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Writing Fiction: 5 Exercises to Craft a Compelling Plot

via Skillshare


The key to writing stories that your readers can’t put down? It’s all about crafting a compelling plot!

Join award-winning author Lisa Ko for an approachable, actionable class on the most powerful tool in a writer’s toolkit: plot. Inspired by her own early struggles with plot, Lisa’s approach simplifies plot into a set of practical principles you can apply right away. Through five straightforward writing exercises, you’ll discover how to structure a plot from beginning to end, with just the right amount of tension to keep your readers hooked.

Key lessons include:

  • Creating conflict in any story, whether outsized or ordinary
  • Raising the stakes using character and setting
  • Structuring your scenes to create a satisfying narrative 
  • Writing for impact using different storytelling strategies

Plus, every lesson is packed with examples and excerpts from Lisa’s own writing, so you can see her process in action.

Whether you’re beginning from scratch, workshopping a draft, or simply curious to understand the mechanics of your favorite show or novel, after taking this class you’ll have the tools you need to create compelling stories your readers return to again and again.


  • Introduction
  • The Power of Plot
  • Reading: "Pat + Sam"
  • Exercise 1: Generate an Idea
  • Exercise 2: Who is Your Character?
  • Exercise 3: When and Where
  • Exercise 4: What and Why
  • Exercise 5: How to Tell Your Story
  • Revising Your Story
  • Closing Thoughts
  • Explore More Classes on Skillshare

Taught by

Lisa Ko


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