Upcoming Classes

Fairy Tale Retellings with Deb Bailey Deborah Bailey
Use the classics to shape your story!
Story Structure for Pantsers with Cassandra Carr CassandraCarr
Learn to plot the PANTSER way!
Plotting and Planning: How to Write Your Cozy Mystery with Lori Devoti Lori Devoti
Learn how to write a cozy mystery!

Plot and Structure Make A Scene - Jordan Rosenfeld

The definitive guide to writing scenes--now revised and expanded!

Scenes are the building blocks for any work of fiction--the DNA sequence that makes a novel un-put-downable and unforgettable. When writers are able to craft effective, engaging scenes, they can develop a complete, cohesive story--and a mesmerizing experience for readers.

Make a Scene Revised and Expanded Edition takes you step-by-step through the elements of strong scene construction and demonstrates how the essential aspects of a compelling story--including character, plot and dramatic tension--function within the framework of individual scenes to give momentum to the whole narrative. You'll learn how to:

• Craft an opening scene that hooks readers and foreshadows conflict.
• Develop various scene types--from contemplative to suspenseful to flashback--that are distinct and purposeful.
• Establish characters' intentions within a scene that drive the plot.
• Transition into new scenes by clearly establishing details of setting, character, and point of view.
• Create resonating climactic and final scenes that stay with readers long after they've finished your story.

The revised and expanded edition includes brand-new examples, an increased focus on advancing plot and character development, and the same knowledge and clarity that writers have come to expect from Jordan Rosenfeld. Make a Scene is an essential part of any novelist's library--make sure it's in yours.
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World building Writing The Paranormal Novel - Steven Harper

Vampires, werewolves, and zombies, oh my!

Writing a paranormal novel takes more than casting an alluring vampire or arming your hero with a magic wand. It takes an original idea, believable characters, a compelling plot, and surprising twists, not to mention great writing.

This helpful guide gives you everything you need to successfully introduce supernatural elements into any story without shattering the believability of your fictional world or falling victim to common cliches.

You'll learn how to:

  • Choose supernatural elements and decide what impact the supernatural will have on your fictional world
  • Create engaging and relatable characters from supernatural protagonists and antagonists to supporting players (both human and non-human)
  • Develop strong plots and complementary subplots
  • Write believable fight scenes and flashbacks
  • Create realistic dialogue
  • And much more
Complete with tips for researching your novel and strategies for getting published, Writing the Paranormal Novel gives you everything you need to craft a novel where even the most unusual twist is not only possible - it's believable.
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Characterization Writing the Intimate Character - Jordan Rosenfeld

Craft Vibrant Characters and an Intimate Reading Experience

The key to excellent fiction lies in its characters: the unforgettable protagonists, antagonists, and secondary characters who populate the world of your story. Understanding and effectively using point of view allows you to write a powerful narrative that draws readers in and engages them with characters in a meaningful way. Through a blend of practical instruction, useful examples, and helpful exercises, Writing the Intimate Character shows you how to create the experience of living through a character rather than just reading about one.
Inside, you'll learn:

• The functions and benefits of first-person, third-person intimate, omniscient, and second-person points of view.
• How to apply character cues--specific behaviors, sensory perceptions, dialogue, and visual imagery--to develop a realistic protagonist and secondary cast.
• The surface and subset feelings that get to the root of your character’s emotions.
• How different viewpoints affect the story you want to tell.
Writing the Intimate Character helps you craft a novel in which readers can experience your characters' senses, dive inside their minds, and truly feel their emotions.

"Writing the Intimate Character, the latest engaging guide by Jordan Rosenfeld, is a rich resource we'll all be learning from for the rest of our lives. 'Does the term point of view seem too dull and dry?' she asks. 'Try intimacy instead.' And then she shows us how, with diverse examples and wise observation. Now that I have Jordan's take on how to create a character from the inside out, I'm eager to get to it. You, too, will find this book that inspiring." --Rebecca Lawton, author of Sacrament: Homage to a River and other books

"Writing the Intimate Character provides insights, examples, and exercises that will be useful not only to those who are new to writing fiction but to those, like myself, who are coming back to it after a break. Jordan Rosenfeld's explanation of how narrative voice works with point of view and other literary elements to create characters that readers care deeply about is clear and revelatory. The book can be worked through methodically or dipped into as needed. It's a useful tool for getting the gears of imagination working or for jump-starting and fine-tuning a work in process." --Zoe Zolbrod, author of the novel Currency and the memoir The Telling

"Jordan Rosenfeld has a keen insight into how to construct characters who are truly lived-in. With intelligence and wit, she walks you through every element of powerful characterization, from selecting your POV to demonstrating character growth throughout your story. Whether you're new to fiction or a more experienced writer, put your trust in Jordan Rosenfeld; she'll help you tell a better story." --Laura Bogart, freelance writer and novelist

Plot and Structure The Nutshell Technique - Jill Chamberlain

"The Nutshell Technique cracks the code behind why we love the movies that we love. It guides you to organically write the story you want to tell." (Callum Greene, producer, Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker)

Veteran script consultant Jill Chamberlain discovered in her work that an astounding 99 percent of first-time screenwriters don't know how to tell a story. What the 99 percent do instead is present a situation. In order to explain the difference, Chamberlain created the nutshell technique, a method whereby writers identify eight dynamic, interconnected elements that are required to successfully tell a story.

Now, for the first time, Chamberlain presents her unique method in audiobook form with The Nutshell Technique: Crack the Secret of Successful Screenwriting. Using easy-to-follow descriptions ("nutshells"), she thoroughly explains how the nutshell technique can make or break a film script. Chamberlain takes listeners step-by-step through 30 classic and contemporary movies, showing how such dissimilar screenplays as Casablanca, Chinatown, Pulp Fiction, The Usual Suspects, Little Miss Sunshine, Juno, Silver Linings Playbook, and Argo all have the same system working behind the scenes, and she teaches listeners exactly how to apply these principles to their own screenwriting. Learn the nutshell technique, and you'll discover how to turn a mere situation into a truly compelling screenplay story.

General Writing Craft Writing with Emotion, Tension & Conflict - Cheryl St. John

Craft an Emotionally Charged Story That Will Resonate with Readers

Emotional impact shouldn't be dropped into your novel as an afterthought or forced upon your story with a pair of pliers and an iron grip. It should be carefully sewn into the fabric of the story to create tension-filled moments that will keep readers turning pages. In Writing with Emotion, Tension, & Conflict, you'll learn how to layer emotional moments and deep connections to create a tapestry filled with conflict, pathos, and genuine feeling.

• Create emotional depth, conflict, and tension in your novel by carefully crafting your plot, characters, setting, word choice, and more.
• Learn what makes readers "tick"--and what will elicit the strongest emotional responses.
• Write believable, emotional scenes and dialogue--and trim away the sappiness.

When writing a novel, your ultimate goal is to make readers smile, weep, rage, and laugh right along with your characters. Writing with Emotion, Tension, & Conflict will show you how to evoke a multitude of feelings in your readers--and keep them coming back for more.
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General Writing Craft Writing the Breakout Novel

breakout.jpeg Maybe you're a first-time novelist looking for practical guidance. Maybe you've already been published, but your latest effort is stuck in mid-list limbo. Whatever the case may be, author and literary agent Donald Maass can show you how to take your prose to the next level and write a breakout novel - one that rises out of obscurity and hits the best-seller lists.

Maass details the elements that all breakout novels share - regardless of genre - then shows you writing techniques that can make your own books stand out and succeed in a crowded marketplace.

You'll learn to:

• establish a powerful and sweeping sense of time and place
• weave subplots into the main action for a complex, engrossing story
• create larger-than-life characters that step right off the page
• explore universal themes that will interest a broad audience of readers
• sustain a high degree of narrative tension from start to finish
• develop an inspired premise that sets your novel apart from the competition

Then, using examples from the recent works of several best-selling authors - including novelist Anne Perry - Maass illustrates methods for upping the ante in every aspect of your novel writing. You'll capture the eye of an agent, generate publisher interest and lay the foundation for a promising career.

General Writing Craft Story Genius by Lisa Cron

storygen.jpeg I haven't read Story Genius by Lisa Cron book yet, but it's on my to-be-read list. I have several author friends that have gushed about it.

It’s every novelist’s greatest fear: pouring their blood, sweat, and tears into writing hundreds of pages only to realize that their story has no sense of urgency, no internal logic, and so is a page one rewrite.

The prevailing wisdom in the writing community is that there are just two ways around this problem: pantsing (winging it) and plotting (focusing on the external plot). Story coach Lisa Cron has spent her career discovering why these these methods don’t work and coming up with a powerful alternative, based on the science behind what our brains are wired to crave in every story we read (and it’s not what you think).

In Story Genius Cron takes you, step-by-step, through the creation of a novel from the first glimmer of an idea, to a complete multilayered blueprint—including fully realized scenes—that evolves into a first draft with the authority, richness, and command of a riveting sixth or seventh draft.
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Editing The Story Grid: What Good Editors Know

The Story Grid is a tool developed by editor Shawn Coyne to analyze stories and provide helpful editorial comments. It's like a CT Scan that takes a photo of the global story and tells the editor or writer what is working, what is not, and what must be done to make what works better and fix what's not. The Story Grid breaks down the component parts of stories to identify the problems. And finding the problems in a story is almost as difficult as the writing of the story itself (maybe even more difficult.)
The Story Grid is a tool with many applications:
1. It will tell a writer if a Story "works" or "doesn't work."
2. It pinpoints story problems but does not emotionally abuse the writer, revealing exactly where a Story (not the person creating the Story...the Story) has failed.
3. It will tell the writer the specific work necessary to fix that Story's problems.
4. It is a tool to re-envision and resuscitate a seemingly irredeemable pile of paper stuck in an attic drawer.
5. It is a tool that can inspire an original creation.

Shawn Coyne is a twenty-five year book-publishing veteran. He's acquired, edited, published or represented works from James Bamford, John Brenkus, James Lee Burke, Barbara Bush, Dick Butkus, Harlan Coben, Nellie Connally, Michael Connelly, Robert Crais, Ben Crenshaw, Catherine Crier, Brett Favre, David Feherty, John Feinstein, Tyler Florence, Jim Gant, Col. David H. Hackworth, Jamie Harrison, Mo Hayder, William Hjortsberg, Stephen Graham Jones, Jon Krakauer, David Leadbetter, Alan Lomax, David Mamet, Troon McAllister, Robert McKee, Matthew Modine, Bill Murray, Joe Namath, John J. Nance, Jack Olsen, Scott Patterson, Steven Pressfield, Matthew Quirk, Anita Raghavan, Ian Rankin, Ruth Rendell, Jerry Rice, Giora Romm, Tim Rosaforte, William Safire, Dava Sobel, Michael Thomas, Nick Tosches, Ann Scott Tyson, Minette Walters, Betty White, Randy Wayne White, Steven White, and Don Winslow among many others. During his years as an editor at the Big Five publishing houses, as an independent publisher, as a literary agent both at a major Hollywood talent agency and as head of Genre Management Inc., and as a bestselling co-writer and ghostwriter, Coyne created a methodology called The Story Grid to teach the editing craft.
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Editing Intuitive Editing by Tiffany Yates Martin

After you’ve completed your manuscript and you’re standing at the foot of Revision Mountain, climbing to the summit can feel impossible. It’s hard to look at your own writing with the objective eye needed to shape it into a tight, polished, publishable story—but just like writing, self-editing is a skill you can learn.

Developmental editor Tiffany Yates Martin has spent her career in the publishing industry honing practical, actionable techniques to help authors evaluate how well their story is working, where it might not be, and how to fix it.

With a clear, accessible, user-friendly approach, she leads writers through every step of deepening and elevating their own work, as well as how to approach the edit and develop their “editor brain,” and how to solicit and process feedback. Intuitive Editing doesn’t offer one-size-fits-all advice or rigid writing “rules”; instead it helps authors discover what works for their story and their style—to find the best version of their vision.

Whether you’re writing fiction, narrative nonfiction, or memoir; whether this your first story or your fiftieth, Intuitive Editing will give you the tools you need to edit and revise your own writing with inspiration, motivation, and confidence.

Plot and Structure Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell

Craft an Engaging Plot

How does plot influence story structure? What's the difference between plotting for commercial and literary fiction? How do you revise a plot or structure that's gone off course?

With "Write Great Fiction: Plot & Structure," you'll discover the answers to these questions and more. Award-winning author James Scott Bell offers clear, concise information that will help you create a believable and memorable plot, including: Techniques for crafting strong beginnings, middles, and endsEasy-to-understand plotting diagrams and chartsBrainstorming techniques for original plot ideasThought-provoking exercises at the end of each chapterStory structure models and methods for all genresTips and tools for correcting common plot problems

Filled with plot examples from popular novels, comprehensive checklists, and practical hands-on guidance, "Write Great Fiction: Plot & Structure" gives you the skills you need to approach plot and structure like an experienced pro
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Marketing and Business Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The instant classic about why some ideas thrive, why others die, and how to make your ideas stick.

“Anyone interested in influencing others—to buy, to vote, to learn, to diet, to give to charity or to start a revolution—can learn from this book.”—The Washington Post

Mark Twain once observed, “A lie can get halfway around the world before the truth can even get its boots on.” His observation rings true: Urban legends, conspiracy theories, and bogus news stories circulate effortlessly. Meanwhile, people with important ideas—entrepreneurs, teachers, politicians, and journalists—struggle to make them “stick.”

In Made to Stick, Chip and Dan Heath reveal the anatomy of ideas that stick and explain ways to make ideas stickier, such as applying the human scale principle, using the Velcro Theory of Memory, and creating curiosity gaps. Along the way, we discover that sticky messages of all kinds—from the infamous “kidney theft ring” hoax to a coach’s lessons on sportsmanship to a vision for a new product at Sony—draw their power from the same six traits.

Made to Stick will transform the way you communicate. It’s a fast-paced tour of success stories (and failures): the Nobel Prize-winning scientist who drank a glass of bacteria to prove a point about stomach ulcers; the charities who make use of the Mother Teresa Effect; the elementary-school teacher whose simulation actually prevented racial prejudice.

Provocative, eye-opening, and often surprisingly funny, Made to Stick shows us the vital principles of winning ideas—and tells us how we can apply these rules to making our own messages stick.

Plot and Structure GMC by Deb Dixon

Order from Gryphon Books for Writers.

Learn to use these critical fiction-writing elements to give dimension to your characters and direction to your plot. Plan a road map to keep your story on track. Discover why your scenes aren't working and what to do about it.
"This book belongs on every fiction writer's bookshelf. Anyone who has ever had a story to tell and is dying to get it down on paper will find guidance and inspiration in GMC. The presentation is clear, immediate, and relevant to all writers--from novices to seasoned professionals. Experienced author Debra Dixon has done a magnificent job of demystifying the toughest aspect of fiction writing: that of a giving a story shape, form and urgency." -- Susan Wiggs, RITA® Award winning author of over 40
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WritingTool Plottr Plotting and Outlining Software

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I started using Plottr early this year, and have been using it for outlining and organizing a WIP. I love the character pages I can create there and import into Scrivener, as well as story locations, and much more. The developers are very much hands on and receptive if you have suggestions for new features, or if you need help with a feature. Their videos started out very techy but have become extremely helpful.

I also love how I can import into Scrivener and not reinvent the wheel with outlines and new characters. Lots to love.
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WritingTool Scrivener

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Scrivener is the go-to app for writers of all kinds, used every day by best-selling novelists, screenwriters, non-fiction writers, students, academics, lawyers, journalists, translators and more. Scrivener won't tell you how to write—it simply provides everything you need to start writing and keep writing.

Crit Group SavvyAuthors' IndieCafe Crit Matching Program

Finding a good crit partner who will follow you through all the books in your series is a tough one. They don't get paid. They just hope you'll do the same for them--and that's what SavvyAuthors is all about. Writers helping writers. So, with that in mind, let us help you find your forever crit partner--because they do exist. You just have to know where to look.

Every two weeks (or more) SavvyAuthors will run the Crit Matching Tool and match up everyone who has opted in for that period. For all the deets check out our overview of the program and the FAQ or head back to the Indie Cafe' to find out when the next match choice will be run.
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Manuscript Formatting The Book Khaleesi

They provide a pretty complete selection of services, from proofreading to more thorough editing. They offer formatting for eBooks and paperbacks; both straight-forward formatting to overall book design. They do cover design, as well as banners (moving and still) and book trailers (clips vs cinematic).
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Book Cover Artists Deranged Doctor Design

From their website:
Imagine yourself surrounded by a vast ocean books. You look around and gasp - there are so many! Millions of volumes, their pages flitting and fluttering around you. They never end, and more keep coming. There's a fresh deluge every day, and the quality varies wildly. How do you separate the wheat from the chaff?

Now imagine that you have one very special book in your breast pocket, kept close to your heart. It's an extraordinary book, because it's the one you've written. You've poured your sweat, ink, and tears into it, and now's the time to send it downstream where it will have to find it way among the others.

You're afraid that it might not make it. The currents may be unkind, and it could sink straight to the bottom. You know that readers will love it, if it can only drift their way. If anyone's going to pluck it from the water, it's going to have to make a good first impression.

We'll make your book stand out in that huge crowd.
We'll help your pride and joy on its path towards an audience.

Manuscript Formatting formatting4u.com

From their website:
With the ever-changing landscape of the publishing industry, authors are finally able to meet the requests of their readers directly without going through a traditional print publisher. The internet has made this possible.

It’s also created a headache for those not familiar with formatting to the various platforms: Kindle, Nook, iBooks, etc.

We’re here to take away that headache. Just call us Aspirin.

Don’t have a cover? Not a problem. We have resources for that.

What if you only have an e-Cover? We can help you there without significant cost to you. (After all, you already spent money on that front cover.)

Need an editor? Got it covered.

Not sure how to set up your account or eStore? We can help there, too.

Internet publishing can help increase your quality of life via sales you may never have had. Let formatting4U.com help you get there.
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Book Cover Artists For the Muse Design

From their Website: For the Muse Design creates affordable designs with the authors vision as the stepping stone to something creative and beautiful. Feel free to browse the site and see what Award-winning designer Elaina Lee has been up to. For the Muse may be just what you've been looking for to create the perfect, memorable work of art for your book, website, social media page or anything else you may have need of a designer for.

Proofreader Practical Proofing

From their website: Those of you who are mid-way through a multiple book series may find yourselves in need of a sensible way to keep track of characters, places and events. I have been working to perfect a series bible format that will make the chore of keeping your stories consistent and harmonious so much easier!

Editor Excellence in Editing

From their website: Whether you're submitting to a major publisher, querying agents, or planning to self-publish, a second pair of eyes is a must before letting that manuscript or partial out of your hands. Sure, the world loves a great story, but the world embraces a great, well-told story. That's where Excellence in Editing comes in.


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