This article on “Neil Gaiman Masterclass Review” will provide you with the opportunity to read an in-depth evaluation of Neil Gaiman’s Masterclass, including information on how the lessons are presented, who the course is best suited for, the cost, and what I liked about it, etc.
You can find out if Gaiman’s The Art of Storytelling is worth your money in this Neil Gaiman Masterclass Review of The Art of Storytelling by taking a closer look at the course.
Who Is Neil Gaiman?
Neil Gaiman is widely considered to be one of the greatest fantasy writers of our time. Coraline and American Gods are two of his most popular novels.
61 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list for The Graveyard Book, his young adult fantasy novel. His 2013 novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, was awarded the Book of the Year award.
Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite young adult authors, so I was anxious to learn more about storytelling from him.
“A feral youngster nurtured in libraries” is how author Neil Gaiman recalls his childhood. American Gods and Coraline, two of his most popular works, are examples of his ability to mix and match genres. The Sandman, a comic book series written by Gaiman, is another of his works.
As of right now, Neil Gaiman is a Professor of the Arts at Bard College in New York, and he has even written television series, such as Good Omens on Amazon Video.
Neil Gaiman is also active on social media platforms such as Twitter, where he has over 3 million followers, and he often offers insightful and entertaining content to his audience there.
What Is MasterClass?
MasterClass is an American online education subscription platform on which students can access tutorials and lectures pre-recorded by experts in various fields. The concept for MasterClass was conceived by David Rogier and developed with Aaron Rasmussen.
Garry Kasparov teaches chess, Penn & Teller teaches comedy, and Gordon Ramsey teaches food on MasterClass, an online learning platform.
As a result of their accomplishments, your instructor is not only recognized authority in their area but also a well-known figure in the community.
Because of its high-quality production characteristics, MasterClass is also known for its high standards for the content and educational materials it provides. As a result, students are given an engaging and memorable educational experience.
I’ve taken well over a dozen MasterClasses, and I can attest to the fact that many of them are excellent and informative in their own right.
Nonetheless, there are some that are superior to others. There are many courses out there, so it’s vital to do some research before deciding which one to take.
Course Overview – Neil Gaiman Masterclass Review
Neil Gaiman’s MasterClass has 19 videos ranging in length from 10 to 25 minutes. There are 4 hours and 50 minutes in all.
Each lesson comes with a PDF Workbook that you can use in conjunction with the video content. In the Workbook, you’ll find tasks to help you put Neil’s recommendations into practice. For individuals who want to proceed beyond the course, there is a recommended reading list.
Following this brief introduction, the course proceeds as follows.
1. Truth In Fiction
When it comes to fiction, Neil discusses narrative and truth-telling. This was an excellent approach to introducing the material and gives us a glimpse of Neil’s thought process. When he says that “we might not otherwise get,” Neil wants this lesson and the remainder of the course to give us the push we need to move forward.
Narratives are “the most interesting things that human beings have,” according to Neil Gaiman. We learn how stories help us understand the rest of the book from this point on.
In Neil’s view, stories are a way to convey information in a way that is memorable to the reader, and we may do this by alternating between truth and fiction in our stories.
His words of wisdom were, as I had suspected, somewhat irrational. Anyone who knows the author would know that he likes to use metaphors and communicate his thoughts in a philosophical manner.
Neil, a former professor, instructs students through the use of stories. Using this method, the lecture gained a “meta” quality and teaches by example (i.e. telling a story in itself).
2. Sources of Inspiration
Neil uses the concept of a “compost heap” in this video. To put it another way, it’s a good idea to think of inspiration as amassing a literary arsenal.
Neil’s openness about where he gets his inspiration was extremely helpful to me. Even as a young man, he shows us how to look beyond the work of others in the genre and shares some of his favorite childhood influences with us.
In this class, he discusses a number of critical issues that are all too often overlooked:
- How to brainstorm together
- Tales can be told in several ways.
- How to put your unique stamp on a story
- Developing a keen eye for detail through simple observation
3. Finding Your Voice
Through reading, experimenting, and trial and error, Neil continues to teach us how to find our voice. Our stories will come to life and our writing will find its footing if we do this, according to him.
As a result of his insights, we now understand that making errors can be an important part of learning and growing as a person. That’s why I thought this was an excellent method for overcoming writer’s block, dealing with doubt, and acquiring the skills necessary to get started.
You can use the Workbook’s question prompts to begin your thinking about the tone of voice, point of view, and how to write persuasively…
4. Developing The Story
In my opinion, the course’s core material was covered in these classes. To begin, Neil asks, “How do you go from an idea to a story?”
As follows, Neil’s main focus is on
- Understanding the basics before starting a project
- Young writers’ blunders
- Defining the genre of fantasy writing
- How to write a story from beginning to end.
Neil uses case examples to demonstrate his ideas in these courses. On the other hand, he devotes an entire video lesson to analyzing the opening scene of The Graveyard Book.
There are helpful images interspersed throughout Neil’s lecture in MasterClass. To keep our attention, there are emphasized quotations (and even drawings) included in this section.
These are some of the best teachings I’ve come across in terms of structure. With the help of Neil, we are able to better comprehend portions of his works. Using real-world examples like these can help reinforce concepts and demonstrate how he employs them.
He also has a soothing reading voice, which is an added advantage. Even if this were the only reason for them to sign up for the course, I wouldn’t be surprised.
Neil encourages us to think about our imaginary universe beyond the mechanics of presenting a narrative. When it comes to creating believability in a story, worldbuilding is the key, according to him.
- Tell your tale by interacting with the people and places around you.
- Set the rules for your own universe.
- For inspiration, do some research.
- Open your eyes to new perspectives in books.
Neil’s humanity as a novelist really shone through in this portion for me. As a matter of fact, there was a lot of material that could be used by any budding author. Tells us he put off writing the book for nearly 20 years and even shows us one of the notebooks he brings around.
This special look into the thinking of the author makes creating a book appear more attainable. The writing was no longer out of reach, but anyone who worked hard enough could access it.
Learn how to take advantage of literary “rules” in this area. The following are some of Neil’s specialties:
- Playing with the reader’s preconceptions.
- Understanding and utilizing genre as a foundation for your work.
- Use a genre as a starting point for your work.
The unexpected connection between story and genre is one of his most important lessons. It’s a fresh way of looking at the genre and how it may be used to tell a story.
7. Overcoming Writer’s Block And Editing
Neil concludes his lesson by explaining how to overcome the sadness that comes from staring at a blank page and how to master the editing process (which he described as two-fold).
Method acting is taught, and he encourages us with questions to get us thinking about our draughts in the style of a supportive teacher.
Even more importantly, Neil’s method of deciding which parts of the final draught remain and which are discarded transformed my outlook on the whole process.
His words of encouragement and the reminder that “perfect does not happen in this universe” made us feel like we had been given a pep talk.
Neil Gaiman Masterclass Review: Is It Promising?
The MasterClass website promises Neil Gaiman’s course in the following ways:
- Find out how to express yourself in a unique way.
- Come up with unique concepts.
- High-quality character development may breathe life into your characters and bring them to life.
You’ll also discover Neil’s thinking on what drives a story—and open new portals to the stories within you.”
It seems to me that these promises are exceedingly large, especially for a nearly 5-hour session. I had thought that an author of Gaiman’s stature would be able to present a course that was simplified for beginners and provide practical writing tips for first-time fiction authors, but I was disappointed.
My confidence in Gaiman’s ability to fulfill his promise to teach me how to create my own voice and develop fresh ideas was bolstered after seeing the course trailer and reviewing the courses.
This class’s accompanying workbook promises that you’ll learn:
You’ll learn how to take your story out of its comfort zone, how to subvert the unexpected and how to tie disparate ideas together into something new.
In the end, was Neil Gaiman able to keep his end of the deal? Is he up to the task? That will be addressed at the conclusion of the review. I’d want to start with something about which I’m sure you are thinking.
Plans & Pricing – Neil Gaiman Masterclass Review
MasterClass offers three one-year membership options for Neil Gaiman’s writing course:
- As is customary, a yearly budget of $180 is used.
- As a bonus: $240 every year (equivalent to $20 per month), or around $240 per year
- For $276 per year (or $23 per month), you’ll be covered.
It’s ideal for single people who are most likely to use online learning at home to get the most out of their membership. Access to all 100+ courses including authors and writers like Malcolm Gladwell, Margaret Atwood, and James Patterson is still included in the Standard subscription.
You can also watch on a computer, TV, phone, or tablet, depending on your preference. It’s possible to watch on many devices, but you can’t download courses for offline viewing or watch them on multiple devices at once.
It’s better for couples to go with the Plus or Premium plans because MasterClass allows you to watch on multiple devices at once. Similar restrictions apply to Netflix’s subscription options.
People who wish to watch MasterClass on their way to work but don’t have a lot of data can benefit from the opportunity to save video courses for later viewing.
There is an option to combine Neil Gaiman’s program with other writing classes if the rates are too high. With 21 writing MasterClass classes available, the Standard plan costs just $8.57 per course. My money’s on this one.
What I Liked About Neil Gaiman’s MasterClass
It’s hard to do justice to the course’s length, which is close to 5 hours. Almost every time we watch one of Neil’s case studies, short tales, or even comics, we think he’ll spoil us.
As you’ll see below, Neil’s course has a lot to recommend it. However, I do not believe this course is perfect, and I will provide my suggestions for how it could be made better.
- Learn the Art of Professionally Crafting Your Words
- Make an Emotional Connection with Your Reader
- Ways to Make “Magic” Out of Short Stories
- A Workbook for Learning
- Motivate Yourself to Finish New Approaches to Writing Theory and Practice
- How to Create a Character Through Dialogue
Why Neil Gaiman’s MasterClass Might Not Be for You
I don’t recommend this lesson to everyone. Five reasons why you shouldn’t take the course.
1. This Is Not A Book-writing Course: In this course, you’ll learn about some of the most important literary principles. You won’t learn how to write a bestseller novel in a matter of weeks with this training. If you’re searching for a course that will give you a concrete return on your investment, this isn’t it. While this course may not be for everyone, if you want to learn more about the craft of writing and develop a better understanding of the writing process, this course is for you.
2. This Kind, Of Course, Requires Self-Discipline: As long as you put in the effort, you’ll reap the rewards. You won’t be evaluated and no one will be looking over your shoulder. To get the most out of the lectures and homework assignments, you’ll need to put in a lot of time and effort.
3. You Have To Read: Writers and readers are one and the same. People who don’t want to read are out of luck in this course.
4. It’s Gut-Level Advice, Not Specific Rules: No “how to outline” or “nitpicky grammar” advice will be given in this seminar. Those of you who have trouble accepting recommendations such, as “Make it taste sweet,” rather than, “Add four teaspoons of sugar,” may want to pass on this. There are no particular instructions for making this dish in this section. It’s all about getting your taste buds in shape for the future. That was effective for me. My recommendation for you is to go elsewhere for a course that teaches you about syntax and sentence structure, or story templates.
5. It Might Feel Familiar: If you’ve taken a lot of writing classes in the past, you may recognize some of this material. Is Gaiman actually saying anything new? No. He is simply organizing it to be more effective. They are so successful because he takes these pithy sayings off of Hallmark cards and into the real world, illustrates how they operate, and then invites us to make them our own. This course may not provide much new information if you’ve already attended multiple writing classes.
Neil Gaiman Masterclass Review: What Could Be Improved?
Insightful and pleasant, Neil’s lesson could have been much better. Before enrolling in the program, you might wish to think about the following things.
It’s difficult to avoid spoilers because he uses several of his own works as case studies (though Neil does his best to keep these to a minimum). Remember that Neil reveals some important story points in Coraline. Some students may be disappointed by this!
Having some familiarity with Neil’s works is an excellent starting point, but the Workbook provides summaries to assist you in better grasping the extracts.
2. Abstract Advice
The “nuts and bolts” of a good story are covered in Neil’s course, although even that is limited in scope. When it comes to such a course, it’s impossible to be completely objective.
In my opinion, Neil’s teaching style achieves a fair mix between abstraction and specificity; yet, in the beginning, sessions, some students may find Neil’s delivery style to be too vague.
Neil’s course might use a few on-screen bullets to help students remember the most important concepts. In addition to the Workbook, we are frequently left to decipher Neil’s lessons on our own, and his narrative style can be confusing at times.
3. Emphasis On Young Writers
The “young writer” appears to be Neil’s intended audience. Despite the fact that it’s a minor issue, it was frequently mentioned and seemed to exclude those who started writing later in life (or, those that had written for years and still wanted help).
When you consider Neil’s demography, it’s not surprising that his advice is tailored to those in their late teens and early twenty-something years.
In spite of this, I believe Neil could have gone a step farther and made everyone feel more included.
4. Lengthy Videos
The length of Neil’s videos may not be an issue for everyone, but it’s worth noting that some of them clock in at more than 30 minutes.
As a result, it can be challenging to stay focused on multiple films at once (especially alongside the Workbook). Actually, I needed to take many breaks in order for my newfound knowledge of a subject to stick.
Who Should Take This MasterClass Course?
The MasterClass by Neil Gaiman? Absolutely! If you have the opportunity to sign up, do so. Investing in this course will pay dividends in the form of a much-needed creative boost.
I was able to follow Gaiman’s recommendations despite the fact that most of them were already common knowledge. I was able to complete a brand-new short tale throughout the course, and for the first time in months, I’m looking forward to getting back to writing.
In spite of the fact that self-discipline is required, Gaiman and those who produce the program do a fantastic job of making every moment of it enjoyable. When you’re having so much fun watching, you could start to question when the work actually begins.
This is your chance to be inspired by the magic of writing, despite the fact that there are no precise rules to follow.
This seminar is for authors who aspire to rise above the rest. Those who desire to improve their writing abilities will find this useful. This is for writers who wish to create characters and settings that stay in the minds of their readers long after they’ve finished reading. Anyone who has felt artistically dead and needs some alchemical resurrection will benefit from this course.
Alternative Courses – Neil Gaiman Masterclass Review
MasterClass offers a variety of writing courses. Included among them, but not limited to, are
Margaret Atwood—Creative Writing
Dan Brown—Thriller Writing
Amanda Gorman — Poetry
David Sedaris—Storytelling and Humor
Joyce Carol Oates—The Art of the Short Story
Walter Mosley – Fiction and Storytelling
Billy Collins—Reading and Writing Poetry
Salman Rushdie – Storytelling and Writing
In order to assist you in determining whether or not a MasterClass is right for you, each one includes a brief trailer. For example, Dan Brown’s course is a good alternative to Neil’s if you prefer a more practical approach.
There are other options for online writing instruction besides MasterClass.
Udemy’s Creative Writing Masterclass and Skillshare’s Storytelling 101 are two noteworthy examples. An individual course on Udemy costs an average of $50, while Skillshare is a subscription service. If you’d like to learn more about the greatest courses on Udemy and Skillshare, you can check out our review pages.
Coursera and edX offer a variety of writing courses from major colleges if you prefer an academic setting and the possibility of earning a certificate upon completion.
There is a complicated pricing structure for these, but in general, many courses can be done for free, but the certificate must be paid for. More information is available on Coursera and edX.
Neil Gaiman Masterclass Review – Is It Worth It?
This course is a great investment if you want to learn how to write fiction. It exceeded my expectations in terms of breadth and depth, and it gave me the belief that I could write.
The course is open to everyone, but it’s mostly targeted at aspiring young authors.
As a whole, I enjoyed listening to Neil’s course since it struck me emotionally more than previous courses on writing. In Neil’s world, the audience is made to feel that they can accomplish everything they put their minds to.
Don’t forget that MasterClass subscriptions provide you access to over 150 classes, including 20 writing courses from the world’s best novelists, screenwriters, and poets.
You have nothing to lose by giving it a shot because there is a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much is Neil Gaiman’s MasterClass?
It costs $180 a year for a MasterClass all-access pass for one person (about $15 a month). Among the more than 150 courses you’ll get access to through this program are those by Neil Gaiman.
How long is Neil Gaiman’s MasterClass?
Just under 5 hours of viewing time for 19 videos.
Can you get Neil Gaiman’s MasterClass for free?
The course can’t be accessed for free in any form. If someone buys MasterClass for you as a present, this is the closest you can get. MasterClass, on the other hand, provides a free sample class and an online video to help individuals who are still undecided about taking the course.
Can you get a refund if you don’t like Neil Gaiman’s MasterClass?
If you bought the course through MasterClass, you can get a refund up to 30 days after purchase. It’s possible that the return policy of the company from which you purchased the item will apply in your case.
Which Writing Masterclass Is The Best?
James Patterson, Neil Gaiman, and David Sedaris are some of the greatest instructors for writing Masterclass courses. These courses address both fiction and non-fiction writing. ‘
What is the best Neil Gaiman books?
We have compiled a fantasy reading list for individuals curious about Gaiman’s work.
1) American Gods.
2) The Sandman.
3) The Ocean at the End of the Lane.
4) Good Omens.
6) A Study in Emerald.