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Student Quotes
"Through the course, I have become more aware as a reader. I can still enjoy a good story, yet my attention is now more focused on exactly what is making something work."
- Blair Kraft
 MIS Administrator
"The instructor provided an invaluable insider's point of view…. This Gotham class allowed me to take part in dialogues with people from Croatia to Washington State, on topics from an encounter with Mother Theresa to peddling a pedicab in California. I loved the disparate points of view and the extravagant variety of travel experiences that were shared online!"
- Teri Albert
 Writer
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Mystery Writing I - Syllabus
Mystery Writing I - Syllabus
Mystery Writing I - Syllabus

Each week a new topic is explored through lecture and writing exercise. The topics covered in this course include:

Introduction to Mystery Writing – Various sub-genres. Importance of premise. Short stories and novels and serials.

Plot – Creating an interesting protagonist. Creating an antagonist or antagonistic force. The twists and turns of plot.

Character – Making characters vivid. Revealing characters through action. Casting—protagonists, antagonists, sidekicks, love interests.

Point of View/Voice – Various types of point of view. Voice and style.

Dialogue – The illusion of reality. Subtext. Dialogue for character. Dialogue for exposition.

Description/Setting – Creating setting that enhances the story. Sensory description.

Plot II – Focusing on the central story. Subplots. Backstory. Raising stakes. Clues. Plot holes. Climax.

Revision/Authenticity – Process of revision. Researching for authenticity. True crime.

Moral Universe – Finding the moral center and theme. The shades of gray.

The Business – Finding the appropriate agents, publishers, and publications. Query letters. Synopsis.

Note: Content may vary slightly among individual classes.




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