Blend your personal experience with a traditional myth from any culture to create a story that is both timeless and uniquely yours.
Your Instructor: Francesca Lia Block (author of House of Hearts)
Where: Online — Available everywhere!
When: This class is not currently enrolling. To be notified when it is offered again, Click Here
Enrollment: 16 students
This four-week class helps students create their own “new myth” based on an existing tale from any culture. By studying characterization, plot, setting, voice and theme, and exploring their personal experience, students rewrite an existing myth or create one of their own. Each week you will receive a brief lecture, a discussion topic and an assignment.
Your instructor, Francesca Lia Block, is the author of over twenty-five acclaimed and award-winning works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, including the forthcoming novel House of Hearts, the memoir/writing guide The Thorn Necklace: Healing Through Writing and the Creative Process and the cult classic Dangerous Angels: Weetzie Bat Books.
What This Class Covers
Week 1: Picking a myth, character and theme
What draws us to myths? They can be used to explain phenomena, establish and maintain order in society, and as expressions of human nature.
Assignment: Pick one myth that has affected you and give us a brief summary of the story and an explanation as to why it resonates thematically, or how you might want to change the meaning in your revision. Then write a brief description of a personal life event that in some way relates to this myth. Finally, create a character with a gift, flaw, want, need and potential to grow on an arc through conflict with an antagonist.
Week 2: Plot and setting
Many myths follow a basic three-act structure. For example:
Part I: Orpheus loves his wife Eurydice. She is bitten by a snake and dies. Part II: He goes into the underworld to rescue her. Part III: He is unable to do so and is killed by the maenads.
Joseph Campbell studied myths and created an overview of their structure--The Hero’s Journey. Maureen Murdock adapted this into a more “feminine” version, The Heroines Journey.
All structure employs setting in some way--often a character will start out in one setting and then leave in the second part of the story and return in the third. Even if the character stays in one place, their personal journey is often marked by internal change that in turn affects the space around them.
Assignment: Please write a brief outline of your story using some outside source, including, possibly, the original myth itself, as a guide. Pay attention to setting as well.
Week 3: Voice
Voice is important in any story. What voice will you use to tell your myth? How will the voice draw on aspects of traditional story telling? How will you make the voice, unique, original, your own?
Assignment: Write a scene from your story and then revise it to create the strongest voice possible.
Week 4: Putting it all together
Assignment: Write a 10-15 page new myth considering character, theme, plot, setting and voice.
Goals Of This Class
- How to use ancient stories for inspiration
- How to bring personal experience to their writing
- How to create dimensional characters
- How to create a plot based on traditional structure
- How to use different settings to enhance plot
- How to make myths relevant through voice and theme
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.