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Transform your story's Character (using plot & structure)

Faber Writing Academy

About the Course

Seeing fictional characters we care about undergo a transformation is one of the key elements of great storytelling. So how do we create characters that a reader/audience will care about? How do we compel those characters to change, creating the drama needed to engage the reader/audience? Learn from Ross Grayson Bell, who developed and produced the movie Fight Club and is currently serving his third year as Senior Judge of the NSW Premier's Literary Awards. This course is run inside Allen & Unwin's publishing house by Faber Writing Academy.

 ‘A razor-sharp mind.’ Charles

 ‘A great session - it opened my eyes to the benefits of planning and having a model to work to.’ Julie

In this practical, one-day workshop, using examples from published works, plays and films, the course will investigate:

• How plot, the character's outer journey, is used to bring about a character's transformation on an inner level.
• How to match the character with the right plot to enhance his or her transformation.
• How to create the character's belief system and use it to keep the character stagnant.
• How to break the nature of their belief system so transformation can happen.
• How structure (using the example of the Hero's Journey) can be used to arrange the plot to have the greatest impact on the character's inner journey.

Participants are encouraged to bring a character they are already working with to the workshop for a series of in-class exercises that will test those characters' 'willingness' or 'resistance' to change. Even if you intend your character to remain the same (and there are many great stories where that happens) this workshop will still be pertinent and empowering. The tools used to get a character to transform are the same ones that can force resistant characters to hold on to old patterns of behaviour.

Bring your characters and an open mind and let's make transformation happen!

The course includes:
• A full day's intensive tuition from 10am - 4pm
• Lunch and regular tea and coffee breaks
• A complimentary copy of a recent A&U publication

About the tutor

After a successful career in Hollywood as a producer, where he most notably developed and produced Fight Club for Twentieth Century Fox (starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton) and was Executive Producer of Under Suspicion for TF1 (starring Gene Hackman and Morgan Freeman), Australian-born Ross Grayson Bell went on to find success as a screenwriter in London where he set up the Scouser-made-good story of Barry Cox at BBC Films, I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing in Perfect Cantonese, and his adaptation of Tom Spanbauer's novel, The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon, landed him on the "Brit List" of best unproduced screenplays.

In 2009 Ross returned to Australia to take up a position as the Head of Screenwriting at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School where he guided five students to Australian Writers' Guild Award nominations for the TV pilots they developed as part of their course work, with one student winning The Monte Miller Award for her pilot in 2013.

Simultaneously, Ross was commissioned to adapt Susan Duncan's memoir Salvation Creek, which was one of four projects selected in 2013 for Screen NSW's Aurora Feature Film Development Program.

Ross is currently serving his third year as Senior Judge of the NSW Premier's Literary Awards, working as an external script assessor for Screen Australia, lecturing on story, both in Australia and Malaysia, and is mentoring writers through the Australian Writers Mentoring Program. In 2014 he gave the Literary Address at the NSW Premier's Literary Awards and regularly convenes panels at Writers Festivals around the country.


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