Are you a writer who reads? A reader who writes? A book lover who wants to read like a writer?
Are you thinking about writing stories, novels, memoir, or narrative nonfiction? Do you have manuscripts needing more intention? Are your craft and revision skills less than you'd like them to be? Do you want to refresh your knowledge of writing and literature?
If you answered "yes" to any of the above questions, or if you'd simply like to contribute more to discussions within your writing group, book club, critique workshop, or literary community, then check out this course. I designed it for writers and readers like you! It features Master Craft Juggling to help you:
• Enrich writing and hone skills by learning valuable lessons that masterful authors give readers on the page.
• Improve writing practice for success with strategies and tools for fulfilling writing desires, setting goals, and taking on challenges.
• Find ongoing inspiration for your writing and book projects, while deepening reading enjoyment.
A self-paced format. The course will include 30 video lessons (on average 8 minutes long), many writing activities and references in PDFs, and interactive quizzes designed as short, fun summaries. (That's 4 hours of viewing and 15 or more hours of activities, plus any reading you want to do. Click the FAQ tab in the top menu for more details). The video lessons are not yet all available, but will be on or before May 15, 2018.
Topics. The videos are sequenced intentionally for the course, but can be viewed in any order. There is an Introduction and 9 chapter topics: 1) Gatekeepers & Story Seeds, 2) Voice, Style & Point of View, 3) Whole-bodied Characters, 4) Presence of Place, 5) Tension & Plot 6) Time & Consciousness, 7) Love & Other Emotions, 8) Image & the Senses, 9) Theme & Gestalt.
Writing Sparks. Prompts to ignite new writing and revision are in the videos and the PDFs for download that accompany the course.
Activities & Notes. Selected graphics and material from the videos can be viewed and downloaded in PDF to explore later and keep on hand as references.
Master Craft Juggling Challenges. Short videos and PDFs will be added ongoing as bonus Challenges, so check back even after you've completed the video lessons. These Challenges will inspire and structure writing projects for you to have "Take-Aways" from the course in the form of completed story manuscripts to share or submit for publication.
Reviews & Discussions. If you like the course, please put comments in the review section. If you have questions that you'd like addressed about the course content or writing in general, please put those in the discussion section. I hope that people taking the course will contribute to interactive discussions about the content and also share discoveries from their reading, if they wish to do so. I will also participate and lead discussions.
Why take this course online? By viewing the videos as often as you wish and engaging in the activities, you'll enrich your creative process and spark endless productive hours of thinking, writing, and reading with a fresh mind and eye toward not only the "how" but also the "why" of fiction.
Why do we write? Why does it matter? If you have a book within you, how do you get it out? What difference can we make in the world as writers and readers?
As storytellers, we are all experts and all learners. I teach because I love teaching and writing, and also because I'm engaged daily in creative process and in life-long learning. I want to share those joys, along with the pleasures and successes that creativity, art, and writing bring to our individual and collective lives.
What about reading all the books? It's not essential that you read the books referenced, though you may want to do so. It took many years of reading to build the course, and there is no doubt of the value gained from reading good books. For purposes of the course, I give context for quoted material in the videos as needed for the examples. So read the books from the list now or later and add your own titles to return to for their wisdom. Expanded discussions of many of the books can be found on my blog readtowritebooks.com.
Writing Fiction: 9 Ways to Mastery is designed with several definitions of the word "course" in mind, especially #1.
1) Onward movement in a particular direction; progress. 2) The route or path taken by something, such as a stream, that moves. 3) A continuous layer of building material. 4) A complete body of prescribed studies constituting a curriculum. 5) A unit of such curriculum.
As difficult as it often is to navigate one's creative path, it's richly satisfying to move forward toward goals. However you access the course—all now, a little now, more later—I wish you fulfillment and success in your writing and reading journeys and all creative endeavors.
PS. How to enroll. If you haven't yet signed up, simply enroll for free in my school as an account user. Take a look at the free videos offered in "Writing Fiction: 9 Ways to Mastery.” If you want to see more, then pay the tuition. The price posted now is for "early birds." There will be two price increases before May 15, 2018, when the full course will be in place. If you pay an early bird price, you will be able to access videos and bonuses as they are added, and you will continue to have access, no matter what the price increase.
PSS. See FAQ for the system requirements for compatibility with your desktop and mobile devices.
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About the instructor
Christine Walker is a visual artist and writer. She has an MFA in Writing and Literature in Fiction from Bennington College, an MA in Creative Arts Interdisciplinary from San Francisco State, and a BFA from the University of Kansas.
She is the author of A Painter's Garden: Cultivating the Creative Life (Warner Books), a narrative nonfiction illustrated with her paintings, and co-author and illustrator of Wooleycat's Musical Theater, (Tortuga Press), children's book with song CD.
Her Read to Write Books courses in fiction craft, which she created to teach at local independent bookstores, serve as the basis for her first online course Writing Fiction: 9 Ways to Mastery. Her blog at readtowritebooks.com has extended discussions that support this course curriculum.
She uses visual thinking approaches in her teaching and, as a visual practitioner and designer, facilitates group dialogue with visual storytelling. You can learn more about visual thinking at seeshape.com and see her paintings at christinewalker.net. She lives in Northern California near vineyards and disappearing apple orchards with her husband, Dennis Hysom, a musician and audio producer.
Participants in her Read to Write Books workshops said:
"It's a mini MFA course!"
"If you are looking to buttress and expand the elements of craft in writing fiction, this class presents each element in a very integrated way. In the event that you are a good writer and would like to improve your understanding of the elements of the actual craft of writing, this is a great course. Christine has modeled it on her MFA in Writing and Literature and it packs that kind of intellectual punch."
"Chris is an insightful, engaging teacher with great taste in literature!"
"If you love to read, now you’ll love to read even more after understanding the framing and foundation of a great novel.
"[Christine], herself a writer and painter, guided us through a very well-prepared and enjoyable experience of taking a focused look at the craft of writing. I enjoyed the selection of books and found the other participants stimulating and enjoyed their company."
"A great opportunity to have smartly led discussions about the craft techniques used in both classic and contemporary fiction."
"It has been a fun, motivating, and very worthwhile experience. What a joy it was to join with others--who either love to write or were and are avid readers--and hear the many different viewpoints. That alone was incredibly refreshing."