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The Great Courses

Whether you’re huddled around the campfire, composing an email to a friend, or sitting down to write a novel, storytelling is fundamental to human nature. But as any writer can tell you, the blank page can be daunting. It’s tough to know where to get started, what details to include in each scene, and how to move from the kernel of an idea to a completed manuscript.

Writing great fiction isn’t a gift reserved for the talented few. There is a craft to storytelling that can be learned, and studying the fiction writer’s techniques can be incredibly rewarding—both personally and professionally. Even if you don’t have ambitions of penning the next Moby-Dick, you’ll find value in exploring all the elements of great fiction.

From evoking a scene to charting a plot to selecting a point of view, Writing Great Fiction: Storytelling Tips and Techniques offers a master class in storytelling. Taught by acclaimed novelist James Hynes, a former visiting professor at the famed Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the University of Michigan, these 24 insightful lectures show you the ins and outs of the fiction writer’s craft.

More than just delivering lectures, Professor Hynes offers the first steps of an apprenticeship, showing you not only how fiction works but also how to read like a writer. Here you’ll find explications of novels and stories across the ages:

  • Rediscover classics such as Jane Eyre, Bleak House, Middlemarch, Mrs. Dalloway, and others.
  • Gain new insights into bestsellers such as the Harry Potter and Game of Thrones series.
  • Explore the world of literary fiction, from Chekhov’s “The Kiss” to Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping.
  • Reflect on what makes characters such as Anna Karenina and Sherlock Holmes so memorable.
  • Find out how to create suspense like Dashiell Hammett, George Pelecanos, and John le Carré.

The Great Courses has been in production for over 20 years, and offers over 500 courses on many subjects including Science, History, Literature, Art & Music and more. Watch or listen to The Great Courses with online downloads and streaming via their apps, or on DVDs or CDs, all at your own pace … and no exams! Learn more about The Great Courses at our Blogger page.