Steve is a student's dream -- attentive, knowledgeable, and able to present course material in a fun and interesting way. He is admirably meticulous in checking the discussion forums and offering comments on student work, even when work is posted days after more recent lessons have been released. A wonderful instructor and a wonderful class -- both highly recommended!"
Steve is wonderful. I don't know how he does online what so many instructors can't do in a classroom. The content and pace were beyond expectation. His critiques were always immensely encouraging and right on. Thank you Steve."
This course has energized and motivated me more than I can possibly imagine. I loved every bit of it and I learned so much. I really got a lot out of lesson 5 with sharpening your descriptions and loved the whole lesson on metaphors and similes. One piece I wrote I read to my husband and he asked which book that came out of!! I felt so great. I can't wait to tackle my original novel and apply the things I've learned and also continue on with my second one. I can't thank you enough Steve, and everyone in the course who gives such wonderful feedback!!"
Steve Alcorn's courses should be a literal MUST to every single aspiring writer in the entire civilized world. No one should ever go into writing without first mastering the basic fundamentals of construction that he teaches."
Before this class, I had read (and even studied) several books on writing fiction. Although several mentioned scene and one spoke of the importance of emotion, not one of them mentioned scene structure as taught here. Scene & sequel is powerful. I'll be back for Mystery Writing and Write Like a Pro in a few weeks. Thanks Steve."
For six weeks I've been excited, anticipating each lesson. It would be impossible to pick out what the most valuable thing I've learned would be; there are so many. I'm more determined than ever to complete and publish my novel and this class and Write Fiction Like A Pro have given me the confidence and drive I needed!"
One of the stories I workshopped with you just won first prize in the National Medical Fiction Writing Competition for Physicians. Your advice and teaching made a huge difference in my writing quality and your support encouraged me to keep going. Now I can keep working on getting that novel published!"
I'm glad you encouraged us to go back to our old writing. I found that by applying your techniques to very small sections of the old stories, those sections sprang to life. They improved not simply because of the rewriting techniques, but by virtue of the fact that they were being minutely examined, a task required by the specificity of the exercises. I loved that you provided a technique for getting into that. This class is like giving a knife to a starving man at an oyster roast. I'll be taking your other classes."
I thought I was blocked. After about three of Steve's lessons, I realized that I haven't been blocked, I just plain didn't know enough about the structure of a novel to write one effectively. Now a publisher had asked to see more of my work. Thanks, Mr. Alcorn."
This class was great!!!! I learned so much. I've been writing for a long time and have read countless books on the craft as well as how to get published. In this short period of time I learned more than all of those books put together. It's as though no one wants to tell the real secrets....hmmm. Thanks, Steve, for telling it like it REALLY is and giving me the best advice. I am certain to be published now and will most definitely send you the first autographed copy."
Course Code: afw
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There are no prerequisites to take this course.
The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.
A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits.
Once a course 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.
The interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes two weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
The final exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the final exam has been released, you will have two weeks plus 10 days (24 days total) to complete the final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.