Following on from Fiction Writing: Fundamentals, critically acclaimed author William Ryan leads Fiction Writing: Advanced, a six-week online course designed to stress-test your work-in-progress. Expect an interrogation of your plot, tightening of dialogue, and tough questions asked of your cast of characters. As well as live workshopping, presentations on critical aspects of the writing process and regular professional feedback, participants also have the opportunity to hear from a commissioning editor and pitch their writing to a leading UK literary agent.
Students on this course should expect:
- 15 hours of practical writing advice and tuition over 6 weeks
- Feedback from William Ryan on up to 5,000 words of your own writing
- Opportunity to pitch your work to a leading UK literary agent
- Peer-to-peer review; amass a wealth of objective feedback from fellow students
- Deadlines on writing exercises and written work to make the most of what's on offer
- Copies of presentations and audio recordings from all sessions
- Exclusive discounts on W&A titles and other products
Each week sessions will combine tutorials with practical exercises, discussion and feedback.
William will read and mark up all work submitted during the course – highlighting areas which may need work and pointing out areas of strength. In addition you will be expected to read and give constructive feedback on the submitted work of the other students, as will the other students be expected to constructively feedback on your work. The format of each week will be a one hour talk by William, using submitted work as examples, followed by workshops on four of the submitted 1000 word submissions
Using his novel The Constant Soldier as a basis, William will discuss how to structure a novel and the decisions that turn a promising idea into novel-length story.
19.05-20.30: Workshop on a submission in which a key moment in your novel takes place, together with a brief description of where this fits into your story.
18.00-19.00: Developing Central Characters
William will lead a discussion in which the students will develop a central character, establishing their back story, situation, physical appearance and personality.
19.05-20.30: Workshop on a submission in which you introduce your central character, together with a brief description of where this fits into your story.
18.00-19.00: Developing Subsidiary Characters
Using the Central Character from Week 2, William will lead a discussion in which the students will develop two subsidiary characters, establishing their role in the story and how they will interact with the central character.
19.05-20.30: Workshop on a submission which shows the relationship between a subsidiary character and your central character, together with a brief description of where this fits into your story.
18.00-19.00: First Chapters, Synopses and How to Create Pace and Tension – William will discuss how to open your novel so as to appeal to readers and publishing professionals, how to prepare a synopsis that reflects its structure and the importance of pace and tension in a novel.
19.05-20.30: Workshop on a submission from the opening of your novel.
18.00-19.00: Editing, Polishing & How Novels are Published.
Editorial Director of Raven Books, Alison Hennessey, will explain the essential skills necessary to review your writing objectively and improve it. Alison will also discuss what publishers look for in prospective authors, what authors can expect from them, how the publishing process works and how submitted novels change from first drafts to published books.
19.05-20.30: Workshop on a submitted scene which you have found problematic or would like to discuss, together with a brief description of where this fits into your story. You will also be asked to submit a 300 word synopsis of your novel in order to assist in your preparation for their submission to the guest agent in Week 6
18.00-19.00: Introducing Your Novel to the World of Publishing
19.05 to 20.30 Literary agent Jordan Lees (Blair Partnership) will discuss what agents look for in prospective authors and what authors can expect from them, how the publishing process works and how submitted novels change from first drafts to published books. Jordan will then join William to hear your pitches and give feedback on your submitted 600 word synopses and 1000 word extracts.
William Ryan has written four historical novels which have been shortlisted for numerous awards, including the Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year, The Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award, the HWA Gold Crown for Historical Fiction, the Crime Writers Association’s Steel, Historical and New Blood Daggers and the Irish Crime Novel of the Year (three times). William teaches creative writing at City University in London and has previously taught at the University of East Anglia. His latest novel, A House of Ghosts, was published in 2019 by Bonnier Zaffre.
Alison Hennessey has worked in publishing for fifteen years, beginning her editorial career as an assistant on the Penguin Classics list. She worked in the Vintage division of Random House for eleven years, the last four years of which were spent commissioning for the Harvill Secker imprint, where her authors included Sunday Times bestseller Jo Nesbo, New York Times bestseller Ruth Ware and multi award-winner, Denise Mina. While there she was chosen as one of the Evening Standard’s Most Influential Londoners for her work on books in translation.
In 2016 she moved to Bloomsbury to set up and run a new imprint, Raven Books, specialising in literary crime, thrillers and gothic fiction and her authors there include Laura Purcell, Stuart Turton. Eva Dolan, Julie Mayhew and many more.
Jordan Lees (Blair Partnership) represents commercial and literary crime/thrillers, detective fiction, dystopian and speculative fiction, literary fiction, true crime and smart non-fiction.
He is particularly drawn to writing with a real sense of atmosphere and has a soft spot for anything dark and strange. Some of his favourite writers are Patricia Highsmith, John Fowles, Cormac McCarthy and Gillian Flynn. He is not currently looking for sci-fi and fantasy, women’s fiction, children’s and YA.
The course fee of £395 (inc. VAT) is payable in full online.
Please do contact us if you wish to discuss an instalment payment plan by calling 0207 631 5985 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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