MasterClass, the streaming subscription platform that offers up video tutorials from various celebrities and experts, has a new teacher that you might have heard about: Broken Earth and The City We Became author N. K. Jemisin.
She’s heading up a course on the platform called Fantasy and Science Fiction Writing.
The educational startup launched back in 2015, selling online video courses around certain skills from notable celebrities, like acting (Dustin Hoffman), singing (Christina Aguilera), and writing (James Patterson), with each of those instructors developing their course and filming 10-20 short videos, along with some supplementary materials. Since then, it’s built out that bench of celebrities, and provides courses across a wide range of fields.
Jemisin’s course stretches across 16 lessons, including videos about storytelling elements like worldbuilding, research, character psychology, as well as some real-world lessons about finding an agent, publishing a book, and writing while marginalized.
In a press release, MasterClass notes that Jemisin draws from her “prolific body of work and background as a counseling psychologist,” and that she will “teach members techniques rooted in research for developing interesting and complex characters with nuanced story lines.”
Jemisin’s course is entirely devoted to writing genre literature, with a heavy focus on building the worlds and characters that science fiction and fantasy literature requires. You can see a bit of her approach in a sample lesson.
The platform shifted from selling individual classes to a subscription model a couple of years ago ($120 a year), allowing students to dip their toes in the water with one class, then check out the hundreds of others on the platform.
Jemisin isn’t the only genre creator that MasterClass has scooped up, and after you check out her class, there are others to investigate: Neil Gaiman teaches the Art of Storytelling, R.L. Stine has a course about writing for younger audiences, Margaret Atwood teaches creative writing, Dan Brown teaches about writing thrillers, and Walter Mosley teaches a course about fiction and storytelling. The site also includes courses from directors like David Lynch and Ron Howard.