From Synopsis to Success: Foolproof Story Development

The two linchpins of story planning are premise development and synopsis writing. If a story is going to fail, it will first do so at the premise level. The skills of creating, designing, and validating a premise idea are essential to every writer’s toolbox. In the first five weeks of this course, students will learn the basics of story structure and premise development, and in the last three weeks, they will transform their solid premises into a plan of action—that is, a synopsis of their novel or memoir. Each student will have the option to meet one-on-one with the instructor in a videoconference to work through their premise idea and their synopsis writing. Throughout the course, students will give and receive feedback on each other’s premise lines and synopses. At the end of the course, students will have a thoroughly tested proof-of-concept premise line, a concrete and well-developed three- to five-page story synopsis, and an action plan for next steps in the story development or writing process.

Jeff Lyons
Writer; Producer

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Online, instructor-led
Jan 22 - Mar 15, 2024
Stanford Continuing Studies