on-line, live, interactive,
Character, Story, Plot,
Conducted by Governor General
Award winning author
Member of the Order of Canada,
Kent Stetson, C. M.
Kent Stetson's course blesses the author's process with lucidity.
You come away clearer, sharper, sorted, inspired. His training sessions
rely on interactive growth. Progress is student-generated.
The results are character-generated. One secret is a soothing, intense
focus. It rocks each of his weekly international class meetings in
friendly, safe momentum. Stetson structures each of those sessions
with a concise discussion of an issue. Then he turns an unfailingly patient
ear to the work being produced in real-time by the group. The humour
keeping it all afloat is the kind that can only be earned by a prolific teacher
who is publishing and producing award-winning work of his own. Stetson
is the real thing. And this is the course I recommend to you if you've
done your dabbling and you're ready to write. Porter Anderson, BA, MA, MFA (Porter Anderson is a former critic for
the Village Voice, NYC, CNN Anchor/Producer, and
fellow of the National Critics Institute of the USA)
YouTube: 4 new MPW videos
“I don’t know what you’re
thinking, or what it’s like inside you
and you don’t know what it’s like
In fiction, I think we can leap
over that wall . . .
I feel human and un-alone, intellectually,
that I’m in a deep, significant
conversation with another consciousness . . .
in a way I don’t with any other
David Foster Wallace.
GENERATED STORY AND PLOT
IN DRAMA AND PROSE FICTION
How to write well? Begin by learning your
craft. Whether you’re a seasoned writer exploring a new genre, a dramatist or prose
fiction writer just starting out, The Character Generated Story workshop takes you quickly, with depth
and precision, to the heart of your characters and the story you need them to
We spend twenty hours (ten sessions, each two hours in length, five to
eight writers per course) live, on-line together investigating the craft
of character development and
Each session begins with a fifteen-twenty minute exploration of the basics— the craft— of dramatic writing. Ninety
minutes of writing and listening exercises follow. You’ll emerge with a carefully
worked, thoroughly assessed seven hundred and fifty word story outline, a one page synopsis suitable
for marketing/fund raising, and a three page ‘producer’s’ outline.
We’ll get you well underway toward a complete plot, and schema of your first draft.
JOIN FROM ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD:
ALL YOU NEED IS A HIGH-SPEED INTERNET CONNECTION.
Requests from participants in introductory
workshops for an extended course of advanced study have been gratifying.
Hence this thorough, on-line investigations of the mechanics of dramatic
fiction, be the final form the page, large or small screen, or the stage.
The inaugural on-line courses
have a great success (see Writers Assisted,
and Endorsements, below) the participants
keen and engaged, the exchanges vital and expansive. For those of you who
could not participate because of timing or late application, and those
of you who have expressed interest since, we’re doing it again!
Places for participants at
all levels of their personal or professional practice are available.
LEARN THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN STORY AND PLOT.
E. M. Forster, in his collected essays on
drama and prose fiction, Aspects of the Novel, says it best: “The king died,
the queen died is the story; the king died, the queen diedof grief is the
Kent Stetson believes, like
Forster, that the essentials of character, story and plot are common to both
prose fiction and drama. In both drama and prose fiction, action speaks louder
than words. The arrangement of events— what the characters do, not only
what they say— shapes the story. Action drives the forward motion of the
Forster tells us the essence
of all art boils down to two simple words: Only Connect.
“No tears in the writer,”
Whit and Halley Burnet tell us in The Fiction Writers Hand Book, “no tears
in the reader. No joy in the writer, no joy in the reader.”
Writing can be perilous,
some say must be perilous. It must not, however, be undertaken lightly.
Audacity and courage must be balanced with knowledge of essential elements
of craft and the discipline to establish a stable, sustainable practice.
EVERY PROJECT ADVANCED.
EVERY QUESTION ANSWERED.
EVERY VOICE HEARD.
The online vocal and written exchanges are
communal and intense . . . no more than eight participants per group, each
group meeting for four hours weekly, for five weeks. Polished work and follow
-up comments are exchanged between participants by e-mail, and live, on-line.
In-depth exploration of character
through perspective exercises help expand the individual writer’s understanding
of her or his emerging story and plot. The exercises are based on live,
group interaction. Assessment is careful, considered, respectful and rigorous:
we determine what the writer actually wrote as opposed to what we think
The sessions are real time,
computer to computer via. VOIP (voice over internet protocol.) I use
Skype, which is free, easy to download — and simple to use. The sound quality
is extraordinary. It really feels like we are all in the same room together.
And you don’t have to leave the house! (Note: We can work between my
computer and your telephone if you prefer).
PLOT IN DRAMA AND PROSE FICTION
The design of the live, on-line workshop series
arises from popular, successful courses offered by MasterPlayWorks at L’Atelier
La Roque Alrick in Provence, France, the National Theatre School of Canada,
McGill and Concordia Universities, the Quebec Writers Federation, the Bermuda
Musical and Dramatic Society, writer’s organizations across Canada, private
workshops, and one-on-one dramaturgical sessions countywide and abroad.
Developed in tandem with
his personal practice and his publication/production history with both prose
fiction and drama, Stetson's craft-oriented courses help writers strengthen
the dynamics and architecture of their work.
The great strengths of the
all the courses are the timed, hand-written character perspective exercises,
which are assessed live on-line by the group in positive, supportive, challenging
exploration. Theory and practice, craft and imagination play off each other
in lively, informed discussion moderated with insight and good humour by
FOR MORE DETAILS SEE...
Montreal translator and first-time dramatist
Lesley McCubbin. . .
It's obvious that Kent has VAST amounts of
knowledge and insight to draw upon. Plus, his skill at being able to constantly
pinpoint the vital elements in the work, draw out the things that made
it work (or not), reference it to deeper ideas, open it up to a bigger
picture. This amazed
me . . .
Actor, columnist, broadcast journalist and
essayist Bill Carr says . . .
Taking the course was a leap of faith, not
in Kent, but in myself. It jump started my creative spirit and then offered
me specific elements of craft with which to create and give expression
to that spirit.
Novelist Irene Larkin writes . . .
Kent has a wonderful 'hands off' attitude toward
your writing (there is only one person writing your material and that person
is you), while his affirmation and encouragement bring out the very best
you have to give. . .
APPLICATION AND ELIGIBILITY
The on-line workshop is offered to writers
of drama and prose fiction at all levels of their practice
who are embarking on new works,
or are currently engaged with the development of works in progress.
Call 514 270 1948 (cell:
514 794 1948) for complete course description,
application procedure &
. . . for additional information
on Stetson’s background, his CV, teaching methods and more endorsements.
YouTube: 4 new MPW videos
For persons who might prefer
to work one-on-one on-line or in person,
arrangements will be made.
Corporate seminars designed
to improve internal communication
and short-term or extended NGO workshops available.
Please distribute MasterPlayWorks
to anyone whom you think might benefit.
Other courses offered