Writing

Introduction

Neil Gaiman

Lesson time 04:29 min

Meet your new instructor: Neil Gaiman, one of the most prolific storytellers of our time. In his first lesson, Neil explains why he loves to teach and how he wants to encourage you to tell stories that matter.

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Neil Gaiman
Teaches the Art of Storytelling
In his first-ever online class, Neil Gaiman teaches you how he conjures up new ideas, convincing characters, and vivid fictional worlds.
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For the last five years, I've been teaching at Bard College as professor of the arts. And each year I get to teach a total of about 24, 25, 26 students. I love the teaching process. I love getting to work with students. I love getting to show people ways to write, show them how to get deeper, how to learn. It's an absolute delight to me. But you don't get to reach a lot of people. The joy of doing something like MasterClass is going, well, I can say the same things that I would say to them to millions of people because I know that there are millions of people out there who want to write because they come to me and they ask me and they tell me and they ask questions and I try and answer those questions on Tumblr, on Twitter, on my blog. But this just seems like an incredibly efficient way to just say everything that I have to say to everybody. What I'm trying to do in this class, and I'm going to mix my metaphors outrageously here, is I want to teach you first of all how to find the tool shed. I want to take you down to the tool shed, and I want to show you some of the tools that are hanging on the walls of a writer's tool shed. And I want to show you what that's for and say that thing there that's a dibber and that's hoe and that's a spade and that's a shovel, and you use them all for different things. But I also want to show you where the pitfalls are, some of the, yeah, don't do that because if you do that, it'll all just stop. So I want to take you into a lot of the nuts and the bolts and the hoes and the dibbers and the mousetraps and the doomsday devices, and I want to walk you through that safely and have you coming out of that gloriously garbled massive metaphor with actually a rather better idea of how to write than you had than when you started. In my class, I'm going to tell you that stories are important. I'm going to tell you what stories are. And then I'm going to tell you how to build them, how to make stories, how to make stories that matter. And I'm going to give you some tips, I'm going to give you some exercises, and most of all, I'm going to give you a little push forward that you might not have had. Hello, I'm Neil Gaiman. And this is my MasterClass.


Unleash your imagination

Award-winning author Neil Gaiman has spent more than a quarter of a century crafting vivid, absorbing fiction. Now, the author of Stardust, Coraline, and The Sandman teaches his approach to imaginative storytelling in his online writing class. Learn how to find your unique voice, develop original ideas, and breathe life into your characters. Discover Neil’s philosophy on what drives a story—and open new windows to the stories inside you.



Reviews

4.7
Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Very honest and valuable class. Mr. Gaiman provided us with great hours because he fully understands their value. Thank you both the MasterClass team and Mr. Gaiman.

I adore this class. Not only is the information insightful; Neil Gaiman's manner of speaking and teaching are absolutely engaging.

One of the first lessons, the "Truth in Fiction" lesson, was honestly the most beneficial to me. When he advised writing in your own voice and, above all, being honest, my writing immediately improved. That's not to say the other lessons weren't beneficial - in fact, they're priceless - but that was the lesson that resonated the most.

Neil Gaiman is a national treasure and this course was incredible. My favorite MasterClass BY FAR. I've read a lot of books on writing and attended conferences and taken a lot of classes. This was top notch, and now that it's over I just want to watch it again.


Comments

Sean R.

He speaks with just pride, yet wonder. I find him moving to listen to, more importantly, I find him deeply inspiring.

A fellow student

I love the way Neil makes a class feel like sitting around chatting with your favorite uncle who just happens to be a genius. I'm probably the only one here who hasn't actually read Neil's books, but every one of his quotes that I've read on the internet has resonated with me. I'm really excited. And someone gifted this to me, so I'm also grateful!

David D.

Out of all the writing Masterclasses, this is the one I'm most excited for!

Ian C.

Hi Neil. Thank you for making your wisdom available. I'm excited to learn how to improve my stories …

Joshtr2000

Nice to meet you, Mr. Gaiman, I look forward to learning from your lessons.

Nanette

Neil is my inspiration and my idol. He's the main reason why I joined MasterClass and I am glad I did. I learned loads from him.

Vincent M.

It's exciting to learn from a man of such creativity and what insights he can unfold to me in order to bring my own ideas to life.

Athena B.

My dear friend bought this for me as a gift--something she knew I would never buy for myself. I have adored Neil Gaiman's work for years. My first introduction was multiple decades ago with The Sandman, and he remains my favorite modern author. His metaphor of a toolkit reminds me of a similar metaphor in Stephen King's On Writing. I need a push, and this class arrives for me at a penultimate moment it seems. I am, in equal parts, excited and intimidated...and hopeful...and grateful. I am a bit of a forest fairy in spirit, so this opening calls to me.

Jonna S.

Enjoyed listening to Writer/Instructor Neil Gaiman discuss the outline of this course. Excited to learn about the art of storytelling, what makes stories important and matter. Also, can’t wait to learn about the tools for success.

Jonna S.

I met Instructor, Neil Gaiman and am convinced he is a great storyteller who can give me tools to demonstrate how to write a story that matters.