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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.
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.
How to Build Story Hooks
You have to make readers want to read the book.
To do that, you have to hook them.
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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.
Read Worthy Fiction
Learn to write a novel by writing a novel!
Read Worthy Fiction is for everyone; the only thing you need is the desire to write a book.
It's designed to be run over 12 weeks, so you’ll dedicate a mere 30 minutes a day to your book, and you’ll write 500 new words in that time. That’s a medium-sized email – anyone can do it.
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Over 12 weeks you will acquire knowledge, tips and key insights into creative writing. Once you have completed the course, you will have learned everything you need to know to write your first novel, and you will have written your first novel.
Whether you have never written a story before, or you've already written and published several, this course will provide you with a solid foundation on which to build your writing career.
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
Inventing Original Stories from First Principles.
This is a course about stories, and about storytelling, over 6 lectures - an intro, four lessons, and a conclusion, by the end of which you will be able to take the analogy I have chosen - more - you'll be able to picture it well enough that you'll be able to carry it with you wherever you go, and use it at any time.
Through this course, you will discover the truth that underlies all stories - and that will enable you to trigger the reader's imagination, provoke the reader's desire to read your story.
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But also, you'll be able to invent new stories whenever you need them. No more searching the web or mining your mind for story prompts. You'll always be only a few simple questions and a comparison with a child's toy away from a great story idea.
Is it "child's play?"
No. You're going to have to engage yourself both imaginatively and intellectually - but that's a core skill for an author.
This course will help you to see what you're already doing right - understand why your best stories work so well.
This course will help you see what you're doing wrong - understand why some stories just don't seem to want to get written.
How to Master Simile, Metaphor and figurative language
Get to the Heart of Imagery, give your novel new depth, and touch the hearts of your readers.
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.
Creating Characters for Fiction
How to create characters for your novel that are unique, real and necessary.
"Kitless Character Creation" - conceive and develop characters without kits, tricks or gimmicks.
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
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.
3 Foundations of Author
Many successful authors are known for their unique or compelling "style."
But what is style, and how can you develop yours?
Writing style can seem mysterious. Is it about personality? Is it about unique creativity? Is it self expression? Is it manipulation?
Do authors choose their style, or does it develop naturally?
In this course I will dispel the mystery, and you will learn how to choose and apply style.
Build your writing style on solid creative and technical foundations
... through three critical relationships
- your relationship with language
- your relationship with words
- your style choices