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Creative Writing Essentials: Writing Stand-Out Opening Scenes

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12,502 people completed this program


Ever wonder what makes a great opening scene?

In this 45-minute class, New York Times bestselling author Daniel José Older shows you how to craft a compelling opening scene for your story. Using the first and last drafts of the opening scene for his urban fantasy novel Shadowshaper as a case study, Daniel breaks down the anatomy of a scene and provides clear and useful exercises to help you analyze character, movement, and structure. By the end you’ll have the tools needed to build gripping opening scenes and write cohesive stories! Throughout the class you’ll be learning about:

  • Microcosms and Macrocosms: how scene and stories are deeply connected
  • Character Action: what verb choice reveals about your characters
  • Narrative Movement: how the events in an opening scene set the stage and establish momentum
  • Driving Question: how the opening scene plants the seeds of your story’s larger question

This class is for storytellers, writers, and anyone who wants to explore the inner workings of strong opening scenes. In the last video, Daniel reads through the rough and final draft of the opening scene of Shadowshaper, which you can download here and read beforehand.

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Creative Writing Essentials: Writing Stand-Out Opening Scenes
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