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New in January 2019

How to Write Award-Winning Science Fiction Short Stories

There are two big take-aways in this course:

  1. The strategy for entering and winning writing competitions and awards in general

  2. A technique for conception and development of a powerful Science Fiction story

By combining the two, you have can learn a complete process to win an award for an SF short story, but...

Ha! When isn't there a 'but' ?

Look - my main aim as a writing coach is never to try to tell you some quick route to success. My main aim is always to teach you how to become a better writer; to guide you towards mastering your art. If you've done any of my other courses, you'll know that there's going to be some difficult concepts and some hard work for you to do.

And - of course, no one can promise you success in an award or a competition, any more than anyone can promise you success in writing. But there's a lot you can do to greatly improve your chances.

And most of all, if you write the kind of short stories that I'm teaching you to write, you can use them to get attention - from new readers, from agents, from commissioning editors, from periodicals. Great short stories are both an education in themselves, and a powerful marketing tool.

So I hope you'll put in the hard work, and I hope you'll let me know how you get on.

How to Use Genre to Sell More Books

There's a lot more overlap between creating a great story and marketing a book to readers and publishers than most book creators are prepared to admit.

Genre is probably the single biggest factor in satisfying two critical requirements of a successful book:

  1. That the readers who are going to love the book can find out it exists

  2. That the readers' expectations are met, in a way that makes them want to come back for more.

This short course will teach you the two primary reasons why genre exist, and by giving you access to the underlying principles, enable you to leverage not just the idea of genre, but also some of the most important principles in generating quick and effective reader satisfaction.

One of these lessons is an outline of how to teach yourself what you absolutely have to know about the genre of your own work - not just how to describe it correctly, but how to describe it for readers, agents and publishers, to be sure you reach your audience as quickly as possible.

In this course, I'm using a mixture of knowledge and experience about sales and marketing that I've accumulated during my career as a writing coach, and linking it to the creative process.

This course is free because I think it's a great complement to any of my other courses.

So whatever reason you have for telling stories, whatever reason you have to become an author, to write fiction; whether you want to self-publish your novel or you want to find an agent or publisher, this course will help you not only to sell it, but to conceive and write your book. 

Click the course image to enrol. (Or sign up to my mailing list at the top of the page to enrol but pay less!)

Science Fiction Sisters:

Space Opera and Space Adventure

Space Opera

As well as providing a short history of the genre, and the main conventions that define the genre, you will learn:

  • How to build an SF Universe suitable for Space Opera
  • How to create characters for Space Opera
  • How to compose a group of main characters
  • How to conceive and design the plot of a Space Opera

Space Adventure

As well as providing a short history of the genre, and the main conventions that define the genre, you will learn:

  • How Space Adventure world building depends on character and story
  • How to create the right kind of characters for Space Adventure
  • How the characters in Space Adventure interract
  • How to conceive and design the plot of a Space Adventure
  • How to bring drag this old genre into the 21st century

Science Fiction Sisters Courses – Obtaining Both!

Click here for information on obtaining both courses.

How to Connect to your Reader
(POV and Psychic Distance)

"This is art, not engineering. Storytelling is social, not mechanical"

The bottom line I teach to all my authors is that nothing will make your next book sell better than ensuring readers read your current book to the end.

The foundation of ensuring readers want to read to the end is that readers care about your characters. This course is about making sure readers care, by ensuring that you, the author, form a connection with the reader, and ensuring that your readers connect with your characters.

In this course you will learn how to choose, combine, and apply a suite of techniques that will define your approach to narrative - your technique and your style. You will learn how to make these choices consciously and with care.

Most of all, you will learn alternatives to Point-of-View and "Show-don't-Tell" - including the most powerful narrative technique of all, Psychic Distance

In this course you will learn:

  • Narrator Grammar
  • Narrator Identity
  • Combining identification, empathy and sympathy
  • Framing
  • Filtering
  • Psychic Distance
  • Point of view
  • + half a dozen additional tools and techniques for applying these principles

This course was inspired in part by a Moatcast about POV, but most especially by the work of Emma Darwin and her incomparable blog, This Itch of Writing.

Click Here to get access

Cozy Mysteries are the ones where there's a body (usually in a library), a small group of suspects, each of whom has something to gain or something to lose, and a great detective who, by chance or by design, is there to solve the conundrum of... Whodunnit?

This is a course designed to teach some of the core principles of storytelling by teaching you how to write a Cozy Mystery.

In this course you will learn:

  • What makes a Cozy cozy
  • The basic structure of a cozy
  • The various types and styles, and
  • How to put the types and styles into practice
  • How to build stories around "Revelation" in a way that will satisfy readers
  • ... and be sure your story is classified as a Cozy Mystery, so that everyone who loves the genre will buy your book.

Click here to get access

How to Write Cozy Mysteries

"Mystery writing can be summed up as starting with the discovery that something is lost or that something is found; usually what's lost is a life and what's found is a corpse."

Cozy Mysteries are the ones where there's a body (usually in a library), a small group of suspects, each of whom has something to gain or something to lose, and a great detective who, by chance or by design, is there to solve the conundrum of... Whodunnit?

This is a course designed to teach some of the core principles of storytelling by teaching you how to write a Cozy Mystery.

In this course you will learn:

  • What makes a Cozy cozy
  • The basic structure of a cozy
  • The various types and styles, and
  • How to put the types and styles into practice
  • How to build stories around "Revelation" in a way that will satisfy readers
  • ... and be sure your story is classified as a Cozy Mystery, so that everyone who loves the genre will buy your book.

Click here to get access

STORY HOOKS

When you buy a book in a shop, you can open it to chapter one and start reading. If it doesn't grab you right away, you can put it straight back on the shelf.

If you buy an e-book online, you can look at the first few pages for free, and decide in exactly the same way, if you want to read the rest.

So as an author, how do you write the first few pages to ensure that the reader will buy your book? 

You have to make them want to read the rest. 

To do that, you have to hook them.

In this short course I will show you the techniques I have been teaching to authors for a decade. I will show you not just how, but why hooking works, so that you won't need a formula, you won't need a clever or original idea. 

You'll know how to promise the reader exactly what they want, and never disappoint.

Click Here to get access.

Read Worthy Fiction

RWF is a course, hosted on Udemy, for new writers, to guide you through the process of completing your first manuscript.
Get started.

"The Top" - What is a Story?

What is a Story? is for anyone who wants to learn to write good stories, anyone who wants to be able to create unlimited numbers of original story ideas, and wants to do so by studying the basic principles.
Get started.

Author Authority: 

How to win readers' respect and trust in you and your novel

What is "Author Authority?"

There's more to a reader's involvement with a book and its author than just entertainment. So there's more to keeping readers reading than just drama and excitement.

Fiction is always about people, and for a reader, the most important people are the author and the reader. In this course you will learn:

  • how NOT to exhaust and discourage your reader with an excess of pace, tension, excitement and drama
  • how to feed a reader's desire to learn while reading, to give a reader a richer and more satisfying experience
  • how to communicate your thoughts and feelings to the reader without intruding on the reader's experience or breaking immersion
  • how to balance truth and untruth, fiction and reality, to give a reader an intense experience
  • the true nature of dragons, and why you find them in almost all stories (not just in fairytales and fantasy!)

As with all my courses, these are techniques that are not intended to provide you with a quick fix or a formula. This course will deepen your understanding of the relationship between the author and the reader, and provide you with practical tools and techniques to make use of, and to enrich, that relationship.

This course comes with practice exercises that build on and add to what you will learn in the lessons.

Click Here to get access.

Heart Of Imagery

You use simile and metaphor in your writing all the time. You probably use it without realizing. And you probably make all sorts of unconscious errors, even when you are trying to use imagery to best effect.

Heart of Imagery is the decade I've spent teaching and learning from authors, compressed into a few powerful lessons.


Get started.

Kitless Character Creation

How to create characters for your novel that are unique, real and necessary.

If you're writing a novel you already know that a novel needs characters.

  • But where do characters come from?
  • How do you invent characters that are compelling, convincing and realistic?
  • What sort of characters does your story need?

Kitless Character Creation is a set of tools and techniques wrapped around one big idea: 

Characters are created at the same time as the story.

Once you've grasped the relationship between characters and story, and how they interact during the creative process, you will find it much easier to create and manage your characters, to recognize their purpose and role in the story, and you'll see much more easily how your characters affect your readers.

In this course, you will learn how to use this relationship, and how it relates to all the common features of creating and developing characters:

  • introducing new characters
  • describing what characters look like
  • describing what characters think and feel
  • how the reader should get to know your characters
  • the effect of narrative voice and point of view on characters


Get started.

Poetry in a Few Words

I use poetry to teach people better communication. It's the ultimate workout for your linguistic, presentational and public-speaking muscles.
Poetry can help you in your chosen career - whatever it might be. Poetry can even help you to land your dream job!

  • Write a short poem that includes both rhyme and rhythm.
  • Know the basics of "hearing the beat"
  • Grasp the rudiments of Tumpty Notation


Get started.

3 Foundations of Style

3 Foundations of Style is for all authors and writers, with lessons and exercises to teach you how to become a master of style.
Get Started

Ten Exercises for Writers and Authors

I regularly create exercises to help authors to work on specific aspects of the creative process, in particular in linking the creative, imaginative work to the work of getting words on the page. This is a selection of ten exercises with short lessons and explanations.

You can either do the Standard version where you can do the exercises offline and share your ideas, questions and work with other students, or the Premium version where you can submit your work to me for personalized feedback, advice and suggestions for further practice.

Get The Standard Version from Udemy


Click here to email me: harry@densewords.com

(February 2019 Fantasy course, use the link above to send me information & images)