OWL | HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT MISS JONES?

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Have You Heard of Miss Jones?

Understanding Character Driven Plotting Through Analysing Bridget Jone’s Diary.

Course Dates: 01/11/2016 – 28/11/2016

Presenter: Samantha Bond

You’re probably familiar with the phrase: “the plot thickens”. But exactly what is plot and how, as a writer, do you come up with your own original, compelling plots?

The trick is to understand the difference between ‘story’ and ‘plot’. In this workshop, I’ll demonstrate how plot works through an analysis of arguably the greatest chick-lit novel of all time, Bridget Jones’ Diary. But more than simply analyse, this workshop will arm participants with tools to create their own plots through an understanding of how characters reacting to challenge results in plot. While this course will examine theory, it is a hands-on practical course designed to get you writing.

Specifically, Miss Jones can teach you to understand:

  • the difference between plot and story
  • interaction between plot and character
  • the three act structure
  • internal and external conflict
  • character goals and obstacles preventing their attainment
  • the role of subplots
  • the role of antagonists; and
  • MOST importantly, how to create a unique, compelling plot outline

Week 1:

This first lesson will focus on understanding what a plot is. It will explain the difference between ‘story’ and ‘plot’ and show that plot results from characters reacting to obstacles and challenges. Examples from Bridget Jones Diary and other works of fiction will highlight that plot is conflict + character reaction. This fundamental concept is not well understood by many and once you’ve got it, you’re well on your way to plotting dramatic fiction (and really, who wants to read any other sort?)

Week 2:

This week will focus on the two types of conflict that should be present in compelling fiction — internal and external conflict. Bridget certainly experiences both. It will also look at what other ingredients go into a riveting plot. This lesson will include a basic structural overview of Bridget Jones Diary.

Week 3:

This lesson I’ll put it all together. As a writer, you’ve possibly heard of the three-act play, and the heroes’ journey structures. But how can you easily use them in your work and not just a chart that shows rising and falling tension lines? This lesson will include templates that will assist you to utilise these classic structures in your novel, short story or screenplay. It will also include a focus on the role and importance of subplot, and how to weave that into your main plotline.

Week 4:

So, you’ve heard a lot about Miss Jones by now. Reckon that character-driven plotting methodology only applies to romance or chick lit? Think again! In this final lesson, I’ll demonstrate how the exact same plotting principles apply to “Mr Yippee Ki Yay”, John Maclane. That’s right folks, Die Hard (arguably the best Christmas movie ever!) also relies on character-driven plot. Let me demonstrate…(and no, I’m not off my rocker, this is to show you that this methodology applies to ALL good stories).

I will provide students with a weekly PDF lesson via email each Monday. I’ll then be available to answer questions on the closed Facebook or Moodle group during the week. Depending on availability, I’m also hoping to have at least two prominent writing professionals join these discussions, and once they have been finalised, I’ll email students to let them know who my ‘special guest’ will be, and to email me their questions before posting them to the group.


About the Presenter:

Samantha Bond is a reformed corporate lawyer, now writer and public servant. Her creative work has been published in numerous national literary journals, anthologies and magazines. She has an Advanced Diploma of Professional Writing winning the award for Highest Overall Achievement for her graduating class, and now teaches in that course. Samantha also writes reviews for the Indaily and Glam Adelaide and between these two publications, has had over 200 reviews published. Samantha does freelance corporate writing work as well as creative writing mentoring and if you’d like her services, she’s contactable through her website www.samanthastaceybond.com). Finally, Samantha is a busy mum of two littlies, is an unapologetic chocolate addict, believes that Buffy would so slay Edward (which perhaps shows her age) and is a writers’ festival groupie.


Course Dates: 01/11/2016 – 28/11/2016

Cost: RWA-Member – $30.00  Non RWA-Member – $40.00

Registration limited to: Unlimited

Register now