The Fascination of Fiction
I've always been fascinated by fiction -what it is, why it works, why we read it.
I wanted to know why certain books appealed to me, and why others didn't.
I wanted to know how some stories achieved spectacular effects, while others fell flat before they even got going.
I wanted to know why some authors held me in a spell, while others struggled to keep my attention.
What was it about the works of C. S. Lewis or J. R. R. Tolkien that had such a powerful effect on me and on thousands of others?
How did J. K. Rowling manage to gain so many followers?
Why did some authors make it commercially, while others struggled all their lives?
What were the secrets of the 'master authors'?
Why did writers like Shakespeare and Dickens have god-like status?
How did movie makers like George Lucas or Steven Spielberg come up with hit after hit?
What was happening to create television success stories like Doctor Who or Friends?
Were there common denominators behind all successful fiction?
What mechanisms were at work in these stories that got such results?
Coming soon is a book and a course is based on my extensive 40-year study of English literature and popular fiction, ranging from Shakespeare to contemporary movies like Star Wars or the Marvel superhero films or American television sit-coms, as I tried to answer these and other questions.
Work examined during the course includes that of master authors like Hardy, Austen, E. M. Forster, C. S. Lewis and many others.
Students also get to examine film hits like It's a Wonderful Life or Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and TV smash hits like American situation comedy Friends.
What they find is something truly amazing, something that takes their breath away every time:
All successful stories have distinct patterns in common.
This isn't about 'the hero's journey' or three act structures; this is about simple fundamentals that are so simple and so fundamental that they will change the way you look at fiction forever.
Stand by for more announcements soon.