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Creating a Strong Romantic Arc

Join us and learn how to create a compelling love story that showcases a heartfelt, emotional connection between your main characters. In this course, you’ll learn about the classic beats to every romantic story arc, and you’ll gain insights on how to make the arc unique to your own story. We’ll also discuss internal and…

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Somewhere Cozy: Setting in the Cozy Mystery

Sherlock Holmes said, “The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.” From cookies to cats, waitresses to witches, murder to misdemeanors, a mystery happens somewhere, and in a cozy mystery, that setting is of the utmost importance, becoming a character all its own. We will take Sherlock’s line as…

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Writing Flash Fiction in One Sitting

“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” This six-word story, supposedly written by Ernest Hemingway, is often used to demonstrate how a whole story can be embedded in a small moment—in this case, a classified ad. In our one-time workshop, we’ll look at a number of pieces of flash fiction in order to uncover the deeper…

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Twenty Ways to Immediately Improve Your Writing 

In this seminar we’ll explore twenty (or more) proven methods to improve your writing. Many authors struggle with the same issues, often without knowing why they struggle. We all want to produce tighter, meaningful, more exciting prose, but how do we do it? Learning these twenty guidelines is a great step toward creating material that…

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You Talkin’ to Me? Writing Great Dialogue

With great dialogue, you can almost feel readers lean in to the page so they won’t miss a word. Every word counts. In this seminar, you’ll find the best ways to make your characters’ dialogue both dynamic and natural as well as unique to their specific character. You’ll discover how to avoid chit-chat and write…

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Stopping Writer’s Block

Every writer and aspiring writer’s biggest, baldest, meanest fear–the blank page. Writer’s block has plagued many a penman. But it is a bully easily beaten back with the right know-how. In this course, participants will gain a better understanding of why blocks occur and how to overcome them (or drill right through them!).

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The Power of Line Editing

Line editing involves editing sentence by sentence (or line by line) to upgrade the prose, always keeping craft in mind. A line edit ensures that your book’s content is consistent while its language is creative and concise. Publishers used to provide line editors for accepted manuscripts. No longer. You are now your own line editor.…

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Infusing Setting with Character in Fantasy Fiction

Setting in fantasy fiction is more than just the imaginary time and space where the plot happens, i.e. the neutral zone of conflict and action. In the best fantasy fiction, setting can approach the status of character, and in doing so holds the potential for externalizing otherwise obscured psychological, spiritual, and thematic concerns. Consider the…

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Creating a Great Antagonist

High school English class taught us that all stories have a protagonist and an antagonist. But when it comes to developing characters, the protagonist tends to get all the attention. In this workshop, we’ll turn our focus to antagonists and villains. In particular, we will discuss ways to ensure that our antagonists are as fully…

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Worldbuilding

In fiction, setting can be as an important a character as the people. And in speculative fiction, that character often needs to be built from the ground–and history, and culture, and physics–up. In this workshop, weâ’ll be tackling worldbuilding. What issues arise when you set a story in a world that’s not our own? How…

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