Genre Essentials: World Building

Saturday, January 9th, 10:00am-5:00pm
GrubStreet HQ
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Level: For Everyone
This class is full

Ernest Hemingway had a theory that a good story is like an iceberg: we only see one-eighth of what is there, but because it is so richly designed, the reader feels the immensity of everything below the surface. And the key to Hemingway’s iceberg? Build your world before you put pen to paper. In this six-hour seminar, you will learn the fundamentals of world building and begin to develop your own universe. We will study masters of mythopoeia such as J.R.R. Tolkein, H.P. Lovecraft, J.K. Rowling, Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, Joss Whedon, Mervyn Peake, Philip Pullman, and George Lucas. Through a series of brainstorming sessions and writing exercises, you will create the rules, set the scene, map the world, and uncover the history of your uncharted land. You will share pieces of what you have created and receive peer and instructor feedback. This class is for fiction or screenwriters of any genre looking to give their story a richer and more completely imagined setting.

Part of GrubStreet's Genre Essentials Series, dedicated to the exploration of craft elements specific to Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and other Speculative Genres. To explore more classes in this series, click here.

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Mark Fogarty
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Previous Students Say

  • "Inundated with Great Info"
  • "High-Energy Class"


  • Concept Development
  • Computer or Tablet Recommended
  • Class Discussion
  • Lecture
  • Workshop
  • Instructor Feedback
  • In-Class Writing
  • Craft Lessons
  • Generate New Work


  • The Novel
  • Short Fiction
  • Young Adult & Children's Literature
  • Screenwriting

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