Fiction Skills: Plot

Whatever genre or form you want to write in, you need a story to tell and a way to tell it

Nothing beats the pull of a book that keeps you up into the small hours turning the pages to find out what happens next. But how do you craft tales that make your readers miss their train stop? This four-week course, run by our partners at Faber Academy, introduces you to some of the secrets of storytelling: how to draw readers in, keep them hooked and leave them feeling satisfied. It explores key plotting techniques and shows you how to lay the foundations for your own compelling narratives.


Start date: 30 May 2022
Duration: Four weeks
Skill level: Beginner, Intermediate
Session length: Fortnightly
Sessions: 2
Price: £120 (inc. VAT where applicable)


Fiction Skills: Plot is an intermediate course, designed for people who are writing fiction and want to broaden their knowledge of plotting, explore new skills and develop their writing techniques.

The course is suitable if you:

  • Are struggling to plot your own story or novel
  • Want to learn the techniques writers use to grab their readers’ attention and keep them turning the pages
  • Are keen to understand how good plots work and how you can apply this to your fiction writing
  • Want to explore the building blocks that make a gripping plot
  • 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 turn your ideas into stories. You’ll learn about the building blocks of fiction, understand the importance of the beginning, middle and end of a story and learn how to apply this to your own writing.

Over two sessions, Tom will introduce you to the skills needed for plotting a story while you work within a supportive community of fellow writers keen to share their experiences with you.

Session 1: What stories are all about
We’ll explore why we tell stories, the building blocks on which all stories and narratives are built, where stories come from, and how writers turn their ideas into compelling narratives. You’ll practise writing the beginning of a story.
Session 2: Putting your plot together
We’ll look at the different ways to structure plots, and the arguments for and against plotting before writing. You’ll learn about the components that make a compelling plot and the relationship between the beginning and end of a story. You’ll complete a 2,000-word piece using the plotting techniques you’ve experimented with and you’ll have the chance to share this with the group, so you can give each other feedback.

You’ll learn in Faber Academy’s online classroom, which is open 24/7 so you can balance your learning around your work, family and friends. You’ll work in a small group of fellow learners so you can discuss ideas, ask questions and share your writing as you progress through the sessions.

You’ll learn from:

  • Podcasts from Tom Bromley
  • Written guidance from Tom explaining how plots work — and why they sometimes don’t
  • Instruction and tips on crafting a satisfying story
  • Guidance on how to turn a sharp lens on your creative work and become a better editor of your writing
  • Specially selected reading extracts and suggestions for further reading on the topic
  • Group discussions to help you think about your own writing
  • Writing exercises to help you experiment and practise your own writing, from the first session onward
  • Online discussions with writers in your group and the chance to share and give feedback on each other’s writing

You’ll need:

  • 5-7 hours per week to work through the course
  • A notebook and pen or pencil, if you like to make notes by hand
  • A laptop or computer* with:
    • A reliable broadband internet connection
    • Speakers or headphones
    • The latest version of Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Edge, or Safari
    • Microsoft Word. If you don’t have this you can download Open Office free
    • Adobe Reader, latest version. Download free
    • QuickTime Player, latest version. Download free

*You can access the course from a tablet or smartphone, but we recommend using a laptop or computer, as this makes it easier to share your work files with your writing group.

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.

This is a Faber Academy course, so you’ll need to book through their website.

What our students say...

I have found all three Faber Academy short courses invaluable, as apart from the excellent tutor advice and materials, they have instilled in me much needed discipline. I’m hoping I can now keep myself on track as I, dare I say it, try to start a novel.


What our students say...

The extracts and tutor insights about each topic are taking me places I haven’t been, as are the recommended novels.


What our students say...

Tom is a superb tutor and this has been the most enjoyable and productive course.


What our students say...

Tom taught me more about my writing in one podcast than I’ve been taught my whole writing life.


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Price: £120 (inc. VAT where applicable)
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