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Storytelling in Television and Fiction Writing
Uptown's Hero Community Space
Minneapolis, MN
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Minneapolis Storytelling Workshop, creators of the "Buffy the Storytelling Course," "Apocalypse: A Storytelling Class at the End of the World" and "Feminist AF?", now bring you a brass tacks class on storytelling methods as used in your favorite contemporary TV shows.

TUESDAYS, 2/12/19 to 3/5/19, 6-8pm at the Uptown's Hero Community Space, 36th & Bryant

You love to watch TV, and then you love to talk about it. You catch yourself pondering the various narrative decisions made in a powerful episode. You may or may not have writing experience, but you're a deep thinker and eager to learn more.

So come take this four-week course with us! We'll watch clips in class, assign viewing between class meetings, Then we'll break down the elements of successful TV...drawing back that narrative curtain to investigate how stories are constructed and how we can create our own.

Like a more traditional writing class, we will engage writing prompts, discussion, and activities... Unlike a traditional writing class, no one will care if you've read Moby Dick. Or even Lord of the Rings.

Week One, 2/12/19: Narration.
Some TV programs employ voice-over narrators (Jane the Virgin, American Housewife, Blackish), and we'll talk about how that narrator shapes the viewer's expectations and experience. We'll also look at some more invisible aspects of narration, including tone (quirky! serious!), lens (what is shown to you and when), and structure (do you get the story in order, backwards, or a little of both?).

Week Two, 2/19/19: Character.
TV shows have the luxury of building characters over a long period of time, while stories and movies must acquaint you with a character's mindset and emotional state much more quickly. We'll look at powerful examples of characters in contradiction and transition (Luke Cage! Orphan Black! Angel! Game of Thrones! Drop Dead Diva!); we'll look at characters impersonating other characters and the ways we've been trained to tell the difference; and we'll hone in on those character moments that are powerful enough to make us cry or scream. Best of all, we'll figure out how they do it.

Week Three, 2/26/19: Momentum, Stakes, & Why We Keep Watching. Why do you keep turning your TV on week after week? (To find out who the cylons are? Who killed Laura Palmer? Is Buffy really dead? Can Will escape the upside down?) This discussion of momentum and stakes will help us develop an understanding of what keeps a story moving forward, and what keeps us asking: "What happens next?"

Week Four, 3/5/19: Beginnings & Endings. How do story creators know when to start and end a story for maximum impact and emotional resonance? What are some of the most effective mechanisms for getting viewers/readers up to speed quickly while getting the story going as quickly as possible? And how long after the big fight sequence should the story go on?

TV shows under discussion will likely include (but are no means limited to): Game of Thrones, Westworld, the Marvel Universe shows (including Jessica Jones and Luke Cage), Stranger Things, Jane the Virgin, The Good Place, Handmaid's Tale, How to Get Away With Murder, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Battlestar Gallactica, Blackish, This Is Us, Orphan Black, Gossip Girl, Insecure, The West Wing, Gilmore Girls, Black Mirror. (For a broader understanding of what interests us, sign up for our free writing prompts at and take a look at a year's worth of archives!)
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Uptown's Hero Community Space (View)
3554 Bryant Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55407
United States


Arts > Literary
Arts > Performance
Education > Classes
Education > Workshops
Social > Adult

Minimum Age: 16
Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!


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