Watch Intro Video

See what our Storytelling series is all about...

This course, Part 1 of the ‘Storytelling for Action’ series, will give you the building blocks and fundamental knowledge you need to effectively use narrative in any creative medium.

Course leader, award-winning documentary filmmaker Sophie Robinson, is joined by industry experts including Richard Brim from adam&eveDBB, Sir Alan Parker, and representatives from agencies including Ogilvy Roots and 4Creative.

Through a selection of videos, articles, discussions and D&AD Award-winning work, you will explore:

  • Why we use storytelling
  • How to build an effective story
  • How to build a story with a purpose
  • Understanding the building blocks of stories, including narrative structure
  • Knowing when to play by, and when to break the rules

Who is this course for?

This course is for everyone who wants to understand the tools needed to craft stories for effective communication.

Illustration by Lottie Hall.

Course curriculum

  • 1

    1.1) Intro

  • 2

    1.2) The fundamentals of story and narrative chapter Videos

    • 1.1 Welcome to Part 1, Storytelling: The Fundamentals

    • 1.2 Relentless storytelling with Richard Brim

    • 1.3 A Career in stories with Sir Alan Parker

    • 1.4 The building blocks of story

    • 1.5 Spotting the building blocks

    • 1.6 Finding stories

    • 1.7 Using the controlling idea

    • 1.8 Drawing narrative arcs

    • 1.9 The 7 basic plots

    • 1.10 Spotting the 7 plots

    • 1.11 Telling representative stories with Natalie Nahr

    • 1.12 Similarities in storytelling with Eoin McLoughlin

    • 1.13 Next steps...


Sophie Robinson

Sophie is a documentary filmmaker who has a strong reputation for telling impactful and powerful stories through the emotive characters that are at the core of her films. She is behind award winning films across the BBC, Discovery and Netflix from ‘Me, My Mouth and I’, to the highly acclaimed ’Nicola Roberts and The Truth about Tanning’. Her feature documentary ‘My Beautiful Broken Brain’ is a Netflix original, executive produced by David Lynch and nominated for an Emmy. Sophie has extensive experience working with brands such as Gucci, L’Oreal, Skype, Balmain, Victoria Beckham, Shazam, and Google.

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  • Who is this course for?

    Address common questions ahead of time to save yourself an email.

  • Is this course full-time/part-time?

    This course is designed to take around 6-8 hours to complete, but you can do this in your own time and at your own pace - all in one day, split over weeks or even across several months.

  • Will I get a certificate at the end of this course?

    Yes! Once you've completed the course you can request a certificate.

  • How long do I have access?

    You have 6 months to complete this course.

  • What does my tuition cover?

    Your tuition covers access to the course for a full 6 months, all the video content and downloadable worksheets.

  • Can I change my order?

    If you'd like to make any changes to your order then contact the team at [email protected] and we can help.

  • How can I contact an instructor?

    This course is self-directed and designed for you to complete by yourself, with the support of peers learning alongside you. If you need help, feel free to contact one of the D&AD team at [email protected].