Tag Archive - Online courses

Nailing Your One-Sentence Story Concept

I’m launching my new online video course this month, so we’ve been taking a look at key elements novelists need to nail in order to construct a solid story. Whether you “pants it” or plot (see my recent post on that), your story concept has to be terrific to be worth not only your time (writing it) but also your reader’s time (reading it).

How can you expect anyone to devote ten or more of their precious hours to reading your novel if the concept is blah? Not a nice thing to subject anyone to. I, for my part, don’t want to waste anyone’s time, and I certainly don’t want my novels used to help put people to sleep (I’ve watched that malaise befall my husband many a night, but, thankfully, never when reading my novels).

I’m going to pull from a blog post I wrote a couple of years ago, when I was first gathering material for my upcoming (now published and very popular) book Layer Your Novel. I’m hoping you’ll see the value of taking the time to work on your story concept to ensure it’s a terrific one.

Be sure to check out my online course, too, if you want to master novel structure. Layering, starting with the ten key scenes, is the ticket. Believe me, I’ve seen many a novelist use this method to great success (and I hear a lot of praise for it week in and week out). Continue Reading…

Nail Your Ten Key Scenes ~ Half Off My New Online Course!

Writing a terrific novel is a complex endeavor. And while there are hundreds of books, podcasts, and blog posts that teach aspiring authors how to structure scenes and plot out a solid story, none implement the most intuitive and effective method for success.

Novels are made up of dozens of scenes, and regardless of genre, time-tested structure dictates what key scenes are needed and where. Most writers are familiar with some of those scenes: the Inciting Incident, the Midpoint, and the Climax, to name a few.

But novelists need more than a few landmarks to find their way across the tricky terrain of novel plotting.

They need a surefire method to organizing all their scenes.

In my new video course, you’ll be introduced to an innovative, intuitive method for arranging your scenes and crafting a beautifully structured story. Nearly every great story, whether a novel, a play, or a movie, follows this time-tested structure. And it isn’t all that hard! Continue Reading…

Learn Novel Writing from a Master Author via Masterclass.com

I’m excited to share with you a very cool course presented by MasterClass.com. This is an organization that is drawing in masters from many fields—music, novel writing, acting, sports—among others. While they only offer just a few courses at present, this endeavor holds a lot of promise. Since I’m about to create some of my own master classes on novel writing, I was excited to see what the likes of James Patterson offered, and decided to take a look around.

This course is on novel writing by the famous thriller writer James Patterson. I’ve read many of his novels, so I was excited to see an actual course presented by him. And it’s a deep, thorough one, well worth the money!

MasterClass.com is a San Francisco-based startup (my neck of the woods!) that launched in May.  What amazed me was the price: the whole course costs $90 US [as of 2019, the price has gone up to $180], which seems very reasonable considering what you get. Well, more than reasonable. It’s awesome!

There are four parts to the course. You get a series of twenty-two videos (about 3.5 hours’ worth) in which James Patterson talks about different aspects of the craft of creating fiction, from ideas to plot to characters to outlining. He covers dialogue, how to research and edit, and even goes into topics such as choosing a title and marketing tips. Continue Reading…

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