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AI-Powered Storytelling Essentials

3 Weeks


Cohort-based Course

Learn how to pair cutting-edge AI tech with a predictive narrative framework, all in service of writing a complete and engaging story.

Previously at

Warner Bros.
Sony Pictures Animation

Course overview

Mastering Narrative Innovation: Harnessing AI for Compelling Storytelling

Embark on a transformative journey where traditional storytelling meets cutting-edge AI. If you're intrigued by the potential of LLMs (Large Language Models) in crafting narratives but unsure where to start, this course is your gateway to becoming a storytelling innovator.

With my background at Disney, Dreamworks, Netflix, and as a contributor to Canada's 2023 Oscar contender, I bring you a unique blend of narrative expertise and AI know-how. This course isn't just about learning story structure; it's about mastering the art of asking the right questions to AI, guiding it to enrich your narrative vision.

Discover how to blend a solid narrative framework with the predictive power of AI. Learn to anticipate plot developments and character arcs, ensuring they align seamlessly with your story's core message. This approach transforms the writing process, allowing you to move confidently from concept to completion, avoiding common pitfalls like the '2nd Act doldrums.'

And what's even more unique about this class is that--not only do I have the professional storytelling background--but I also was the sole developer of the AI app we'll be using in class from the ground-up. Since 2017, Subtxt has been serving storytellers the world over. Now, it's your turn to take advantage of this unique approach to narrative.

Join over 120 students who have already unlocked the secrets of AI-assisted storytelling. In six weeks, you'll gain not just knowledge, but the skills to craft stories that resonate, captivate, and leave a lasting impact. Whether you're a screenwriter or novelist, this course is designed to elevate your storytelling from ordinary to extraordinary. Get ready to redefine narrative creativity and craft stories that aren't just written, but ingeniously engineered.

(This is the Essential version of the AI-Powered Storytelling workshop. For a more comprehensive course, please check out Advanced AI-Powered Storytelling).

Who is this course for


Fiction writers (screenwriters, novelists, playwrights, etc.) who feel stuck when it comes to finishing their stories.

(Non-fiction too!)


Anyone who recognizes that a story has the power to transform the hearts and minds of people all over the world.


Artists who believe that leveraging cutting-edge AI tech maximizes and accelerates one's ability for self-expression.

What you’ll get out of this course

Enhance your storytelling with AI Insights and Advanced Narrative Techniques

Discover how to effectively interact with Large Language Models (LLMs) for dynamic storytelling. This course hones your ability to pose impactful questions to LLMs, steering their responses by engaging with a unique and predictive narrative framework.

Gain a complete understanding of your story through the Four Throughlines concept

Dive into Objective Story, Main Character, Obstacle Character, and Relationship Story as unique facets of a narrative mind. This holistic view elevates your storytelling, offering a complete, actionable approach to any narrative.

Master the mechanics of plot and craft resonant characters

Get hands-on with plot structure, conflict, and resolution. Shift gears to develop multi-dimensional characters. By blending both, you'll create a balanced, compelling narrative that is both "character-driven" and "plot-driven".

Equip yourself with your story's unique Storyform to stay on track with your chosen theme

Master the Storyform to build a robust storytelling framework. From Storypoints to Storybeats, Drivers to Transits, you'll draft a detailed treatment that serves as fertile ground for a captivating, complete story (and find out what happens in each and every Act). 😃

This course includes

3 interactive live sessions

Lifetime access to course materials

9 in-depth lessons

Direct access to instructor

2 projects to apply learnings

Guided feedback & reflection

Private community of peers

Course certificate upon completion

Maven Satisfaction Guarantee

This course is backed by Maven’s guarantee. You can receive a full refund within 14 days after the course ends, provided you meet the completion criteria in our refund policy.

Course syllabus

Expand all modules

    What people are saying

            An abundance of riches all around. I’ve taken multiple online writing courses over the years, but this one covers material you’ll not find anywhere else. Note to newcomers: Be prepared for a lifelong study to grasp these concepts and their full implications...Fortunately, Jim is the perfect guide to navigate you through the wilderness


    Author title
            I’m the type of person who prefers to learn at my own pace, so I’m never interested in cohorts. But I had gotten to a point where I had reached a limit of what I could comprehend about Subtxt and Dramatica on my own. I needed help, so I signed up for this cohort. And I’m glad I did! It was priceless.


    Novelist, Vaudeverse LLC

    Meet your instructor

    James Hull

    James Hull

    🎩 Many Hats, One Mission: Animator, storyboard artist, director, story consultant—you name it, I've done it. 

     🛠️ AI App Builder: solo-developed Subtxt from the ground-up to serve storytellers across the 🌎

    🎬 Notable Projects:

    • Shaped Disney's Tangled series
    • Contributed to Canada's Oscar pick for 2023, Eternal Spring

    🌟 Impact & Influence:

    • Collaborated with Mike DiMartino (Avatar: The Last Airbender), Sebastien de Castell (acclaimed novelist), and Dave Collard (Blacklist 2020 Top 3 Spec Script)
    • Mentored creators behind hits like The Mitchells vs. The Machines and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

    🕰️ 25+ Years in Animation: Worked on 15+ films for Disney and Dreamworks, including TarzanShrek 2, and How to Train Your Dragon.

    📝 Learned from Legends: Written & storyboarded for Warner Bros.' Chuck Jones; directed for Sony Pictures Television and Dreamworks TV. World's leading expert on Dramatica (thanks to the theory's co-creators 🙏).

    ✨ My Goal: Teach you to nail the story early—saving you time and drafts. 

    🚀 Ready to Write? Let's dive into your first draft, done right, the first time around!

    Jim has taught over 120+ students on Maven (not to mention the countless hundreds at CalArts and thousands over the years). You can find a comprehensive 6-week version of this class here:

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    Course schedule

    2 hours per week
    • Mondays

      12:00pm PST

      We'll meet to workshop your story at the start of every week.

    • Weekly projects

      2 hours per week

      Take-home projects will be handed out to help build on concepts learned in class. Feel free to bring your latest story idea. If you don't have one, I'll show you how to quickly develop one in class.

    Free resource

    Unlocking a Complete Story with AI

    Unlock the secrets of storytelling with this downloadable PDF! Master the Four Throughlines, a technique endorsed by professionals, and transform your story ideas into compelling narratives. Gain a sneak peek into the AI-Powered Storytelling Essentials workshop and learn how complex narrative concepts can elevate your writing skills. Download now and start writing stories that leave a lasting impact!

    Get this free resource

    Learning is better with cohorts

    Learning is better with cohorts

    Active hands-on learning

    This course builds on live workshops and hands-on projects

    Interactive and project-based

    You’ll be interacting with other learners through breakout rooms and project teams

    Learn with a cohort of peers

    Join a community of like-minded people who want to learn and grow alongside you

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What happens if I can’t make a live session?
    What is your real-world experience developing stories professionally?
    I work full-time, what is the expected time commitment for assignments?
    What is the community experience like?
    What is Subtxt?
    What is Narrative First?
    How does this Cohort relate to the Narrative First Workshop?
    What time is the class? How long do they last?
    What will I leave the course with? What will I have learned?
    What happens at the end of the course? Will you completely abandon me?
    Can I defer my enrollment to a future workshop?
    Are there any fees for deferring to a later cohort?
    How do I defer my enrollment to a future cohort?
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    Be the first to know about upcoming cohorts

    AI-Powered Storytelling Essentials


    Bulk purchases