It’s never too late to tell your story. Join a master of the art-form, Whitbread and PEN/Ackerley award winning novelist and memoirist Tim Lott, for a journey into the art of storytelling.
Everyone has a novel inside them; few have the courage to put pen-to-paper and commit to realising their creative potential.
Tim Lott is here to change that. He’s the award-winning author of The Scent of Dried Roses, White City Blue and seven other acclaimed novels. He’s also one of the country’s most experienced teachers of the form.
In this three part series taught online over successive Friday mornings, Tim will teach you how to overcome the psychological barriers that hamper our creativity and let your imagination to flourish, and impart key lessons for creating memorable, convincing characters, a sharp plot and a smart structure.
7 Aug – Session One – Practical and Psychological Matters
How to carve out enough personal space to write a novel. Accessing your subconscious – where imagination really resides. Identifying your enemies – which could be your friends and family. Managing notes and maintaining them. Beginning your novel – the first 50 pages. Staying power – how to keep going when the muse deserts you. Planners vs Improvisers – which one are you?
14 Aug – Session Two – Plot
The key to all writing is plot and character. Understanding plot is about learning that all stories have a particular shape, that nearly all novels, either consciously or unconsciously, adhere too. This story outline is not a cage within which you must be confined, it is the skeleton of your story upon which you put the flesh of character, theme, dialogue and so on. Just as human faces have infinite variety despite a largely uniform bone structure, so do stories.
21 Aug – Session Three – Character and Conclusion.
You can write the most perfect plot ever, but without and understanding of character`, no one will want to read it. Character and plot are like a double helix – change one, and you immediately change the other. Novels, and all drama, ultimately rest on the nature of human beings – who they are, how they change or how they refuse to change and suffer the consequences. If you write convincing characters, your plot will emerge from them naturally.
This masterclass is taught from 10am-11:00am over successive Friday mornings using Zoom. Replays of the session will be made available after each class.
Praise for Tim Lott:
‘Tim helped me to find direction and to develop the themes within the ‘A Line of Blood’ that were already working; he was also very clear about the plot elements that he thought needed more work. No one enjoys receiving criticism, but Tim’s suggestions were clear, and accurate, and to-the-point. He was never prescriptive: we worked together to find out what I wanted to do with my book. I started out very cynical about the idea of mentoring: my novel is a much stronger novel for Tim’s involvement. I’m extremely grateful to him, and would recommend the experience highly.’ Ben McPherson Author: A Line of Blood (Harper Collins)
‘I always knew I wanted to write, but I couldn’t find a voice. I didn’t know how to plot, I had no idea about structure. I was spewing dishonest rubbish. For ten whole years, I wrote into an abyss of rejection. No one else could have taught me what Tim did. He showed me the bigger picture. He showed me how to find my voice. There was one particular lesson of Tim’s where the entire novel writing process clicked for me. A short while later, my dreams of being signed to an agent came true. And I’m so happy to say that with Tim’s guidance and wisdom, my debut novel is being published next month. Without Tim’s words, I can safely say I would still be flailing around in piles of rejection slips. So if you are looking for a mentor that will get you out of that, you must call him. But be prepared. He will challenge you. He will make you look at things in a different light. It will be hard. But so, so worth it.’ Rebecca Thornton Author: The Exclusives ( HarperFiction)