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Tag Archives: online writing classes
I started my little online writing school, the Rambo Academy for Wayward Writers, with the launch of Google Hangouts, which enabled me to host classes for people across the globe. Since then, Hangouts has declined, but the school continues strong, having hosted hundreds of students from around the world. Over a dozen of the best writers and teachers in the fantasy and science fiction field — with several new folks joining us in early 2019 — have led workshops on over three dozen topics.
Here’s what many of you have been waiting for! The list of classes coming up for the Rambo Academy. I’ll be updating the website over the next couple days but for right now, this is the official, correct, list. Please … Continue reading
Among the things I’ve done in 2017:
- In writing, I did: the writing listed here and turned Hearts of Tabat into the publisher and started book #3, which I’ve got about 30k on so far. I didn’t publish any book-length work, but I’d had two in late 2016 (to the point where I was thinking one had come out this year) and will have at least two in 2018, so I guess it all evens out.
- In skill acquisition, I added how to cook sous vide, coffee roasting, basic lockpicking and (even more basic) scuba to my overall character sheet. I also learned how to load and shoot a pistol, along with basic gun safety.
- In fear conquering, I swam with sharks (twice) and took a self defense class.
- In travel, I visited Orlando, New York City, Indianapolis, and Pocatello (ID) in the US and Dominical and surrounding areas in Costa Rica.
Often when I add new classes, it’s because someone has specifically asked for them. I know whenever I teach something new, it’ll be a learning experience for me as well, because I’ll have to think hard, come up with an … Continue reading
Something I’m trying to do this year is pay things forward as much as possible. Recent technological upgrades means I can now fit more than 8-9 people in a class (can now handle up to twice that many, which is more suited to some classes than others), so I figured one way to do that is to make more class slots available to people who couldn’t otherwise afford the class.
So, each class now has three Plunkett scholarship slots, the third of which is specifically reserved for QUILTBAG and POC applicants. Everyone is encouraged to apply, but I want to make sure it’s getting to a diverse range. The only qualification for a Plunkett is this: you would not be able to afford the class otherwise. Just mail me with the name/date of the class and 1-3 sentences about why you want to take it.
eing able to trust your revision process frees you to write whatever you like.[/caption]Huzzah, I have finished a new class for the Rambo Academy, and I’m very happy with how it turned out. Rewriting and Revising is up at at $19, it’s a pretty good value, though newsletter subscribers should check the latest mail for a coupon for half-off that.
A new live class is happening on Friday, February 24, 2-4 PM Pacific time. How to Write Steampunk & Weird Western will cover gathering and using historical details, ethical implications of both genres, basic mechanical concepts, economic underpinnings, creating texture, dialogue considerations, and more. Plus we’ll do some fun writing exercises. This will get turned into an on-demand class as well, but I know the best way to goose myself along into developing the class in the first place is to do a live version of it, which also lets me figure out what people want to know about the topic.
There is still room in the two live classes left this year, both happening next weekend. The first on Saturday is Linguistics for Genre Writers with Juliette Wade, at the usual 9:30-11:30 AM Pacific time. This class differs from pretty much every other one I’ve seen in that Wade doesn’t just cover linguistics and worldbuilding, but how to use the principles of linguistics to strengthen, deepen, and otherwise improve your prose. I heartily endorse it.
The second, which is also a really fun and informative class, is To Space Opera and Beyond with Ann Leckie. Technical difficulties hindered the first sessions but everything is smooth and running well now! In this class, Ann talks about space opera, its characteristics, how to handle them, and the process of writing not just a single novel but a series, while we provide writing exercises to take away and use to apply what Ann has told you. Ann is a lively and congenial teacher, funny without being snarky, and above all encouraging and inspiring. I’m really looking forward to the next class, which happens on Sunday, December 11, 9:30-11:30 AM Pacific time. There is still room in that and the Saturday, January 7 class at the same time.
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.
Here’s what’s coming up in June and July, which is also the last round of classes for 2016. I am taking the rest of the year off from teaching (other than maybe a co-taught class or two) in order to … Continue reading
Having finished up the big April projects, one of the main things I want to get accomplished this month is getting the on-demand version of the Moving From Idea to Draft online writing class up along with the existing on-demand classes.
This has proven a somewhat monumental task, because the needs of the on-demand version are very different than those of the live class. In the live workshops, which are limited to eight students, everyone comes in with a two-three sentence description of their idea, and we work from there, adapting the material to what they’ve brought into class.
For the on-demand version, I started by trying to identify all the different ways there are into a story, a number that fluctuates in the realm of two dozen, depending on how finely I want to draw distinctions.
What I’ve done with each possible path is identify what it is, what it gives you as a starting point, things you will want to consider, possible pitfalls, next steps for fleshing it out, and a set of exercises (with basic and overachievers’ versions) to help explore the starting point. I finish, in what I am still worried may be an excessively egotistic move, by providing a story of mine that started in that way and some notes on its development from the starting point.