As I said in the first post on workshops, just about one year ago Kris and I started the Online Workshops after years of resisting doing so. I find it hard to believe that it’s been a year.
But so far people seem to be learning and I’m still having fun and learning from everyone who takes a class, which is why I guess I didn’t notice it had been a year until someone mentioned that to me the other day.
As the year went by, we added in other workshops from the first group. We added in Cover Design and Interior Design with Allyson Longuiera teaching most of those. And Kris and I put together World Building and Plotting workshops. And then just this month we added in Promotions and next month will add in the craft workshop Pacing.
We have ideas for other workshops to add in this fall and winter, so watch for those as well. (No hints, sorry, but suggestions welcome.)
But now, as we go over this one year date, in a series of posts I want to detail out what each workshop is about and how it has functioned at this first year point. In other words, give a little more information about each workshop for those of you thinking of taking a workshop this fall or winter, now that we are coming through the summer vacations and travel season.
So third in this series is Openings and Cliffhangers. Both of these workshops work standing alone, but also sort of fit together, which is why we started them together a year ago.
Both of these workshops were originally workshops we did here at the coast. Kris and I converted them to online workshops and after a year they seem to be working great still.
Readers, if they make it through your cover and your ad copy, they open your book and sample your story or novel. And if you don’t know how to open a story, no reader or editor will buy it. There are ways to write openings of stories that will grab the reader and this course will teach you that.
Also, every time you start a new chapter or a new section, you must grab the reader and keep them reading with the opening. This course will teach you how to do that and work with you on the tricks and writing techniques of professional fiction writers.
This workshop has seemed to be very successful over the year. At least that’s the feedback I have gotten on it. This has the writers attending doing a lot of writing, and the writing not only focuses on cold openings (such as the start of a story or novel) but the openings of chapters and scenes.
How do you pull your readers down into an opening? How do you ground a reader quickly so they can’t put your book down? Just a couple of things this workshop helps with.
And since holding a reader in a book from chapter to chapter to chapter requires two elements: Great cliffhangers and great openings of the next chapter, we offered these two workshops together and many people take them together.
(Offered October 10th and December 4th, 2013)
How to keep a reader reading from chapter to chapter and from scene to scene. There are many ways besides the standard “hero hanging from a cliff” that the name of the technique is named after. In fact, there are six major cliffhangers and each week in this course will cover another way to keep your readers hooked into your stories. It will also cover how to speed up your stories and even understand when a scene or chapter should end.
Understanding how to use the major cliffhanger techniques will jump your sales and keep readers coming back to your work.
When writers think of “cliffhangers” they think of the old cliche, for the most parts. But top bestsellers use many, many methods and forms of cliffhangers to keep a reader in a story and reading late into the night. This workshop forces you to go study those different methods and lets you know they are there.
Many writers over the last year have told me this has really helped their fiction. And this workshop is a perfect fit with the Openings workshop above.
(Offered October 10th and December 4th, 2013)
BASIC WORKSHOP INFORMATION
– Each workshop is limited to 12 writers.
– Each is six weeks long.
– Each has five assignments that are not required, but suggested.
– Each writer gets personal feedback at one level or another on assignments.
– Each week is done at the writer’s own pace and usually takes about four hours total per week per workshop.
– Many writers have taken more than one workshop per month.
– There is a forum section on each workshop for more public questions. Private questions are welcome as well.
– Each week there is a general video talking about the assignments.
– Starting day of each workshop is the day each week starts.
– Each six week workshop costs $300.00 Sign-up information and full list of workshops and schedule under Online Workshops Tab.
Any questions, feel free to contact me. I will do two more workshops each day until I get through the list. Comments welcome, of course.