The Choreography of Violence with John Skipp

Want to write great fights, chases, deaths, and escapes? Exciting, powerful encounters that leap off the page? No matter your style or genre, John Skipp will show you how.

Your Instructor: John Skipp

Where: Online — Available everywhere!

When: This class is not currently enrolling. To be notified when it is offered again, Click Here

Enrollment: 25 Students

Price: $249

Class Description

In action, every moment counts.

Many writers are skilled at creating a mood, building character and place, finding stories that move them. But when it comes to the moment of truth—that big payoff they've spent the whole scene building up to—they blow it. Unable to deliver the goods.

It's always disappointing. And unnecessary!

There's an art to vivid, physical, in-the-moment writing. Tricks to believably grounding your action, revealing character in motion. Strategies for crafting propulsive prose that hits with great velocity and impact.

Meet horror/bizarro fiction legend and award-winning editor John Skipp. He's had a long and accomplished career, authoring well over a dozen provocative titles, editing anthologies featuring the likes of King, Palahniuk, Lansdale and Gaiman, running two publishing imprints, and transitioning into film (Tales of Halloween). He's a writer on the popular Shudder series Creepshow. He's one of genre fiction's most colorful characters.

And he knows a thing or two about writing kick-ass action scenes.

His class, The Choreography of Violence, is designed for all skill levels, and across all genres, from historical drama to futuristic science fiction, westerns and war stories to paranormal romance, fantasy and horror to naturalistic crime thrillers, serious highbrow lit to far-flung bizarro weirdness. 

The goal is simple: Write action that hits the reader as hard as it hits the characters. 

This two-week workshop will include written lectures, opportunities for discussion and questions with Skipp, and writing assignments designed to put your new skills to the test!

What This Class Covers

Week One - The Choreography of Violence

The focus here is on the fundamentals: How to write a clear, convincing action scene that advances character and plot. What to leave in. What to leave out, and why...

Week Two - Kill Kill Kill! Die Die Die! When Will It All End?

This lecture concerns the ultimate punch line: Death. How to make a life-and-death struggle count, and deliver emotion without losing your story's momentum...

Goals Of This Class

  • Explore the many different ways that action plays out in narrative.
  • Develop the techniques that make for blistering set pieces.
  • Learn to reveal your characters through what they do under pressure, not what they say.
  • Practice character perspective, voice, and point of view in motion.
  • Discover your own writerly strengths and weaknesses, when narrative push comes to stylistic shove.
  • Finish a draft of two action scenes, from a short piece or novel.
  • Learn tools you can apply to every other kind of scene.

Additional Info

John Skipp discusses the sale of The Light at the End, written with Craig Spector and released in 1986. It sold a million copies and hit the New York Times bestseller list, allowing Skipp to quit his day job as a street messenger in New York City. 

About Our Classes Class FAQs