From Fanfiction to Your Fiction

johnLanguage Arts
Instructor: John McDonald
5-10 students
Suggested Age Ranges: 11-14, 13+

Meets: Tuesdays at 11:30 am - 12:30 pm - Pacific Time Convert to other time zones here


Many students are uninterested in writing until they discover fanfiction. Why not let them learn in a way that works for them? Fanfiction and original creative writing work are not that different from each other. While original creative writing relies on world building from scratch, fanfiction utilizes the literary tradition of adaptation with a twist by borrowing a character, setting, or premise from a pre-existing universe with which the writer is already familiar. Fanfiction is a way to get comfortable in finding the rhythm of writing and of learning especially how to showcase your viewpoint as a storyteller and a person.
Fanfiction and original creative work require many of the same writing tools: research, preparation, outlines, and receiving feedback. We will work with all of these tools in this class, as well as combating writer's block and giving constructive feedback. Editing and revising will also be discussed as essential parts of the writing process.
All kind of stories are celebrated in this class, including: novels, novella style, playwriting, screenwriting, radio plays, podcast narratives, and other forms of storytelling through writing. Each form of storytelling has its own pros and cons, and students will have an opportunity to explore these as they wish through each class project. Students will hopefully exit class with a stronger sense of their own personal style and good habits in both research and editing of work. The class will assist the student in answering many of the common questions about what makes a competent story and begin to build a stronger repertoire of work that utilizes their viewpoint.



Week 1: Introductions, Course Goals, Building Better Writing Habits
Week 2: What Stokes Your Imagination?, Best Research Practices
Week 3: An Overview of World Building, A Visit to A Small Planet
Week 4: Your Fairy Tale Research Presentation
Week 5: Focusing Down Your Setting (and characters), The Importance of Your Viewpoint
Week 6: 3 Act and 5 Act Structures, Outlines, In Class Exercise- Outlining Harry Potter
Week 7: Beats- Dominoes of the Writing Universe, Fairy Tale “Check In”
Week 8: Jump Jump Jump Presentation
Week 9: Character Archetypes and Traits
Week 10: Individual Characters, The Character Arc, Six Pillars of a Great Character
Week 11: Slices of Life: Props, Objects, Clothing, Mini Arcs vs. Overall Story Mission
Week 12: Your Four Objects Presentation
Week 13: How To Talk About Your Story: Pitches, Introductions, The Heart Of Your Viewpoint
Week 14: Standards and Practices (Play, TV, Film, Self Publishing); Formatting specialty work, Formats of Fanfiction
Week 15: Your Fairy Tale Adaptation Presentation


Semester-long classes are $245 each. Members pay $230!
We accept charter school funds

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