Cut to the Chase with Madeline Oliver

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In this writing workshop participants create a working plan for a project of any length and in any genre – prose, plays or screenplays. We begin by identifying what students want to say and then work from a synopsis to create an outline. In the second part of the workshop, we sketch out key scenes from the work: the opening, the inciting incident, the crisis and the resolution. This process sharpens character and can reveal what your project is really about. We confront the many blocks, external and internal, that writers face and devise strategies to work around them.

Participants come away with a range key documents to complete a first draft:

  • Synopsis
  • Detailed outline or treatment
  • Draft of opening pages, ‘inciting incident’, crisis and resolution.
  • A plan for doing the work

The aim is to give you the confidence and inspiration to take your project to the next stage.

Madeline Oliver is a writing teacher and mentor based in Sydney. She has held workshops for Varuna National Writers’ House and Sydney Writers’ Festival and runs weekly writing classes. She has five years’ experience in manuscript assessment with Laurel Cohn and Associates, reading fiction, memoir and YA. Madeline loves collaborating with other writers and is one of the four writers behind The Painted Sky (Random House 2015), a novel set in outback NSW and published under the pseudonym ‘Alice Campion’. She is now working with a writing partner on a 10-part tv series set in the NT.

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