Tag Archives: online workshops
It’s spring in Seattle and I’m celebrating by trying something new. A class that will equip you to record, post, and publicize your own podcast.
This is the class that more people have enthused about afterwards than any other, in my experience. It’s team-taught. You give us the first 500 words of your novel. One of the instructors reads it aloud, then both discuss it.
Sounds pretty simple, no? Sure. It’s that simplicity that lets the instructors range across a wide array of tools and strategies.
The first session of this class went well! Nisi Shawl was a terrific guest speaker.
In talking about reviews, we talked about good reviews and what they do. Here’s the notes from that. Continue reading
Tonight’s the final session of the recent Thursday F&SF class, and it’s the one labelled in my notes as “Everything Else.” All the career stuff, the mechanics of submissions, how to schmooze at conventions, foreign reprints, agents, etc. Here’s the rough outline from my notes.
A metaphor that I was exposed to at Clarion West (now nearly a decade ago) still works beautifully for me, and it’s one I use when teaching: the idea of the writer’s toolbox.
In my mind’s eye, it’s a big red metal tool chest, small enough to be carried around, large enough that you wouldn’t want to HAVE to carry it around all the time. Inside, drawers lift out to reveal neatly packed devices and tools, each in their own padded slot.
There’s a blade capable of lopping off awkward paragraphs, and sharper, tinier words designed for work at the sentence level, trimming beginnings till they catch a reader like a fish hook and pull them into the story. There’s a box of punctuation marks, with a special slot for the semicolons. There’s the intricate device of an unreliable narrator, calculated to wobble like a gyroscope yet still remain true to the story’s course. There’s a set of filters, each one a specific point of view, each letting you cast a section in a different light. And a layer of ornamental gadgetry: epigraphs and scraps of poetry. And a valuable gimlet, capable of drilling down to a character’s motivation: the question, “What does s/he WANT?”
I just got back from a fabulous weekend in Port Townsend with friends and now I’m about to head off again, but I’ve realized I need to get more sign-ups for the Writing F&SF Short Stories class that starts this … Continue reading
So I wanted a postcard to put on con giveaway tables advertising my classes because I’m always trying to scare up new students. I know that once they take one class, they’re very likely to take more from me, which really pleases me, but the trick is getting them into that first one. Yeah, it's not particularly pro looking, but the colors are bright and pretty, so perhaps a few people will be intrigued enough to pick it up. Note that the postcard itself trims some of the edge off, so what you see here is not entirely representative of the final result.
I’m about to head off to Worldcon Thursday morning but I will shill a bit before departing, because I’d like to get these classes filled up in advance in order to avoid having to beat the bushes at the last … Continue reading
I’m ready to take registrations for the June class now, which meets Saturdays, 9:30 am-11 or 11:30 PST, June 9, 23, 30, July 7, 14, 21 (six sessions total). Cost is $249, payable via Paypal. Please drop me a line if you’ve got questions.
This Sunday Louise Marley and I are doing our online First Pages workshop again. You give us the first 500 words of your novel and we will talk about what’s getting set up for the book, what you might want to watch for, what you’re promising (or not promising) your readers, world-building and how important it is in that first section, marketing, titling, advice on agents and sending the manuscript out, and a scad of other things. It’s a workshop that participants come away from feeling charged and ready and with pages of notes about things to do. Continue reading