Idea to Draft Finally No Longer Just a Draft


One of the things that I’ve been working on in the past six months is converting all of my live classes to on-demand versions. A few months ago I decided to try the Idea to Draft class and found it presented more problems than any of the others. I will spare you the saga, which I have blogged about elsewhere. Here’s the section on story basics, and here’s the one on what to do when you have just a scene. I will be teaching the live version, in which I work with students on their specific ideas, on July 9, which will be the last time I teach the live version in 2016.

I am very proud of this class, because I don’t think there are any other classes that take the same approach. I’m turning it into a book, which may be e-form only because it’s going to have a wordcount in the 100k+ range when you add in all the example stories. While Creating an Online Presence is, I think/hope, useful for writers on the business and career level, this is a book that works at the craft level and incorporates a lot of my story theory, the stuff that has evolved out of teaching and writing and thinking a lot about these things.

Things that I hope people like about this class:

  • I’ve included not just exercises but what I’ve called an Overachiever’s Version for most of them.
  • Each section tells you what the starting point is, what it gives you, what you need to think about, possible pitfalls, and next steps in a consistent, understandable format.
  • I’ve included a section on working with structures that have cultural weight to them, and how to do so respectfully but in a way that that lets you employ them to their full potential.

I will confess something — I have images for this class and I do intend to add them at some point, but in order to get this thing out the door I had to just go okay, and let go, and send it out into the world, because it’s the textual part that matters.

So, another item crossed off the list for the year, huzzah. Next on the class list is that I’m converting the Rewriting and Revising class, which should only take me a week or two, and doing it as a mini-class, along the same length as the Reading to an Audience Workshop. I know Rachel Swirsky is working away on her Retelling and Retaleing Workshop and I’m talking to someone about a VERY cool workshop that I think will be unique, informative, and exciting.

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About Cat

Cat Rambo lives, writes, and teaches by the shores of an eagle-haunted lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her 200+ fiction publications include stories in Asimov's, Clarkesworld Magazine, and the magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Her story, "Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain," from her collection Near + Far (Hydra House Books), was a 2012 Nebula nominee. Her editorship of Fantasy Magazine earned her a World Fantasy Award nomination in 2012. She is the current President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). She is currently working on Exiles of Tabat, the third book of the Tabat Quartet. A new story collection, Neither Here Nor There, appears from Hydra House this fall.
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