September 11, 2019
$315 | 8 Weeks
You want to write, but you don’t know where to start. Fiction or nonfiction? Article, short story, or how-to book? Who do you want to write for — children, teens, adults? There is a type of writing that is best suited for you, and the discovery process can be a rewarding adventure. Together, we will explore the various forms of writing and help you identify those you most enjoy and the ones at which you excel.
The class is designed for the individual writer and is formatted using questions that will provoke thought and discussion among students. The questions are focused on a variety of areas that concern the writer, some of which are:
- The writing life: Why do I want to write? Is there a theme emerging in my writing? Do I have to write?
- Whether to write fiction or nonfiction: Would I rather research facts or tell stories? Do I need structure and organization or can I let my imagination go? Would I rather interview people for the truth or create my own truth in the characters that I develop myself?
- The audience: I’m in a bookstore; on which shelf do I see my book? What age group am I most comfortable with? As a writer, am I more motivated to teach or to inspire?
We’ll explore how to approach the publishing industry in the way that best fits you, whether you’re contacting an agent or an editor, whether you’re writing a query letter or a book proposal. In this workshop you’ll have the opportunity to write in several different forms and learn everything you need to know to launch a successful writing career.
Week One: The Writer and the Personal Experience Story
In this first class, we discuss who you want to be as a writer, where your writing passion comes from, what drives you, how you envision writing success, as well as more practical things such as what writers do to keep themselves motivated; join critique groups, start an idea file, create a writing mission statement, etc. Assignment: To write a personal experience story
Week Two: The Manuscript and the How-To Article
This class focuses on the creator’s relationship to his or her creation, in this case the writer’s relationship to the manuscript. We will talk about how to find your true voice for each different piece you write, how to focus your topic, keep the tone consistent, and how to make sure each piece we write has that crucial element called “reader-take-away,” and so much more. Assignment: To write a how-to article
Week Three: The Audience and the Humor Piece
Our audience is the focus of this class. Questions thrown out are designed to help you think through who you want to write for and why. Those who are on a spiritual journey of some kind may want to write for the inspirational market while the career-minded may want to write for those consumed by business dreams. What about the self-help market? At some point in your writing life, you might want to pin down your primary audience. Assignment: To write a humor piece
Week Four: The Breadth and Depth and the Personal Essay
Every writer has a tendency to write short or long (short story and article length versus novel and nonfiction book length) and in this class we’ll discuss the attraction of both as well as the resources needed for both. Many writers, of course, work on short pieces and book length manuscripts simultaneously. We’ll identify the kind of writer who is able to do this and how to keep all of those plates spinning without a major breakdown. Assignment: To write a personal essay
Week Five: The Genre and Writing the Other Person’s Story
Whether you choose to write fiction or nonfiction, you can ask certain questions to help you begin to understand which of these you’re best at and why. Would you rather research ideas and interview real people or create imaginative story worlds and develop characters? In this class we discuss the two forms and what it takes to write for each. Assignment: To write the other person’s story: profile, Q & A or as-told-to
Week Six: Nonfiction and the Research Article
This class looks at the various types of nonfiction writing available; feature articles, essays, personal experiences, how-to articles and books, opinion pieces, humor articles, inspirational pieces, as-told-to articles and books, personality profiles, business articles, greeting cards, and much more. With the endless choices, how do you choose where to put your writing energy? Assignment: To write a summary for a research article
Week Seven: Fiction and the fictional Story
Fiction stories, whether short or novel length, vary in form in the same way nonfiction articles and stories do, and there are as many from which to choose. In this class, you’re asked to explore which type resonates for you; romance, sci-fi or fantasy, horror, literary or mainstream, mystery, etc. We’ll take a brief look at an overview of the fictional form so that you can familiarize yourself with the elements necessary to create quality fiction. Assignment: To write a fiction piece
Week Eight: The Market and Moving Forward
Agents, editors, and the publishing industry are very much a part of every published writer’s life. In this class we discuss how you can make your most professional approach. You can learn to navigate the industry so that it doesn’t overwhelm you, to control and manage your own writing career before you turn your talents over to the industry, to think like an agent/editor. Assignment: To write a query letter and your intention for your writing, going forward.