-tales, a random collection of instructions in envelopes to the world of the senses. By the end of the course, you’ll have the kernels of at least six new ideas.

This workshop is about creating new work from scratch every week, so it’s not the space for developing one idea over time, nor for bringing along works-in-progress.

Course Outline
Week 1: We will use an image to create the world of the story, as well as characters, conflicts and stakes.

Week 2: From instructions chosen blindly by each writer, a random  ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘where’ and ‘under what conditions’ become the foundations of a scenario.

Week 3: Given a brief but detailed mental image, we will follow impulse to create a scene, and then use our analytical/critical brain to refine and revise.

Week 4: Focusing on character, writers will find the unique and surprising voices inside everyday objects.

Week 5: We’ll use a well-known myth or fairy-tale as a springboard for a new story, through inversion, subversion, mash-ups, contemporising, reinterpretation…

Week 6: Starting with a set of given circumstances, the writers are given moments of freedom interrupted by precise instructions and impositions.

Participant Requirements

Paper and pen; no devices please

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