18 episodes

Lessons in creative writing from a ghostly array of great novelists, poets and playwrights such as Ted Hughes, W.B. Yeats and Allen Ginsberg. Presented by Cathy FitzGerald.

The Invisible College BBC

    • Arts

Lessons in creative writing from a ghostly array of great novelists, poets and playwrights such as Ted Hughes, W.B. Yeats and Allen Ginsberg. Presented by Cathy FitzGerald.

    Lesson Eighteen: Writer’s Block

    Lesson Eighteen: Writer’s Block

    “You’re in the middle of writing something and your mind goes blank… ok, you’re being warned, aren’t you?” Discover Ray Bradbury’s simple trick for overcoming writer’s block.

    • 9 min
    Lesson Seventeen: What I Learned from James Baldwin

    Lesson Seventeen: What I Learned from James Baldwin

    Contemporary novelist Caryl Phillips close reads a dramatic passage from ‘Another Country’ by James Baldwin to see what we can learn from the great American writer.

    • 9 min
    Lesson Sixteen: Dealing with Critics

    Lesson Sixteen: Dealing with Critics

    If you’re going to put your work out in the world, then sooner or later, someone’s going to take a pop at it. This lesson features tips on handling critics from novelists John Fowles and Graham Greene, plus some unexpected behaviour from Henry James.

    • 10 min
    Lesson Fifteen: Write and Repeat

    Lesson Fifteen: Write and Repeat

    “Easy reading is damned hard writing,” says Maya Angelou. Hear the many pains she takes to ‘sharpen her language’ in this lesson about revising your work.

    • 10 min
    Lesson Fourteen: In Search of a Character with Graham Greene

    Lesson Fourteen: In Search of a Character with Graham Greene

    Hear how Graham Greene gradually evolves a character – and a novel - on a research trip to a leper colony in the Congo.

    • 8 min
    Lesson Thirteen: Place

    Lesson Thirteen: Place

    Sometimes the world gives writers a location so atmospheric it’s just waiting for a back story. But how do we do it justice? Poet Ted Hughes, diarist Christopher Isherwood and Vladimir Nabokov on capturing the soul of a place in words.

    • 10 min

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