In this post, we’ll talk about Neil Gaiman Masterclass Review. Fans of comic book series like “The Sandman” and “American Gods” must be well aware of the brain that created them.
Yes, I’m talking about Neil Gaiman, who has run multiple issues for several of his comic series and has collected numerous US awards, with his “The Sandman” becoming the first comic to receive a literary award.
A reputed name in the comic books circuit and a prolific creator of prose, science fiction, fantasy, and drama, Neil Gaiman has worked primarily in genres transcending and reached audiences of all ages.
Neil has certainly achieved the cult status he deserved and now is willing to share his secret to success with others who want to learn the art of comic book writing more passionately.
To make that happen, Neil Gaiman has joined hands with Masterclass to bring you his own Storytelling Masterclass!
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Know your new writing coach – Neil Gaiman!
Neil Gaiman was more of a comic book writer than a novelist.
However, he had garnered the same amount of respect and accolades from both of his main works, as well as being a screenwriter and voice actor among others.
Neil was heavily influenced by lots of contemporary literature that he enjoyed reading while he was young. He has written more comics, including a Batman story arc, and even an episode of Doctor Who.
He has released novels both written alone and with co-authors. His newest solo novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, also won several awards.
American Gods won several major horror/fantasy/sci-fi awards in both England and America.
Since the release of American Gods, Gaiman’s influence and popularity have blossomed. Other notable works Neil Gaiman wrote include the award-winning novels Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, and The Graveyard Book.
If you haven’t taken a Masterclass before, here’s what it comes with: you’re getting a semester’s worth of teaching and homework in one intense day of classes, followed by personal feedback and instruction.
In this specific case, there are nineteen videos totaling approximately five hours and numerous workbooks with tips and homework assignments in PDF format.
The download contains a chunk of text from the lesson, titles of resources for further reading, and truly intense homework assignments.
A Quick Overview!
The class is jam-packed with Gaiman telling stories concerning his own writing expertise.
I’ve always found a good story told honestly sucks you in, rings your emotions like a sympathetic tuning fork, and reminds you why you love to write your own stories.
In this course, Gaiman demonstrated an astonishing kind of teaching: he showed the thing done right before breaking it down for his students.
19 Beautifully Filmed Masterclass HD Lessons
Neil’s Storytelling Masterclass has been tactfully broken down into 19 neatly curated lessons which have been beautifully filmed in HD quality to ensure that the viewers get the most enjoyable and realistic experience of learning from their coach, Neil himself! Each lesson is superbly shot with visually amazing backgrounds.
Here is the list of all the 19 lessons in Neil’s Masterclass:
|2||Truth in Fiction|
|3||Sources of Inspiration|
|4||Finding Your Voice|
|5||Developing the Story|
|6||Story Case Study: The Graveyard Book|
|8||Short Fiction Case Study: “March Tale”|
|9||Dialogue and Character|
|10||Character Case Study: “October Tale”|
|16||Dealing with Writer’s Block|
|18||Rules for Writers|
|19||The Writer’s Responsibilities|
Neil’s Masterclass Lesson Plan – In a nutshell!
Before digging into deeper details about his Masterclass lessons, let me give you a quick outline of what all you will get to learn from Neil’s 19 lessons storytelling course.
- Lesson 1 is a short general introduction to your new teacher and to the class.
- Lectures 2-5 address basic aspects of writing and the importance of developing your unique voice and message. How do you use fiction to express a deeper reality (the “lie”)? What stories would you like to tell? What can you tell them? What kind of voice does it feel most natural for you? These are the subjects that are discussed here.
- Lesson 6 is a case study based on the story and plot.
- Lessons 7-8 cover short fiction and train you to write memorable imaginative short stories.
- Lessons 9-14 move through specific topics such as dialogue, descriptions, and humor to help you fine-tune those essential elements of a good story.
- Lesson 15 is on comics: I don’t have any personal comics experience, but I found that lesson incredibly enjoyable. Trying something entirely new and special is also a perfect way to set off your imagination.
- Lessons 16-19 turn to the writing process; you will learn how to overcome the block of writers, how to manage your time, how to edit your work, and how to make steady progress as an author.
I consider the class well organized overall. If you follow it straight from start to finish, it continues in a sensible order but you can also choose individual lessons as you want.
Office Hours + Class Interaction
The Masterclass also includes “office hours,” which gives you the opportunity to ask Gaiman questions personally and get a response via video. I’m too nervous to try that yet, so I’ll have to get back to you on that one!
Highlights of Neil Gaiman’s Masterclass!
Now that you have got a rough sketch of what is involved in Neil’s Masterclass, let me share some of the highlight segments of the course which you should really pay attention to in order to learn the art of professional storytelling and comic book writing.
Finding sources of inspiration for your story
Neil Gaiman clearly has an amazingly vivid imagination.
So, I was very surprised to find that much of his inspiration for his writing comes from everyday life. In this lesson, he also explains how to take a story, deconstruct it, and rework it. He demonstrates this technique by re-interpreting some classic fairy stories.
These are just two examples of where you can get inspiration for a story.
Neil Gaiman Masterclass Review provides you with several others during this video and the rest of the course.
Finding your voice
When Neil started this section, I can remember feeling a little irritated. I could not understand why finding your voice is important.
But, by the time I reached the last part, I could see why every writer needs to find their voice.
Perhaps additional significantly, Neil Gaiman Masterclass Review explains how to find and develop the voice of your characters.
How to develop your story?
As a writer, you are playing a game with your readers. Neil calls this the “what’s going to happen” game. You keep them guessing, which motivates them to carry on turning the pages.
Neil explains a way to structure your story so it attracts your readers.
One of his best tips is to write down everything you know about the story, the characters, and the subject. Kind of like a brainstorm for one person.
When you do this your mind starts to notice connections.
As you go ahead, a single idea is embellished and starts to form a mass. A part of work that you can then shape and craft into your story.
How to develop a story for short fiction?
Short stories are not really my thing. I rarely read them and I have never written one. So, I confess I skimmed over this section of the course. At least the first time I took the course.
The fact that Neil spent the primary four minutes of 1 video, in this section, reading a story aloud did not help.
Plus, at this point, the fact that Neil speaks very slowly began to frustrate me a bit. However, that said, if you want to learn how to write this genre I am sure you will find it helpful.
For example, his tip about minimizing the number of words you use, when writing a short story, seems counter-intuitive. But, I know, from experience, that this is excellent advice.
I write a lot of blog articles, so know for short pieces, less are definitely more. The more concise you are the better it reads.
In fairness, the case study video was excellent too.
You will love the unique way he came up with the plot for his Blackberry piece called “March Tale”. But, once again, it was the workbook I learned the most from.
The writer’s art of world-building
This part of the course was fascinating. Neil describes it as “getting to play god”.
Interestingly, Neil’s advice is to start the process of creating your world by spending time in real places.
Really experience it, notice the noises, the smells, the things that make them different. Asking you weird questions like how do all these people get fed?
It will help you to embellish the world you are building. A process that makes it seem more real. His tip on how to work out the rules in your fictional world is a particularly interesting one.
How to incorporate humor into your stories?
Neil Gaiman says that humor is good for anything you do. Something I agree with but struggle to inject into my writing. Sadly, I don’t think I will be solving this problem any time soon.
In this video, Neil reads an entire kid’s book and then explains what he did to create it.
The problem is I don’t see it as a funny book. It is quirky and fun, but not comedic, which is what I thought Neil was going to cover in this section of the course. So, I was a bit disappointed.
But there are still some sensible tips in there.
For example, putting a funny word at the end of a sentence. Plus, I got to hear about his work with Terry Pratchett and how he made his readers laugh.
Things I enjoyed learning at Neil’s Masterclass!
Neil Gaiman’s Storytelling Masterclass is truly a fun learning experience for everyone, whether a newbie or a pro.
He explains some trivial but very crucial aspects that a writer should always keep in mind to start writing a decent script and then transform it into a masterpiece.
Here are a few of the things about his Masterclass course which I really liked!
Understanding and meeting your reader’s expectations
If you want to sell books, lots of them, you must not disappoint your readers.
So, it is great to see Neil explaining how to understand what your readers are expecting from you and how to meet those expectations.
Doing this is not as complicated as it seems. Working out if you are writing a genre book is step one. Once you understand if that is the case, it is relatively easy to understand what the reader is expecting to see included in the plot.
Provided you weave these in, in some form or another, your reader will not be disappointed.
Developing your characters and writing realistic dialogue
It was clear from this section of the course, that getting the dialogue right is essential when it comes to character development. Something that I can tell you from experience is very hard to achieve.
I once had a job transcribing interviews, and writing a shorter version. Whittling 5 or 6,000 words down to about 1,500, while still sharing the main points was tricky.
The fact that I had to reflect the voices of the interviewer and interviewees too, made things even harder. I ended up loathing that job and gave it up.
If I had taken this course before starting that job, I am pretty sure I would have found things a lot easier.
Neil explains, in detail, how to give your characters their voice. His method is to start with how that person looks and deciding what their characteristics are.
Where they have come from and how that has shaped the type of person they are.
However, there were things I could not quite grasp in this part of the course. I struggled with the idea of tapping into the part of you that is female or old when you are a young man.
Neil assures his students they can do this, but, I was not convinced, which is one reason I doubt I will ever become a fiction writer.
Learning how to edit your stories!
Editing is not easy when you’ve written something. You just don’t see the flaws.
This is the case when you’re writing a letter, an essay, or a blog post. You will need to test the story and see it through your reader’s eyes with something chunkier like a novel, script, comic, or play.
That complicates the process even further.
Luckily Neil will take you through everything, step by step. Plus, he explains everything in his workbook.
Neil Gaiman Masterclass Pricing Plans Review
There are two ways by which you can purchase a Masterclass, a single Masterclass and an All-Access Pass for any of the gurus on the platform.
- Single Masterclass: $90
- All-Access Pass: $180 per year
The All-Access Pass comes in real handy when you wish to take more than one Masterclass, so this means that there is no limit on the number of Masterclasses on the All-Access Pass. Grab this pass with Masterclass Coupon Code.
A 30-day money-back guarantee is also available for any of the Masterclass packages you purchase and you will get a complete refund of the amount in case you are not satisfied with their services.
You can download the Masterclass app for your iOS or Android device for free from the App Store and Play Store and access your Masterclass lessons anywhere. Not just that, you can even save lessons as favorites, adjust the playback speed and watch them anytime on the go.
What is a Masterclass?
Entrepreneur Aaron Rasmussen and film editor and director David Rogier started Masterclass in 2015. Based in San Francisco, it’s an online education platform for creative professionals.
Of course, you don’t need to travel to San Francisco to take a Masterclass. You can watch Masterclass courses using your computer or phone and consume the materials at your own pace.
As a student, you can learn the art of comedy from Steve Martin, writing thrillers from James Patterson, dramatic writing from David Mamet, screenwriting from Aaron Sorkin, and lots more.
It is a great way of learning online from top creators you would not normally have access to.
Who is Masterclass For?
The Masterclass is for writers, photographers, artists, musicians, painters, and creative professionals. It’s ideal for students who are happy to learn at their own pace using a computer.
Unlike Lynda or Treehouse, Masterclass is suitable for writers, musicians, artists, and creative professionals.
This is an interesting niche. Many of the opposite online courses I’ve taken facilitate students to learn business skills like promoting or additional sensible skills like writing or internet development basics.
The masterclass isn’t ideal for people who thrive in classroom environments and prefer a more hands-on approach from teachers.
Final thoughts about Neil Gaiman’s Masterclass Review 2021
The standard of the Neil GaimanMasterclass group, which provides a reasonable degree of interaction and motivation, has generally impressed me.
Some learners took advantage of the community to swap drafts and get feedback.
Additionally, you should bear in mind that completing this class requires self-discipline and making the most of it. If you’re already an independent learner, then an online self-styled class is perfect for you.
However, if you’re struggling to remain disciplined in the absence of external accountability, you may have more trouble.
I would advise you to take the class with a friend and agree to a schedule to keep each other on the course.