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This is a review of the Neil Gaiman Teaches The Art of Storytelling class from MasterClass!
The MasterClass Instructor – Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman opens this class by talking about why he loves teaching and how excited he is to be able to take the opportunity to reach millions of people who want to learn how to tell their own stories. As a Professor of the Arts at Bard College, he loves the teaching process where he is able to show students how to write, how to get deeper, and how to learn. He plans to do the same throughout this class by teaching viewers how to find their writers toolshed.
For those who are not familiar with Neil Gaiman, he is one of the top ten living postmodern writers according to The Dictionary of Literary Biography. He is an author of fiction novels, comic books, graphic novels, and nonfiction. He is most known for his comic series The Sandman and novels Stardust, Coraline, and The Graveyard Book.
“I make things up and write them down” is the way Neil Gaiman describes his varied art, and as a “feral child raised in libraries,” he credits librarians with fostering a lifelong love of reading. Today, as one of the most celebrated writers of our time, his popular and critically-acclaimed works bend genres while reaching audiences of all ages and winning awards of all kinds. The Graveyard Book is the only work ever to win both the Newbery (US) and Carnegie (UK) Medals, awarded by librarians for the most prestigious contribution to children’s literature, and Neil’s bestselling contemporary fantasy novel, American Gods, took the Hugo, Nebula, Bram Stoker, and Locus awards, as did his young adult novel Coraline.
In this class, Neil teaches viewers how to find their writers toolshed, how to use each tool, and how to avoid a few common mistakes. He walks viewers through techniques, methods, and his own personal experiences to teach viewers what stories are, how to build stories, and how to make stories that matter.
The Art of Storytelling – Who is it for?
This class is for anyone who is interested in learning how to write stories. No matter what experience level you have this class has something for you. For those who are just starting to write, this class really goes into detail about all of the literary tools you can master and always have at your disposal. If you already have some storytelling experience, this class still has so many beneficial lessons that focus on truth in fiction, how to take your writing to the next level, and what it means to be a writer.
MasterClass Neil Gaiman – Main Themes
- Truth in fiction
- Writer’s toolshed
MasterClass Workbook – Neil Gaiman
The workbook for this class will be your guide to exploring and applying the writing techniques talked about in each lesson. Each video lesson has a review section in the workbook, along with suggested readings and multiple writing exercises. Throughout the chapters, there are also reading exercises, suggestions, and worksheets to help you develop your own novel.
MasterClass The Art of Storytelling Key Takeaways
Neil Gaiman has created an inspiring and detailed class that explores his own writing toolbox and then goes a step further to encourage viewers to tackle writing deeper subjects and the social importance of storytelling. Neil’s toolbox covers the fundamentals, including developing character, creating conflict, determining main themes and concerns, understanding how to create dialogue, and how to draft stories in comic form. Along with great lectures, this class also uses a wide variety of case studies to help viewers understand and apply these tools.
We’re using memorable lies. We are taking people who do not exist and things that did not happen to those people, in places that aren’t, and we are using those things to communicate true things.
What I really loved about his class was how Neil talked about what is really at the foundation of storytelling. He talks about how writers use made-up stories, with made up characters, who go through things that never happened, in order to connect, entertain, and teach their readers. Throughout the class he talks about this great contradiction where readers and writers are drawn to these lies to reveal something truthful about oneself or the world around them.
Final Thoughts Neil Gaiman’s MasterClass
I loved this class from the very beginning! Neil Gaiman has created an inspiring and exciting class that not only teaches you the fundamentals of storytelling, but challenges viewers to be raw, honest, and creative in their stories. If you are looking to take your writing skills to the next level, this is the class for you!
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