Fiction Skills: Setting and Storyworld

A good book has a great sense of place, creating 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.


Start date: 9 May 2022 **
Duration: Four weeks
Skill level: All
Session length: Fortnightly
Sessions: 2
Price: £120 (inc. VAT where applicable)

** We are accepting late enrolments for a limited time


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.

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 to bring your settings to life
  • Specially selected reading extracts and suggestions for further reading on settings
  • Q&A forum with your tutor to answer your questions
  • 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

*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 really enjoyed this course and met some fascinating writers with whom I would like to stay in touch.


What our students say...

I have taken the Beginners’ Fiction and Setting courses from Faber Academy, and I have been impressed and grateful at how nurturing and dedicated the Faber Team has been in supporting my ambition to learn — I could not imagine doing this under the aegis of any other writing academy.


What our students say...

This has been an absolutely fantastic group, and I would want to remain in touch. I’ve greatly enjoyed and benefited from working with my fellow students.


What our students say...

The whole point of the course did seem to come together for me. Setting, detail, research, I had been doing this in previous work but this showed me I need to keep this in mind as I write. More importantly (on a personal note) I have started writing again.


What our students say...

I’m very pleased with the course and learning from everyone! I’ve been raving about it everyone who listens.


Ready to start writing?

Price: £120 (inc. VAT where applicable)
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