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Places, People and the 3-Act Plot Workshop

Places, People and the 3-Act Plot

the essentials of storytelling

Eight-session online workshop, 1 - 1.5 hours per session, live teaching, via Zoom.

Session times vary depending on the session topic and the questions and discussions that arise. 
Sessions will be a minimum of one hour.

"Thank you for thoroughly enjoyable course. Not only did I learn new skills but the integration of writing time to put into practice what we had learned was motivating and ideas emerged that I had never dreamt of. Under normal circumstances I would have procrastinated indefinitely. These exercises really made me produce something and I was pleasantly surprised with the results." Sue Lownsbrough

Only six places available on this workshop

New Start Date

Click Here to Enrol: Starting Wednesday 6th October 2021 at 7pm for eight weeks ending 24th November 2021

Times shown are BST, then GMT when the clocks change on 31st October 2021

Workshop fee: £195

(meeting invite to follow after enrolment)


Join us in our virtual classroom for an eight-session creative writing workshop from the comfort of your own home, via Zoom.

With numbers strictly limited to six, this eight-session workshop will take you step by step through the process of creating a believable world, relatable characters, and developing a plotline. Then you’ll finish by livening up your text using dialogue. By the end of the eight weeks you’ll be well prepared to write your own tale in whatever format you like.

In the sessions, when you’re not working as a group, there will be time for you to work on original material, ask questions, and share your work (if you want to).

Printable worksheets will accompany each session, so you can continue developing your story between our get-togethers.

This is a great opportunity to develop your writing skills and make friends with others on the same journey. It’ll be exciting, stretching, lots of fun, and give you the confidence to take your writing forward. This workshop is suitable for writers who want to develop their story writing skills, including beginners.


"Each week I felt I had acquired a concrete "tool" to use in my own writing and had learnt how to apply it. It was also clear that each step built on the step before and that there was an end goal. I also felt encouraged and supported and free to share things I had written (which can be a very scary thing to do).

"The exercises and the approach taken in the course really helped to create bridges between theory and practice. Not only did I learn a lot, but the sessions were great fun!" Elizabeth Hewes


Workshop Outline:

Each session will start with some writing chat to help the group get to know each other, relax and settle into a creative mindset. In some sessions we also play a game so you can learn some of the functions in Zoom.

Week 1: World Building – Here you’ll learn how to create a world for your characters to live in. This could be anything from fantasy or sci-fi to current day, past or future reality. In this session we’ll give you an exercise so you can start working on your world.

Week 2: Character Building – This week you’ll learn how to develop fully rounded, believable characters. You will then be given an exercise to help start creating the main character for your own story.

Week 3: The 3-Act Plot – Part One – The practice of breaking a story down (or building one up) into three distinctive ‘acts’ is as old as the hills. The first reference to it comes from Aristotle’s Poetics, written way back in the 4th century BC, but even he didn’t invent it. Modern day screen-writers, dramatists and novelists have refined the three act plot into a precise roadmap that can help any enthusiastic writer come up with a gripping, page-turning story. So, in this session, we’ll create a world and character and then start following the map’s twists and turns, working together as a group to develop the first part of a plot so you can see precisely how it works.

Week 4: The 3-Act Plot – Part Two – In this session we'll take our character through act two of our story.

Week 5: The 3-Act Plot – Part Three – Here we’ll carry on developing the group’s story plot through to the end.

Week 6: Start Your Story – Now you’re more familiar and comfortable with the structure of a 3-act plot, in this session you’ll use it to start developing your own storyline with the help of exercises and worksheets.

Week 7: How to Write Dialogue – Here you’ll learn what dialogue can be used for in your story, and how to lay it out.

Week 8: Writing a Scene Using Dialogue – In this final session, you’ll have the chance to write a scene from your story using dialogue. Then there will be time to share your writing and receive constructive feedback. Plus, we will discuss how you will take your wriitng forward.


Outside of the Zoom sessions we provide an online classroom where you will find all the workshop notes for you to download. Plus, you'll able to share your work (if you want to) and interact with your class mates between sessions.


Workshop fee: £195


"Thank you so much for delivering an informative, fun, and encouraging course. It's really motivated me to want to pursue my writing more fully! The 'My Three Act Plot' class (session 6) was my favourite and the accompanying worksheet was so helpful." Carl Maguire


Phil Busby


Workshop Leader :Phil Busby – E.N. (M) B.A. Hons and co-founder of Budding Writers

A playwright, singer-songwriter and author, Phil works in course development for The Writers Bureau, Manchester. Originally a psychiatric nurse, he studied Theatre at Dartington College of Arts before working across Europe for ten years as a performer, writer and workshop leader.


"Phil's approach in class, the measured insightful way he explained and demonstrated techniques as well as encouraged us to use them, made the class particularly enjoyable and full of learning." Marina Cussack


By taking part in this workshop you will:

  • meet other writers

  • have time to ask questions as there are only six participants per group

  • develop an understanding of how to create worlds, characters and gripping stories with a structure you can come back to time and time again

  • learn how to use dialogue effectively and set it out professionally

  • learn new ways to improve your writing

  • have a well planned story outline to kick-start your writing project

  • gain increased self-confidence to take your writing forward on your own.


Enrol Now!


This workshop is run by Budding Writers in partnership with The Writers Bureau

We’re operating as normal in these unusual times.

So don’t worry about your studies. All our tutors work from home and we’re set up for HQ staff to work remotely.  You’ll still be able to contact us if you need to. All you have to do is stay healthy and keep your brain active by studying your course.

Theresa Gooda Writers Bureau's Student of the Year 2021

“I began my first Writers Bureau course (Comprehensive Creative Writing) in 2007. Having more than covered the course fees from published pieces I have never looked back. Initially my ambitions were to get going. I knew I wanted to be a writer, I just didn’t know how to go about it, or, if I’m honest, quite what I wanted to write. Since, I have gradually blended a teaching career with writing, first with articles and short stories, then increasing the writing commitment dramatically when I secured an agent in 2016 to ghostwrite a series of memoirs. This year I have undertaken The Art of Writing Poetry course to really hone my skills in what I now realise is a genre I love - and have already had my first poems published.”

Theresa Gooda - Writers Bureau Student of the Year 2021

Free Creative Writing Course Prospectus

Institute of Training and Occupational Learning

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