Each week a new topic is explored through lecture and writing exercise. The topics covered in this course include:
Freshness - Various strategies for creating "fresh" stories, stories that will grab the attention of readers, agents, and editors.
Real Kids - Personality traits of various age ranges. Showing characters. Creating dimensional characters. Accessing the secret world of children. Handling adult characters.
Plot Questions - How to keep readers hooked by continually raising plot questions, in picture books and longer books. Use of subplots. Further hints on plotting.
Beginnings & Endings - Creating an effective beginning, in picture books and longer books. Creating an effective ending, in picture books and longer books.
POV Fine-Points - Fine-points of point of view, in first, second, and third person. When it's acceptable to alter a point of view strategy midstream. Handling thoughts. Exploration of psychic distance in point of view.
The Narrator - The value of an engaging narrator. Techniques for effective narrators in first, second, and third person point of views. Interactive narrators.
Pacing - Sticking to the "good parts." Manipulating speed, in picture books and longer books. Staying linear.
Pages & Scenes - How to make each page of a picture book effective. The marriage of words and pictures in picture books. How to create effective scenes in longer books.
Language - Stretching vocabulary. Handling syntax. Language refreshers. Exploration of language, in picture books and longer books.
The Publishing Game - How to write a great query letter. How to target the right agents and editors. How to gain the inside track on getting published.
Note: Content may vary slightly among individual classes.