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Archive for August, 2008

I have two new courses starting at Writing Online Workshops, that I’d like to share with you. Maybe you’ll find one to your liking and decide to sign up!

Advanced Novel Writing Workshop, starting 9/11: The focus of this workshop is on writing and critiquing. The workshop consists of five three-week sessions. At the beginning of each session, you’ll submit 10,000 words (approximately 40 manuscript pages) to the instructor for review and for group critique. There will be no lectures, reading assignments or exercises for this workshop, but we’ll give you plenty of tips and reminders along the way. Plus, you’ll have full access to the Library and the Brain Spa for all the supplemental materials and creative exercises you want to take advantage of. Because you’ll be expected to submit your work at the beginning of each session, you should have your first 10,000-word submission AND a short synopsis of your novel (500 to 750 words maximum) prepared prior to the class start date. For more information or to register, go here: http://www.writersonlineworkshops.com/retail/courses.aspx?r=

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Writing the Novel Proposal, starting 9/18: Congratulations! For months, maybe years, you’ve worked diligently to craft well-rounded characters, map out every plot point and intricate sub-plot. You’ve researched your setting and made sure every detail is accurate. You’ve written and revised and revised some more and now—finally—your novel is finished. After you’ve taken a well-deserved break and toasted your accomplishment, it’s time to find a home for your masterpiece. But just how, exactly, do you go about finding an agent or editor, and—even more important—getting one of them to say “yes”? If your goal is commercial publication, you need to know how to approach the market the way successful novelists do—with a professionally presented novel proposal.

At the conclusion of this workshop, you’ll have developed a proposal package to submit to agents or editors—including query/cover letter and synopsis. You’ll also revise and polish the opening chapters of your novel (up to 12,000 words) with your instructor’s feedback. In addition, you’ll identify appropriate potential editors and agents to send your proposal when you’re finished.

This workshop consists of seven two-week sessions. Each session includes online lectures and associated textbook reading assignments, along with a writing assignment specifically related to your novel, which will be submitted to the instructor for private review at the end of the first week of the session. During the second week of each session, work will be posted for group critique. Throughout the workshop, you can participate in asynchronous lecture discussion and group critique sessions, and you’re encouraged to take advantage of ongoing informal discussions and posted self-directed writing exercises.

Please note: This workshop is ONLY for students with completed novel manuscripts; it is specifically intended to help you market your finished novel with the goal of commercial publication. For more information or to register, go here: http://www.writersonlineworkshops.com/retail/courses.aspx?r=

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Hope to see you in one or both workshops!

Liz

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Do you love reading a good mystery? Have you always wanted to write one? Writers Online Workshops offers an online workshop, “Essentials of Mystery Writing,” starting August 14–and I’m teaching it! So I thought I’d pass along the info to you.

This workshop helps you construct a compelling mystery plot, develop fascinating characters, plant clues, and keep your readers turning the pages, eager to find out what will happen next. During the Essentials of Mystery Writing workshop, you’ll have the choice of creating a brand new mystery story from scratch, or working with a story you already have in progress.

The workshop consists of six one-week sessions. Each session includes online lectures and associated textbook reading assignments, along with a writing assignment to be submitted to the instructor for private review. In addition, your work will be posted each session for group review and feedback. Throughout the workshop, you’ll be able to participate in lecture discussion and be encouraged to take advantage of ongoing informal discussions and posted self-directed writing and creativity exercises.

To learn more or to sign up for the course, visit <a href=”http://www.writersonlineworkshops.com/retail/courses.aspx?r=essentials-of-mystery-writing”>Writers Online Workshops</a>.

Another upcoming workshop I’m teaching is “Fundamentals of Fiction Writing,” starting August 28.  Writing fiction can be an exciting and enjoyable creative outlet, giving voice to the characters who fill your imagination. Putting your fantasies on paper can be a satisfying exercise in and of itself. But at some point, if you’re really serious about your fiction, you’ll need to acquaint yourself with the techniques generations of fiction writers have used to bring their characters and stories to life. The goal of this workshop is to provide you with an understanding of these fundamental techniques and to encourage—-through the use of creativity exercises, hands-on writing assignments and constructive critical feedback—-the development of your individual style and creative expression.

You don’t have to decide yet whether your ultimate goal is a collection of short stories or The Great American Novel, because the focus in this workshop will be on the development of effective creative writing techniques that can be applied to any long or short fiction form. You’ll learn how to develop believable characters and let them speak—-and act-—for themselves. You’ll learn how to set the stage, and make readers feel as if they’re right there with your characters. You’ll learn the basics of plot—-enough to prepare you to tackle any kind of fiction project.

This workshop consists of six two-week sessions. Each session includes online lectures and associated textbook reading assignments, along with writing assignments incorporating the techniques learned in the session, which you’ll submit to the instructor for private review at the end of the first week of the session. During the second week of each session, your work will be posted for group review and feedback. Throughout the workshop, you’ll be able to participate in lecture discussion and encouraged to take advantage of ongoing informal discussions and posted self-directed writing and creativity exercises.

To learn more or to sign up for the course, visit <a href=”http://www.writersonlineworkshops.com/retail/courses.aspx?r=fundamentals-of-fiction-writing”>Writers Online Workshops</a>.

Hope to see you at one or the other–or both!

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