What is the course about?
This course is designed for students who have some experience of writing for children but need support to create a compelling plot that grips the reader from the first word to the final page. You'll be shown how to use a template for plotting your novels which will give you a structure to hang your ideas on.
The Tutor: Jo Franklin is an internationally published children’s author. She has written for all ages but is currently focussing on writing for 8-10 year olds. She also writes for the educational market, works as a creative writing mentor and a workshop leader for kid’s writing clubs. She studied creative writing at Build in the 1990s and returned in 2008 to join the Writing for Children programme. Help! I’m an Alien and Help! I’m a Genius are out now.
Build reserves the right to change course tutors from those advertised in this outline. In line with our refund policy we are unable to grant a refund on the grounds of a change of tutor.
What will we cover?
- The importance of plot and structure within a story
- How to develop a character’s emotional story arc
- A variety of plotting techniques
- A template of key milestones that could be applied to any story.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Produce a skeleton plot
- Produce a full plot outline which you will work from while writing and will form the basis of your one page selling synopsis when your project is complete.
- Produce a chapter by chapter breakdown of your full story.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is aimed at writers with some experience of writing children’s fiction. You may have completed a first draft and are now looking for support and objective feedback to help you work it into a stronger book. As a minimum, you should have an idea and some initial notes for a novel you wish to write.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
There will be a strong workshop element to the course. You will have the chance to apply the techniques you learn to your idea. We will then workshop each person’s outline in a supportive critique session, where all delegates give feedback enabling you to take your idea to the next level.
All writing courses at Build will involve an element of workshop. This means that students will produce work which will be discussed in an open and constructive environment with the tutor and other students. The college operates a policy of constructive criticism, and all feedback on another student’s work by the tutor and other students should be delivered in that spirit.
For classes longer than one day, regular reading and writing exercises will be set for completion at home to set deadlines.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
- Paper and pen.
- A pack of blank index cards or paper to tear into index card sized pieces.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
All students are invited to join us at Late Lines, our regular performance night for Build writers. Students are also encouraged to submit their work to Between the Lines, our annual anthology of creative writing. For the latest news, courses and events, stay in touch with the Department on and Twitter.
General information and advice on courses at Build is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details