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15 x 5: Writing Practices for Busy Writers


Receive one fifteen-minute writing prompt and inspirational letter from me each day for five weeks in this on-demand course. Thirty-five prompts and thirty-five love-notes to help you commit to your writing and the next project that is bubbling beneath the surface. The prompts are applicable to any genre.


You’ll be amazed what a committed 15 minutes a day will do.


Craft Matters Series


Short, on-demand craft modules. What you need, when you need it.


Grammar for Creative Writing


Understand why grammar is essential for creative writing. (No, the editor won’t fix it!) Explore key sentence and surface level issues for creative writers, including: verbs and verb tenses, dialogue punctuation, dangling modifiers, gerund over-use, sentence construction, parts of speech (and why you care), commonly confused words, and manuscript formatting. Contains video lecture, examples and exercises.


Point of View Primer


Point of view is the fiction writer’s greatest super-power. Learn the nuances of the points of view available to you, how to make a point of view choice, and how to work with multiple viewpoints. Explore the connection between point of view, character, and plot. Contains video lecture, examples and writing exercises.


The Role of Dilemma in Story


A story is much more than a series of connected events. Those events are the result of a character’s dilemma. Through exploring the nature of dilemma, we find the heart of our story and we connect with the thematic questions of the work. Learn what dilemma in fiction is, why it’s essential to any story, and how it unlocks the key to everything else. Contains video lecture and exercises.


Revision: Your Story’s Best Friend


No, you didn’t get it perfect the first time. But you got what you needed to move forward. Revision—a re-visioning or re-seeing—of your work, is an essential part of the writing process. Through revision, we connect with the essential nature of our story. Revision helps us pare away what is not the story so that the work can find its breath. Learn different approaches and techniques for revision for different types of writers. Includes worksheets and a video lecture.


Reading Like a Writer


We’re not kidding. You have to read if you want to write well. Reading like a writer is a skill that will enhance your own work. Rather than being stifled by the great works of others, be inspired. You can break down the techniques and tools used by other writers and learn how to use those tools to inform your own craft choices. Includes a video lecture, worksheets and examples of sample book analyses from previous students.


Character Yearning & Transformation


Your characters aren’t external bits of data. They aren’t their eye colors or heights or weights. Your characters begin to beat alive when you understand the nature of their yearning and the things that must be shifted and surrendered along the path toward transformation. Fill-in-the-blank character worksheets don’t create living characters. Learning to listen and spend time with your characters will help you create multi-dimensional beings to inhabit the worlds of your stories. Learn ways to engage at a deep level with the characters you’re inviting to join you on the page. Includes a video lecture and exercises.




Dialogue in fiction is much more than random filler conversation. Dialogue must propel the plot and reveal character. It affects pacing. It can both reveal and conceal. Learn the various types of dialogue as well as the art of subtext. Includes a video lecture, handouts and exercises.


Setting as Character


Your story can’t take place just anywhere. It’s your job to bring the reader into the fully realized world of your novel or story. Whether your story is set in a galaxy far-far away or in Toledo, you still have to build the world. You still must ground the story in a three-dimensional time and place so that the reader, and your characters, are able to breathe. Learn tips and techniques to create a living setting in your fiction. Includes a video lecture, exercises and worksheets.


Virtual Retreats and more live retreats and on-demand courses are planned for 2015

Coming Soon

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