Setting and Storyworld

The course

Create a storyworld so vivid it pours off the page.

Well described settings bring invaluable atmosphere to any story — and when you create an effective sense of place, it can feel as though another character has been added to the narrative.

This four-week online course, run by our partners at Faber Academy, guides you through key techniques for building convincing storyworlds, and explores how different writers use location to bring their characters and stories alive.

Tom Bromley

Meet your course director

Tom Bromley

Tom Bromley is an author, editor and ghostwriter. He has written ten books under his own name, both fiction and non-fiction, ghosted a further dozen titles, including several UK and international bestsellers, and has edited over a hundred books.

In partnership with Faber Academy

Expert guidance from first line to final draft, at the home of one of Britain’s great publishers. We work in partnership with Faber Academy to offer a range of courses for fiction writers at all stages of development – choose from key skills short courses through to advanced novel writing courses.

How it works

We give you the theory in the form of videos, podcasts, written lectures and reading extracts. In the case of our live workshops, this includes a live online seminar.

You put it into practice by completing the writing assignments.

You share your work with the small group of fellow writers and the teaching team.

Your tutor and fellow learners read your work and give professional-style feedback on your submission. Giving feedback notes helps to build your skills as an editor - a critical part of the writing process.

You reflect on the exercises with the group and share what you’ve learned.

You use what you learned from the feedback and discussions to review your work and improve it.

Things to know

Fiction Skills: Setting and Storyworld is suitable for complete beginners or anyone who’s taken a beginners’ fiction course and wants to broaden their knowledge, explore new skills and develop their writing techniques.

The course is suitable if you:

  • Are struggling to describe the settings in your story or novel
  • Want to understand the techniques writers use to create vivid and engaging storyworlds
  • Are keen to learn how good settings can bring a story to life and how you can apply this to your writing
  • Enjoy experimenting with new writing techniques
  • Want to join a friendly and supportive group of learners
  • Can dedicate 5-7 hours per week for the duration of the course

Tutor Tom Bromley will introduce you to the skills and techniques that will help you bring your story world to life.

Over two sessions, Tom will explain the importance of creating a vivid location for your stories. He’ll introduce you to the skills needed for creating settings while you work within a supportive community of fellow writers keen to share their experiences with you.

Session 1: Sense of Place – We’ll look at the secrets of setting and how to create a compelling sense of place in your novel. You’ll learn about the importance of using the right amount of detail in your descriptions — and when to leave things to your reader’s imagination.

Session 2: Developing Your Storyworld –We’ll look at how to use your descriptive skills to create a complete story world for your novel or story.

You’ll write a 2,000-word piece using the techniques you’ve experimented with. You’ll have the chance to share your work with the group, so you can give each other feedback.

Join the Faber Academy alumni

After your course, you can join the online alumni where you’ll meet the growing network of past Faber Academy students. The alumni is a friendly group of writers who support each other as they continue to explore and develop their writing.

Within the online alumni area you can:

  • Rejoin your classmates on a private forum and access an archived version of your course materials and forum posts
  • Meet alumni from other Faber Academy courses and groups and share your work for feedback on our alumni critiquing forum
  • Join in on discussions about reading, writing, editing and ideas on our general discussion forum. This is also where we share news and useful info
  • Retain access to our resources area, which has interesting and informative links
  • Chat with other people online using the alumni area live chatroom. We also host live chats with guest tutors, authors, agents, editors and publishers

Commission a report on your work

If you’d like to receive a personalised, detailed report on your final piece of writing from your course tutor, this is available at an extra cost. You’ll receive detailed written feedback assessing your ideas and writing, plus advice on what steps to take next.

Taking things further

If you’d like to continue on to another Faber Academy course, you’ll receive a discount. Please get in touch for more details.

The team

Meet your course team

Tom Bromley

Tom Bromley


Tom Bromley is an author, editor and ghostwriter. He has written ten books under his own name, both fiction and non-fiction, ghosted a further dozen titles, including several UK and international bestsellers, and has edited over a hundred books.

More about Tom Bromley

More courses

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Craft tales that make your readers miss their train stop.