Master long-arc storytelling

Become the kind of writer who expertly weaves several storylines at once, by analyzing the first season of HBO's series, Succession.

Master long-arc storytelling
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Learn the secret structure that separates good television from great television, because knowing why a story works is more valuable than knowing how a story works.

See what people are saying

        Since I began working with Jim, my understanding of narrative structure and the quality of my writing has grown leaps and bounds. He is an incredible teacher who is able to explain abstract, complex narrative theory in clear, practical ways. Get ready to see story structure in a whole new light.
Michael DiMartino
Michael DiMartino
co-creator/executive producer, Avatar: The Last Airbender & The Legend of Korra
        Jim Hull knows story better than anyone, from the big picture to the structural bones all the way down to the DNA. He can instantly spot points where the narrative has gone off track and identify solutions that ensure the story has deep meaning.
George Strayton
George Strayton
Writer/Co-Executive Producer, OCTOBER FACTION (Netflix)
        Jim Hull is the only story consultant I’ve ever met who goes beyond dumbing down an idea into a set of steps but instead guides you to flesh out your ideas, showing you where to find the depth and complexity in your story that will make it both satisfying and meaningful to the reader.
Sebastien de Castell
Sebastien de Castell
Bestselling author of twelve novels including Traitor’s Blade and Spellslinger
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The Secret Structure of Episodic Television

Who is this course for

01

Any writer who has felt overwhelmed at the idea of having to weave the multiple storylines needed to craft a compelling television series.

02

Any writer who thinks there is a different kind of structure to TV than there is to feature-film writing.

(There isn't 😊).

03

Anyone who dreams of writing epic stories with multiple characters and multiple storylines. Even in a format other than television.

Key outcomes

The Ultimate Story Structure Paradigm

Saving cats and heroic journeys are great when you're first learning story structure, but if you really want to take your understanding of story to the next level you're going to need something a bit more comprehensive. We'll make sure you learn it all. 🤓

The Structure of an Episode

While an episode might contain traces of other storylines, the best way to make a single episode feel complete is insure it contains one clear and persuasive dramatic argument. 💥

The Structure of a Season

Think the story structure of a season works differently than individual episodes, or a single feature-film?


We'll show you how it's all the same. 🤯

The Structure of a Series

Can you see where this is headed? Stories within stories within stories. If you want to pitch a series, you'll want to know what happens in every season.


You'll learn how to plan out years of storytelling by telling that one big story of the entire series. 🏆

Meet your instructor

James Hull
James Hull
Former animator/director turned story consultant

With over 25 years of experience in the animation industry as an animator, storyboard artist, and director, I know how important it is to get the story working as soon as possible.


My credits include writing & storyboarding for the legendary Warner Bros. director Chuck Jones, animating on at least 15 films for Disney and Dreamworks (Tarzan and EnchantedShrek 2, and How to Train Your Dragon), and directing for Sony Pictures Television and Dreamworks TV.


As a story consultant I helped develop the Disney animated series Tangled, consulted on Over the Moon and The Mitchells vs. The Machines for Netflix, and worked with several other novelists and screenwriters with their individual projects (Avatar: The Last Airbender's Mike DiMartino, Sebastien de Castell's popular book series, and Dave Collard's Blacklist 2020 spec script (#3), Neither Confirm, Nor Deny).


I'll share with you what I've learned working with these professionals to weave several stories together in the service of one big story. 😃

Course syllabus

01

Crash Course in Narrative Structure

Great TV shows are not just one story, they're many stories. But first, we need to cover the structure of one complete story. In this first module, you'll learn everything there is to know about story structure from a unique, objective, point-of-view (unlike any other paradigm).

02

Episode by Episode

Starting with the pilot episode and working our way to the season one finale, we will work our way through the first season of Succession, a phenomenal series from HBO. Each week will center on one episode: students will watch the episode on their own time, and then we'll gather together to cover that episode's unique narrative structure.

03

Previously On

Wrapping up the first season, we will take a look back at ALL the episodes and see how each works together to tell the ONE COMPLETE STORY of the first season. We'll even get glimpses into what storylines were setup for the following season.


By the end, you'll have a comprehensive understanding of how several stories flow into one story.

04

Creative Strategies in Other Genres

Having thoroughly examined one of the best seasons of TV ever produced, we turn our attention to other great series: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Cobra KaiStranger ThingsTrue Detective, and Westworld. While different and unique in their own respects, these series work because they tell complete stories through a thematically-rich Storyform.

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The Secret Structure of Episodic Television

Story structure inside of story structure

A quick snippet of what you'll learn in this class!

Learning is better with cohorts

Learning is better with cohorts
Active, not passive

This course focuses on live workshops and hands-on projects

Learn with a cohort of peers

You’ll be learning in public through breakout rooms and an engaged community

Learn with a cohort of peers

Surround yourself with like-minded people who want to grow alongside you

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I can’t make a live session?
What is the course schedule?
I work full-time, what is the expected time commitment?
What app are you using?
Is the homework really just watching TV?
Are you obsessed with Succession?
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The Secret Structure of Episodic Television