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: May 6, 2021 - May 20, 2021
Enrollment: 25 Students
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.
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.
LitReactor offers a unique approach to a writing education: You study what you want, when you want, at your own pace. We bring in veteran authors and industry professionals to host classes covering a wide range of topics in an online environment that’s interactive and flexible. You get detailed feedback on your work and take part in discussions in a judgement-free zone. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or an experienced writer, our workshops are about working together to achieve your writing goals.
Where do classes take place?
Entirely online. So, anywhere you have Internet access.
Are there certain times when the whole class needs to "meet" online?
Nope. Our students come from all over the globe. Everything is posted online and accessible 24/7. (We do occasionally schedule phone chats, but try to reach a consensus on timing.)
What does a typical class consist of?
It varies, but nearly all our classes include weekly lectures, homework assignments, peer reviews, critiques from instructors, and discussion forums.
How much experience do you need to take a class?
Beginner or pro, everyone is welcome. We encourage all skill levels.
Got more questions? Click here for an extended FAQ.
And click here to explore a sample class that shows our layout and features.