I recently took the MasterClass in Fantasy and Science Fiction with N.K. Jemisin and I were completely blown away by her insights and expertise.
Being a fan of her work, I had high expectations going into this course—but what I experienced exceeded all my expectations.
From the comprehensive curriculum designed to help me craft compelling stories with relatable characters to the instructor’s warm and engaging demeanor throughout—this class was an unforgettable experience for me.
So let’s get started with our N.K. Jemisin MasterClass Review and 17 key learnings to learn from the course.
Table of Contents
What is Masterclass?
I recently had the pleasure of taking a Masterclass course, and I can honestly say it was an incredibly rewarding experience.
From the moment I signed up for the course, I felt confident that my knowledge would be in great hands.
The instructors are all highly experienced professionals in their respective fields, and they provide well-crafted lessons that really allow you to dig deep into the material.
Each lesson offered me both new insights and tangible skills that I could apply to my life immediately.
The best part about Masterclass is how interactive it is; there are opportunities to engage with instructors during live Q&A sessions, participate in online discussions with other students, post assignments for feedback from the instructor, and more.
It’s not just a lecture-style course, but it’s interactive and engaging, which is great for learning.
I am deeply appreciative of the way Masterclass enriched my knowledge and skills in my chosen field. It gave me the confidence and resources that I needed to pursue my professional goals.
My Experience After Taking The Course : N.K. Jemisin MasterClass Review 2023
The curriculum is broken down into 15 lessons, each jam-packed with practical advice for aspiring storytellers like myself. Early on in the course, N.K. Jemisin focuses heavily on world-building and character development.
From exploring the ins and outs of worldbuilding to discovering the nuances of creating a living, breathing universe for your characters to inhabit—she covers it all.
But N.K. Jemisin doesn’t just stop there. She also dives deep into topics like plot structure, dialogue, and tension building—all crucial elements in crafting a captivating story that readers can relate to on an emotional level.
Throughout each lesson, she provides easy-to-follow examples and exercises to help solidify my understanding of her teachings (which I really appreciated!).
What really impressed me was not just the depth of knowledge that this course offered but also how accessible it was for someone with no prior experience in fantasy writing.
N.K. Jemisin does a great job of breaking down her teachings into easily digestible chunks, so even if you’re just getting started in the world of science fiction and fantasy writing—you still have a good chance of picking up the fundamentals from this class.
What I Learned in the Course: 17 Key Learnings
1. Keep reading:
Look for patterns and voids in your genre. Check out what the critics have to say. There is sometimes a crossover between business and artistic pursuits.
2. Find your literary support network:
Become a member of writing clubs in your neighborhood libraries, colleges, bookshops, or online, or establish your own. Consider attending writing seminars or looking for an agency.
3. Stages of editing:
Conceptual, line, chapter, and concept. Jemisin suggests reading Renni Browne’s book Self-Editing for Fiction Writers to understand how to accomplish this.
4. Keep them perplexed without frustrating them:
Write in a manner that leaves readers wondering about the character’s motivations, the reasons behind their actions, and what will happen to them next.
However, be careful not to leave your reader with too many open-ended queries. It’s best to provide a response before posing a new query.
5. Start out with a provocative or surprising statement:
People will want to keep reading if you start off with a genuinely startling claim since they’re curious about how you’ll support it.
6. Enter the action now:
A traditional tactic is to launch the campaign with a climactic event. Without any background information, the action’s intensity grabs the reader’s attention and makes them want to know more.
7. A catchy title will draw the reader in:
This is your first chance to catch their interest. A strong title could use emotionally charged language or an unexpected word choice.
8. Think about the personality, environment, and demographics of your characters:
What are their age, race, gender, occupation, authority level, objectives, anxieties, weaknesses, and desires? What were the events, traumas, and connections that formed the foundation of their past?
9. Invent new archetypes:
The “rugged individualist” persona is overused and has its limits. People of all backgrounds like reading tales of ordinary people triumphing against hardship. Don’t confine your considerations to merely past media trends.
10. Be adaptable and experimental while writing:
Your tale should be driven by the characters, therefore, feel free to explore other avenues and update and revisit earlier concepts.
If you run into trouble, consider dissecting other fictional settings to learn what works there, why it works there, and how you might apply those lessons to your own.
11. Create a map of your universe:
Create humans that can live in those conditions starting with the globe, then the continents, and finally the habitats.
Choose a location in the imaginary world you have created, and have it be the setting for the growth of the culture of the characters in your book. Pair stories and landmarks to create scenes.
12. Avoid the errors that past authors have made:
Do not repeat clichés and stereotypes. The true portrayal will succeed in influencing others. Be brave and dare to develop something entirely new rather than just taking something already existing and relabeling it.
13. Your readers do not have to suffer in order to appreciate your art:
Like an iceberg, the majority of the work you perform will be hidden from the reader below the surface. Avoid becoming too committed to your work and boring your audience with excessively granular details that do not advance the plot.
14. Do thorough personal research, yet instantly orient your readers:
The towns or civilizations that your imaginary universe is built on should be thoroughly researched down to the smallest daily details.
This will enable you to describe your fantasy world as if you really live there and make it simple for your viewers to understand how it functions.
15. The core of science fiction and fantasy literature is worldbuilding:
Your characters and narrative can only succeed in a fantasy world that seems authentic and lived in. To evoke familiarity, use allegories, and real-world concepts.
16. Write with the goal of making your audience feel less alone:
Make characters that your audience can relate to. Send those characters on adventures that your audience will identify with.
You will have succeeded if your tale has helped someone feel more connected and positive by making them believe that their own experiences aren’t that out of the ordinary.
17. Maintain your efforts, and you WILL succeed eventually:
There isn’t enough awareness of this among authors. Work harder if you’re not yet good enough. Keep trying if you aren’t quite where you want to be. Don’t give up, and keep practicing your trade.
All of the uncertainty, worry, and adversity will be worthwhile in the end.
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Conclusion: N.K. Jemisin MasterClass Review 2023
All in all, I would highly recommend taking this MasterClass to anyone interested in learning more about crafting compelling stories — whether it be for fantasy or science fiction genres.
N.K. Jemisin has done an incredible job packing her lessons with valuable information and exercises that will help give aspiring writers the confidence they need to create something truly special!