Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
– Clarke’s Third Law

This October, we’re opening hailing frequencies, cracking open our grimoires, firing up our flux capacitors, and setting off for adventure without so much as a handkerchief — and you can book your place today!

Over the course of four weeks, I’ll will introduce you to speculative fiction, explain how and why we tell science fiction and fantasy stories, give a masterclass in compelling worldbuilding, and help you take your simple idea and turn it into a full novel outline. We’ll cover character, conflict, structure and pacing; we’ll look at theme, symbolism and the importance of asking, “What if…?”. We’ll discuss the suspension of disbelief and Tolkien’s notion of secondary creation; we’ll look at how stories work in Westeros, within the bounds of the United Federation of Planets, on Azeroth — and right here on Earth.

Every Sunday evening in October, we’ll gather together for a live video lecture. I’ll teach for an hour, then take questions and discussion points. If you can’t make the live lectures, don’t worry — they’ll be available after the fact for download, so you can keep them forever and watch them as many times as you like. Then, I’ll gather up any unanswered questions that emerge from the lecture, and release an audio Q&A on Wednesday evening, exploring some of the issues raised in the live lecture in greater depth. That’s eight sessions over the course of four weeks, plus supporting materials, yours to keep forever whether you can attend the live lecture or not!

  • Lecture One – Sunday, October 5th
    Understanding the genre, asking big questions, character and consistency
  • Q&A One – Wednesday, October 8th
  • Lecture Two – Sunday, October 12th
    Building your conflict, creating your cast, worldbuilding
  • Q&A Two – Wednesday, October 15th
  • Lecture Three – Sunday, October 19th
    Structure, pacing and craft; making theme work for you
  • Q&A Three – Wednesday, October 22nd
  • Lecture Four – Sunday, October 26th
    The drafting process, building momentum, looking forward to revision
  • Q&A Four – Wednesday, October 29th

You don’t need anything except an internet connection to take part in this class. There will be feedback and commentary every step of the way, and I’ll be available during the class and afterwards to discuss your ideas and address any problem you may have.

  • In week one, you’ll develop an idea.
  • In week two, you’ll create your cast and world.
  • In week three, you’ll structure your story.
  • In week four, you’ll polish your outline, and get ready to write!

But wait — that’s not all! Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo this year? Then Sufficiently Advanced Magic is a perfect starting point for your month of writing dangerously!

Spaces are limited and time is short, so don’t wait: book your place today, and prepare yourself for the adventure of a lifetime!

Sufficiently Advanced Magic: Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy


Registration for Sufficiently Advanced Magic is now closed!