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Welcome to Exploring Narrative

Do you want to understand the internal mechanics of story? Are you looking to expand your understanding of narrative? Do you want to develop a stronger understanding of plot, setting, character and theme?

Exploring Narrative will guide you through the inner workings of story, breaking down the building blocks of narrative to see how it ticks. This course will guide you through the fundamental features of what makes a compelling story.


This course is all about expanding your knowledge of basic narrative form and structure

All creative writing employs narrative techniques to tell an engaging story. Whether you’re writing fiction or creative non-fiction, novels, plays, short stories, memoirs, video games or anything else, an understanding of the fundamentals of narrative techniques will give your storytelling an edge.

What you will learn

  • Basic grammar and punctuation for clear writing
  • The internal structure of plot, and how each segment functions to propel the whole
  • What makes a great opening line
  • How to employ common characterisation techniques to create compelling protagonists
  • How to write dialogue that sparkles
  • The use of setting to add nuance to your story
  • How to choose a point of view and voice that will enhance your writing
  • The elements of theme, and why all stories need one

If you need assistance in navigating your online course, view the simple instructional video below:

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Where to from here?

This course is self-guided, and broken down into six major sections, with each section further broken down into individual components. You are encouraged to work through this content at your own pace. The in-person version of this course takes place over four lessons of two hours each. You are welcome to power through the content in a shorter time if you prefer, or take a more leisurely approach.

Each block of content in this course will include several lessons, diagrams and exercises to help you understand the content and hone your craft.

You are also encouraged to share your work with fellow participants on the AWM forums. The forums provide an opportunity to engage with your peer group and get practice in writing and sharing work created to a brief.

If you have any difficulty using the course, find errors within the material, or otherwise have issues, please feel free to contact AWM directly. Look to the Contact AWM tab to learn more.


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These forums are set aside exclusively for the use of participants in the Exploring Narrative course.

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About the Australian Writers Marketplace

The Australian Writers Marketplace (AWM) is an arm of Queensland Writers Centre, dedicated to providing information and education to writers across the country.

The Australian Writer’s Marketplace listings directory features over 2,000 opportunities for writers, with submission and contact details for Magazines, Newspapers, Publishers, Literary Agents, Industry Organisations, and Literary Awards. Previously a print resource, AWM has moved entirely online with the intent of providing up-to-date, relevant information on resources for writers across Australia.

About Queensland Writers Centre

Queensland Writers Centre strives for more Australian writers to have sustainable careers and to be valued and enjoyed throughout the world.

Since foundation in 1990, QWC has remained an essential organisation for writers and Australian literature. We encourage connection and creativity through the art and business of writing. We celebrate the importance of books and stories. We help Australian writers to create their stories and readers to engage with them.

Our members are published authors, emerging writers, children’s authors and illustrators, journalists, editors, agents, publishers, poets, storytellers, playwrights, cultural producers, freelancers, teachers, academics and critics. We provide development and support to beginner writers through to established professionals in Australian writing and publishing.

QWC is a not-for-profit cultural enterprise with approximately 1800 members and is the publisher of The Australian Writer’s Marketplace – Australia’s leading resource of the writing and publishing industry. QWC also leads innovation in digital book culture. In 2010, we established if:book Australia, a think-tank to foster engagement by Australian writers, readers and publishers with digital futures.

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To contact the Australian Writer’s Marketplace e-mail us at [email protected]