Get the tools you need to turn your ideas into stories!
In this 8-week course, you'll learn how to write short stories using the fundamental building blocks of fiction.
It's all about craft: Discover the secret structure that will help you shape any story. Learn how to create complex characters, write a suspenseful plot, choose the best point of view for your story, get your characters talking, pace your story with the right balance of scene and summary, and more.
Outcome: By the end of the class, you will have written and revised at least two short stories or novel chapters, and you will have a strong understanding of narrative craft.
Structure: Every week, you'll get new video and written lessons and a related assignment to help you practice what you've learned.
Dates: This course begins the moment you enroll and lasts for eight weeks. As soon as you enroll, you'll receive a welcome email. After that, work through the class one module at a time, week by week, or work at your own pace.
Each module includes writing assignments to help you practice what you've learned and deepen your understanding of the material, as well as suggestions for further reading.
If you've always wanted to write fiction but don't know where to begin, this course is for you. Taught by a New York Times bestselling author with more than a decade of experience teaching creative writing at the university level, WRITING FICTION provides a great foundation for anyone interested in writing and publishing short stories or novels.
Module One: Structuring the Story
Plot and structure are not the same! Learn the difference, and see how an improved structure can take your story from blah to brilliant. Discover the secret structure that you can use to shape any story.
Module Two: An In-Depth Look at Point of View
Who is telling the story? From what distance? Explore the pros and cons of four very different point-of-view options and discover which point of view is right for your story.
Module Three: The Character-Driven Story
Learn to create complex characters whose motivations and desires drive your story.
Module Four: Let's Talk! How to Write Great Dialogue
Get your characters to talk. Learn how to deepen characterization through dialogue, and how to create conversations that progress the plot.
Module Five: It's All About the Senses: Setting and Description
Learn how to ground your reader in place, and how to make the world of for story come alive through sensory details.
Module Six: Plot & Suspense: How to Keep Your Reader Turning Pages
Learn how to create suspense and how to construct a strong beginning, middle, and end.
Module 7: The Key to Pacing: Scenes and Summary
Every story or novel is made of scenes and summary. The way you expand or compress the events of your story is the key to pacing. Learn how to strike just the right balance between scene and summary to keep your story or novel moving forward.
Module Eight: Revising and Publishing Your Story
You have a draft and you're ready to roll, right? Not so fast. The story isn't finished until you've revised. Learn how to identify weak spots in your story, improve pace through line edits, and find your story's true beginning and ending.
About the instructor: Michelle Richmond is the author of four novels, including the New York Times bestseller The Year of Fog, and two award-winning story collections. She has taught in the MFA programs in creative writing at the University of San Francisco, California College of the Arts, Bowling Green State University, and St. Mary's College of Moraga, serving as Distinguished Visiting Writer at the latter two institutions. She has also served as Visiting Scholar at Notre Dame de Namur University, and she teaches writing online for Stanford Continuing Studies.