This is a workshop in fiction writing for beginners with no experience and intermediate students who want to streamline their writing process. Led by Amber Royer, whose debut novel Free Chocolate has been named one of the Barnes & Noble SFF Blog’s 25 Debuts to Watch for in 2018, the class is designed to make you a more methodical and organized writer of long-form fiction. The course focuses on techniques that can be used to assemble a complete story bible (a document, wiki or other interactively-formatted file that keeps data about your story universe and characters consistent and accessible) and a workable, detailed outline. Time will be spent in class doing both individual and group hands-on activities, and homework will be assigned to further develop ideas generated during those activities. Homework will be workshopped interactively via Dropbox, and students will have opportunities to read much of what they write in class for further peer input. Student fiction will be workshopped in a supportive, respectful, and constructively critical environment with the goal of improving an individual’s voice and vision for their piece.
Each week we will focus on the theory found in Terry Brook’s Story Engineering and Nancy Kress’s Dynamic Characters (along with excerpts from additional works) to explain WHY writers need to think specifically about things such as plot structure and worldbuilding, and WHY you really need to get to know your characters if you want them to drive the story. The main focus will be on generating, evaluating and organizing original student content (much of which will belong only in the story bible, not necessarily the novel itself).
Each writer will have an opportunity each week to have his or her work critiqued (up to seven pages) via the Dropbox, and will receive feedback using Dropbox’s conference function from both the instructor and his or her classmates. A private conference via Skype with the instructor is included. This course is also OPEN to EXPERIENCED writers who want to add new techniques to their skill set.