Margaret Atwood MasterClass Review
Writing is a beautiful pastime, combining creativity and personality into one place. When telling a story, writers have complete freedom to create characters, scenery, and more. While it sounds easy, it can sometimes be a bit difficult, taking special talents, planning, and a bit of critical thinking to get the writing process started.
One writer who has nailed these talents and gained fans all around the world is Margaret Atwood, known for her stories and dynamic tales that capture the heart’s around the world. In her MasterClass, Margaret Atwood Teaches Creative Writing, Atwood takes aspiring writers through her process, attempting to inspire and help writers on their journey. If you’re an aspiring writer, a fan of Atwood or just interested in telling better stories, this MasterClass could be the perfect fit for you. In this review, we’ll take a look into the course, helping you decide if it is right for you. Before we get into the topics, we’ll first learn about Atwood and why she is the perfect teacher for creative writing.
Margaret Atwood is a dynamic human being that has seemingly done it all-from writing novels, to poetry, to children’s books, and everything in between. Since the start of her writing career in 1961, Atwood has written and published many titles in a wide range of genres including fiction, non-fiction, and graphic novels. As a writer, her technique relies on her ability to immerse herself in the story, taking on the form and thoughts of the characters within. She is afraid of no theme, no matter how racy or controversial it may be, hitting on topics like politics, racism, and more.
Her creative ways of writing and engaging stories have captured the attention of many all around the world. She has received a ton of reputable praises for her writings, including the title of Booker Prize and the Franz Kafka Prize winner. Some of her written works have been adapted for television and movie screens, further captivating her audience with her interesting tales.
First and foremost, fans of Margaret Atwood have a lot in store for them, getting an up-close and personal class from Margaret herself. Even those who are not a fan or have not heard of Margaret are sure to enjoy this class. Anyone that is interested in the written word or telling a story will have a ton of new information and resources that they can look back on and use as they work to develop their skills as a storyteller and writer.
You are not going to find a course that only focuses on writing and the technique, getting a closer look into Margaret’s personal feelings with the topic. See how she goes from jotting down ideas to creating a plot to writing and publishing, all within this MasterClass.
Margaret Atwood Teaches Creative Writing MasterClass comes with 23 total lessons. Each one is about 10 to 20 minutes-summing up to over 4 hours of class time where you get to be in touch with Atwood herself. The journey takes you through her process of writing, allowing you to take out of it whatever you want. Some of the lessons introduced in the MasterClass are:
Becoming One with your Character
The course starts off with Margaret speaking about characters and her process of development. Her advice is to immerse yourself into the character, thinking, and developing ideas by thinking from their perspective. She says the worst thing that you can do is let fear stand in the way, leaving learners with the advice to put any fears aside and let all creativity flow.
Putting Together a Plot
Stories have to build up to something, captivating readers and keeping them engaged until the end. When telling a story, you need to focus on characters and their form of being as well as the story that you are developing. Margaret says, ‘something has to happen in your story’ advising writers to take time in creating a plot and building up ideas little by little.
Perspectives in Stories
A story can change depending on the perspective it is coming from. Margaret challenges writers to toy with this idea a bit, using help from the all-time classic Little Red Riding Hood. Margaret goes over the traditional tale but, changes the perspective in her storytelling. She shows writers that, taking on the characteristics of different characters in a story, they can create and build unique ideas, all of which give readers a bit of a different feel for the story. This can create a well-rounded view and idea that writers can follow and possibly use to create future stories that play off of this idea.
Choosing your Story Teller
In most novels, writers begin telling the story from the perspective of a character. While it sounds easy enough, this is sometimes the hardest part for some writers, as they decide from whose perspective the story will be the most interesting. Margaret uses a very peculiar scenario that entails a romantic encounter with a box, using it to show how plot twists and more can change the entire storyline and tone. Learners will see a bit more of a feisty side in this section of the course, as Margaret gets excited to tell other aspiring writers her tricks of the trade.
Characters are what make stories come to life. Readers identify with some and despise others, making it a journey for all that are reading. Margaret hints on how to create well-rounded characters, giving a few expert tips. One suggestion is to create a timeline, one where you can point out significant occurrences throughout the character’s development. This will help you with the plot and the story overall, helping you to keep organized and on track from the start. It also gives a better look into events and characters’ reactions, giving writers full freedom and exposure to writers from the perspective of the character’s age at that point.
Create More Interesting Characters
Atwood’s characters are one of the most memorable things about her stories. She takes a lot of time to develop well-rounded characters, all of which help in the creation of her compelling stories. She adds a section into the MasterClass to hit on this topic, giving her tricks on how to give dynamic personalities to each character as they develop and become more and more important within a story. This is a shorter section but, is super useful when it comes to creating and telling your story.
How to Deal with Writer’s Block
Writer’s block happens and, when it does, it can destroy your entire rhythm. Margaret tackles this in one section, teaching writers how to get past those pesky writing blocks. She suggests things that all writers can adapt to:
- Taking breaks
- Learning good posture
- Creating a writing schedule
- Stretching a bit here and there
All of these things come together to help tackle writer’s block, which can kick start writing into gear. Margaret talks a lot about the importance of writing with confidence, and not focusing too much on things, and just let your creativity flow.
The Down on Dialogue
One important part of a story and characters is dialogue. Learning how to create dynamic conversations between characters that further develop the story is key. The conversations and dialogue that characters have in a story help readers fall in love with characters, something that captivates readers and keeps them engaged throughout the entire story or series.
When readers are into a book, they are sometimes creating images in their head, like a big screen in a movie theatre. One thing that helps them create these pictures is imagery, taking the reader’s words and painting clear and vivid landscapes. Margaret speaks a lot about the importance of including all senses when writing, focusing on smells, sounds, and sights that help the reader create a better image. She hits on creativity here and tells about how she plans out her scenes in most books. The idea here is to always paint a picture first, jotting down ideas to make it into a well-developed scene that readers will love.
MasterClass is a reputable online zone for anyone that is curious and itching to learn something new. They take pride in handpicking the best in the field, often selecting some of the most admired and famous people in the world. They offer the option to let your curiosities run wild, picking, and choosing all the MasterClasses that interest you. If that sounds intriguing, an all-access pass will do just that. For $180, you have the chance to take any course from their platform-learning from legends like Gordon Ramsay, Santana, and Robin Roberts.
If you’re only looking to take Atwood’s MasterClass, you score all of the lessons, a PDF that complements the MasterClass, and access to a learner’s forum for only $90. The class comes with hours of footage, meant to take learners on a journey into the world of picking, choosing, and developing characters. This is something that you can’t find anywhere else, getting an up-close and personal class with one of the most reputable and respected authors of the 21st century.
This MasterClass, like many others, has captured the attention of many with the curiosity to learn more about the written word and the process of creating a novel. Overall, those who have taken her MasterClass have positive things to say, commenting on the style of teaching and aura of Atwood. To see it in their own words, here is what a few learners had to say.
“Really, I’d suggest taking this course at least twice– once to take it in, to get a feel for it, and then again more slowly, taking the time to do the assignments and the suggested readings, as if you were taking a college-level course.I finished the class a few days ago and already, after a chat with my editor this morning, I’ve thought, “Oh, I need to go back to the lesson on descriptive prose. And the one on switching points of view!” These are lessons you will return to again and again as a writer. – Vanessa V.
“The lessons cover similar ground to Patterson’s, but from a more literary and creative perspective: this is the sort of material you might find on a university course about creative writing. There’s discussion of story and plot, structure, point of view, creating characters, dialogue, and much more.Atwood comes across as authoritative and very knowledgeable – but not at all stuffy in her approach. There’s a sense of a real depth behind her advice, but she talks in a friendly way (comparing, for instance, the building blocks of story to “a giant Lego set”).” – James P.
“Margaret gets most of her ideas by immersing herself in a subject. Something she believes every writer needs to do.But, when it comes to pulling together and developing ideas, the process is different for everyone. She urges you to just write and not let fear stand in your way.” – Amanda B.
With all of the topics included for just a small price, this MasterClass is a great way to help you discover your own style for creative storytelling. Atwood’s class is not one to teach you technical terms but, to help writers develop a method to create more dynamic characters and tales.
If you’re a writer and looking for some inspirations, Margaret’s class can surely help, inspiring you to find better ways to get writing and start telling tales more easily. Captivating readers is an amazing gift and one that comes with the ability to tell interactive and engaging stories. This makes Atwood the perfect teacher, with her quirky and inspiring attitude that captures and keeps the attention of all.