Devious art of plotting your novel

This course has no current classes. Please join the waiting list.

A good plot is both the skeleton and sinews of the story, providing direction, definition and the power to move readers' feelings to a satisfactory resolution. Yet many writers find plotting difficult. By understanding and experimenting with the nine-point arc of a typical plot, workshop members will learn the devious art of plotting: discovering that plots are driven by the wilful or unconscious desires of the protagonists and that plot and character are two sides of the same coin. Presented by John Harman.


  • What comes first: plot or character? Does it matter?
  • The difference between story and plot
  • Motive and consequence in plot
  • What drives the plot? Believable motivation in characters
  • The place of conflict in the story
  • Making the story – and its resolution – come out of the conflict
  • Story orbit – the nine-point parabola of the plot
  • How to thicken the plot
  • Group participation in which story ideas and characters are taken from various sources and a plot devised using the nine-point parabola.

Students need to have seen the film ‘Thelma and Louise’, the plot of which will be descontructed.

This course will be held at The University Club of Western Australia.

Lunch will be provided and is included in the cost.

If you have any special dietary requirements please email our staff on as soon as possible once you have booked. Your early notice is appreciated and assists us in meeting your dietary requirements.

Related Courses