Meet your new instructor: Man Booker Prize-winning author Margaret Atwood. In your first lesson, Margaret shares her perspective on the art of writing and who ultimately gives your book its meaning.
2. Getting Started as a Writer
Margaret encourages you to find your own path, overcome obstacles like fear, and start writing by sharing her own writer’s story and creative process.
3. Story and Plot
Learn what makes a strong plot. Margaret advises you to study myths, fairy tales, and other historical works of literature so that you can use them as building blocks for your stories.
4. Structuring Your Novel: Layered Narratives and Other Variations
Margaret illustrates the myriad ways you can structure your story and create a multi-layered narrative, using the classic tales Little Red Riding Hood, Arabian Nights, and her own novel The Blind Assassin as examples.
5. Who Tells the Story: Narrative Point of View
Choosing the right point of view to tell your story from involves a lot of trial and error. Margaret explains the impact this decision has on your story, and offers an exercise to help you explore the effects of various points of view.
6. Point of View Case Studies
In this chapter, Margaret discusses her use of multiple points of view in Alias Grace, and why she wrote The Handmaid’s Tale from the first person point of view.
7. Bringing Characters to Life Through Detail
Actions and reactions reveal character, but so do details the writer thoughtfully weaves into the story. Margaret offers concrete tools to help you create nuanced, well-developed characters you know by heart.
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