Cinematic Sizzle

12-Week Master Class with a Critique Group Component

COST: $200/month for 3 months (total $600 US)
WHERE: Weekly on Zoom
WHO: Intermediate to Experienced Fiction Writers

Come participate in this unique, powerful master class that will transform the way you construct scenes and teach you to strategically “storyboard” for greatest impact. We’ll be drawing from the technique elucidated in my writing craft book Shoot Your Novel, which presents an innovative and intuitive method to writing fiction–and so much more!

Sol Stein, in his book Stein on Writing said, “Readers, transformed by film and TV, are used to seeing stories. The reading experience . . . is increasingly visual.” Fiction writers today—regardless of genre—need to learn cinematic storytelling because that’s what readers want!

Best-selling authors of every genre know the secret to hooking readers—by showing, not telling, their story. But writers are not taught how to “show” scenes in a cinematic way. Without a clear, concise, and precise method for constructing dynamic scenes, a writer will likely end up with a flat, lifeless novel.

Filmmakers, screenwriters, and movie directors utilize cinematic technique to create visual masterpieces, and novelists can too—by adapting their methods in their fiction writing.

By “shooting” your novel, you can supercharge your story!

During class time, we’ll be looking at cinematic scenes from best-selling novels that sizzle, each week focusing on specific camera “angles” and ways to craft an “image system” of metaphor, motif, theme, and symbolism in your story. Yes, we’re going to go deep!

And the best part is, you’ll be applying what you learn immediately each week in your own writing, to make sure you fully grasp the technique. In addition to having your critique group give you feedback, I’ll be selecting various students’ scenes to use as examples and to teach from. Get ready to work hard and learn hugely!

Shooting your novel with a filmmaker’s eye will transform your good novel into a great one and will change forever the way you approach constructing your scenes. No other course will give you such deep, thorough instruction in cinematic storytelling for fiction writing.

The Critiquing Component

During Covid, I taught more than 200 writers online, all placed in intimate critique groups to help them immediately apply the technique they were learning. It was an amazing, innovative experience.

You may have been in a critique group in the past (or are in one currently). It may or may not have been helpful. What’s most helpful is to be in a group with seasoned, published authors and/or a facilitator who is a writing coach and novelist (like me!). And that’s what you’ll get in this course.

What makes this master class so advantageous and effective is the targeted approach to critiquing, which I’ve never seen done anywhere else. But it makes the most sense! As you learn specific techniques, you’re going to utilize them in the scene you’re working on, and when you submit that scene to the critiquers in your small group, they are going to specifically be examining how well you mastered that technique. 

This critique process, while time-consuming, is going to help you immediately apply what you’re learning, and by looking for these elements in others’ scenes, it will help you see what works and what doesn’t. And you will learn how to revise better.

In addition, you don’t get “stuck” with one critique “partner” the whole 12 weeks. Rather, your small group will be rotating so that each week you’ll have different writers going over your scene and commenting.

Don’t worry if you’ve never critiqued before! I will show you exactly what you need to do. And, think about it—you’re a reader! You know what works and doesn’t when you read a scene. You can tell when a scene bores you, excites you, confuses you, and what areas need work. It’ll be fun and educational. Stretch yourself!

Here’s how it works:

  • Each week after the Zoom session, you’ll prepare a scene to submit and upload to an online folder for your group by a specific day and time (deadline).
  • You’ll grab two scenes from the folder to critique (and I’ll go into much more detail about this whole process in our first Zoom session). Then once you’ve completed the critique, you’ll email it to the writer.
  • A rotation schedule will be set up so that you critique a different writer’s scene each week, and different writers in your group will critique yours. You’ll see how this works! This way you get a wide range of responses on your scenes.

Note: You do not have to participate in a critique group if you don’t want to (though you will make faster, better progress in applying these techniques if you do!).

Some of the critique groups I set up in 2020 are STILL meeting every month! My hope is that you will gel with your group and you’ll all want to keep going and helping one another. Many of these writers have since published the books they were working on during the master class. You can do it too!

So, enroll now (space is limited!) by clicking on the button. You’ll pay for the first month and fill out a form so I can figure out what group to put you in. Groups will have no more than 8 people in them (well, that’s the plan—sometimes we have an extra person or two and the group has to be a little larger).

I’ll then be in touch with you via email to get you ready for your master class. Day and time will be set up based on when you all can meet on Zoom, and you’ll get links and instructions for the sessions and the online folder.

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