Class: Six Slippery Sins: Good Advice That Goes Astray

Next class date: Saturday, March 20, 2021, 9:30-11:30 AM Pacific Time.

Instructor: Kay Kenyon

Sometimes what we think we know just isn’t true. This class considers how sometimes “common knowledge” about writing can deaden our writing or be misleading. We’ll take a fresh look¬† at the advice to start the story fast; inner demons as a basis for character arc; the problem of tears at sad moments; flashbacks, dialogue and more. We’ll search for the deeper truths suggested by, or obscured by, fiction maxims.

This class is distilled from the many beginner manuscripts I’ve read in my longish career, and inspired by the gasps that some of my novel-writing students emit when I contradict seemingly unassailable writing advice. But sometimes it’s worth questioning common knowledge. The advice I’m going to question is slippery; it’s not always wrong, but often misused.


Classes are taught online and require reliable Internet connection, although in the past participants have logged on from coffee shops, cafes, and even an airplane; a webcam is suggested but not required. They are recorded for the benefit of class members only.

Cost is $99 ($79 for returning students and Patreon supporters, which includes classes/workshops with me in other venues, such as conference or convention workshops and mentoring sessions). Patreon supporters receive a discount or free classes, depending on their support level.

To register for this class, send an email with the following details:

  • Which class or classes and the dates you would like to register
  • Whether you would prefer to pay via Paypal, Venmo, or some other means.
  • Whether or not you are a former student or Patreon supporter
  • How you heard about Cat’s classes

You will be invoiced when the class slot is reserved.

Free scholarships: If you cannot afford a class but really want to take one, apply for a Plunkett Scholarship. Each class has three slots reserved for such students, and the sole criteria is only that you can’t currently afford the class. To apply for a Plunkett, which covers the entire cost,mail me and tell me why you want to take the class in 100 words or less. QUILTBAG and PoC candidates are especially encouraged to apply. The Plunkett Scholarships are named for Edward Plunkett, who wrote as Lord Dunsany. Scholarships are given out on a rolling basis; I suggest getting them in sooner rather than later. You may apply for multiple classes.

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