Classes

I attend several conferences every year and I often teach classes on some aspect of writing. If you’re interested in having me teach at your conference, event or writing group, please drop me a line via the contact page. I am local to the Atlanta area and am especially happy to work with groups within a reasonable distance.

Classes I currently teach:

No Pulling Punches: Learn to Write Great Action Scenes (Class time: One hour to ninety minutes – flexible)

What makes a fight scene exciting? What makes a sex scene hot? How do you know when it’s too long? Or too short?

Action scenes aren’t always easy to write, but there are certain tips and tricks we can incorporate to make them more realistic, more vivid. In this class, we’ll learn about some of the things that make for great action and we’ll play with different ideas to bring out the excitement in them. We’ll explore some mechanics of writing, including how to stay in your character’s point of view during the action, but we’ll also figure out how much detail is too much or not enough and how to keep the scenes tight and on target.

Come prepared to do a little bit of writing, a little bit of roleplaying and have a lot of fun!

Manuscript Corsetry: Tighten Up That Story! (Class time: 90 mins minimum to 2 hours)

“Writing is rewriting.  A writer must learn to deepen characters, trim writing, intensify scenes.  To fall in love with the first draft to the point where one cannot change it is to greatly enhance the prospects of never publishing.”  – Richard North Patterson

Revisions. Most writers hate them.

How do I start? What do I focus on? How do I grab my reader? What if everything just sucks?

A secret: The first draft always sucks. Okay, it’s not really a secret, but it is true. In this class, we’ll figure out how to take that sucky first draft, slip the revision corset on, tighten everything up and come out with a gorgeous, well-shaped, polished draft.

Things we’ll cover: Re-envisioning your manuscript, structural issues, mechanics, stylistic concerns, leaving your favorite scenes on the cutting room floor (also known as: kill your babies – not for the weak of heart!).

Demystifying What Editors Want – Based on my article in Many Genres, One Craft (Class time: One hour to ninety minutes – flexible)

What do editors want? When asked, they often give the same abstract answer: A tightly written story with interesting, well-rounded characters and a unique and compelling plot with lots of conflict.

How do you, as a writer, do that? This class breaks that sentence down into its parts and shows you how to accomplish what editors task you to do.

This is a short, intensive course which covers a lot of ground in a short amount of time. Bring caffeine. Chocolate will be provided.

Shrink That Story! A Guide to Synopsis Writing  (Class time: One hour to ninety minutes – flexible)

Dreading writing your synopsis? Have no idea how you’re going to get your 90,000 word novel down to one page, single spaced? Synopsis writing doesn’t have to be as hard you think. In this class, you’ll learn step-by-step how to put together your synopsis which you may find easier than going after your entire manuscript with a big red pen. Bring your favorite device to work on, whether electronic or old school pen and paper. You’ll be getting a good start on your synopsis today!

Creating Characters that Rock! (Class time: One hour to ninety minutes – 90 mins preferred)

What makes your reader want to keep reading? Sure, the plot. Yeah, the action. Sometimes even the sex! But what keeps your readers coming back after they’ve fed the kids, put out the dog, folded the laundry, done their taxes (ugh)?

Your readers come back for your characters. Creating good, believable and sympathetic characters is one of the hardest jobs a writer has. How do you accomplish that? What makes a character sympathetic? What makes readers care? How much is too much? Or too little? Have at least two characters in mind when you come to class — a protagonist and an antagonist. Yep. You gotta work. But there will be fun. And also chocolate.

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Interested in one or more  of these classes? Contact me!

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