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Advanced Fiction Writing

Do you have a story idea but aren't sure how to begin? Do your friends say you write well, but you're not sure how to get started on that first book? Do you have a manuscript, or parts of a manuscript, and need to know how to polish it for publication?

In this course, you'll explore all the topics a writer needs to create a successful manuscript, including story structure, plot, character, dialogue, setting, suspense, conflict, action, viewpoint, tense, and even how to get published. Each lesson includes an assignment that will help you develop or polish your manuscript. You will explore the essential techniques that are often overlooked in a clear, step-by-step fashion. After completing this course, you will never look at fiction writing the same way again!

6 Weeks / 24 Course Hrs
Starting October 18, 2017

Offered in Partnership with your Preferred School

Los Angeles Valley College Why this school? It's been chosen based on your location or if you've visited this school's website.

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Learning Method

Instructor-led Confirm your Start Date in Cart

Advanced Fiction Writing

Learning Method

Instructor-led Confirm your Start Date in Cart

Advanced Fiction Writing Reviews

Advanced Fiction Writing Details + Objective

Course Code: afw

You Will Learn
  • Learn how to develop or polish your story ideas into fully-realized published pieces of writing
  • Examine every element of successful fiction writing including structure, plot, character, dialogue, setting, suspense, conflict, action, and viewpoint
  • Discover techniques often neglected or overlooked by textbooks and other professional writers
  • Learn how to communicate an engaging and enduring message to your readers
How the course is taught
  • Instructor-led course
  • 6 weeks in duration
  • Courses begin each month
  • 2 lessons released each week
  • 24 course hours
How you will benefit
  • Learn how to translate an idea into a finished and published product you can be proud of
  • Gain confidence in your ability to write stories that affect readers and transcend genres
  • Bring your dreams to life through a foolproof, step-by-step process you will never forget
Advanced Fiction Writing Outline
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Week 1

Rediscover the power of the three-act story structure and the dramatic elements that create it. Then, examine the different plot templates that form the foundation of nearly all fiction.

Week 2

Explore techniques for making both major and minor characters believable and memorable. Then, experiment with viewpoint, voice, and tense to discover their effect on your writing.

Week 3

Master techniques for creating vivid settings that will capture your readers' imaginations. Then, discover the internal structure of scenes and sequels, which make up almost every successful piece of fiction, and see how it relates to the checkpoints of story structure, dialogue, and pacing.

Week 4

Investigate the role conflict plays in creating action and suspense, and learn how to heighten both through pacing, starting the clock, hints, and misdirection. Then, explore the uses of dialogue, and discover techniques for crafting the most realistic exchanges possible.

Week 5

Learn how to create a dramatic opening and closing and make them work together. Then, discover how to enrich your writing through symbols that add depth, metaphors that will cling to your readers' memories, and the technique of writing big, which will make your stories transcendent.

Week 6

Bring your story to life by showing—not telling—and using dialogue instead of exposition to create drama and keep your readers reading. Finally, learn how to navigate the writing process from first draft to bookstore shelves without running aground or sinking in a sea of debt.

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Advanced Fiction Writing Instructors
Steve Alcorn

Steve Alcorn is the published author of a wide range of fiction and nonfiction works. During the past decade he has helped more than 30,000 students turn their story ideas into reality, and many of his students have published novels they developed in his classes. His novels include the mystery A Matter of Justice, the historical novel Everything in Its Path, and the picture storybook Molly Builds a Theme Park. He is the author of the non-fiction books How to Fix Your Novel, Theme Park Design, and Write Your Life Story. When he isn't writing and teaching, Steve is the CEO of Alcorn McBride Inc., a leading theme park design company.

Advanced Fiction Writing Requirements / Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites for this course.

Advanced Fiction Writing Frequently Asked Questions
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When can I get started?

A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits!

How does it work?

Once a session starts, two lessons will be released each week, for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.

How long do I have to complete each lesson?

Keep in mind that the interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes 2 weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.

What if I need an extension?

The Final Exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the Final Exam has been released, you will have 2 weeks plus 10 days to complete the Final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.

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