University of the District of Columbia
Fiction spans several genres and touches millions of readers. Some of the most enduring works of fiction have come from genres like fantasy, romance, and mystery. Today, many genre pieces have gone on to become multimedia franchises. If you want to become a writer, there's no better time to learn genre fiction and screenwriting.
Explore Fiction Writing will teach you how to write works of fantasy, romance, and mystery. You will also learn screenwriting, since film as a medium can further expand your story ideas. You will learn how characterization, plotting, narrative, and other techniques of fiction translate to genre writing. Then, through targeted writing assignments, you will put what you learn into practice. Whether you're a new or experienced writer, this course bundle will help you broaden your skills and understand what makes readers engage with your work.
Writing the first draft is only the first step though. You will also learn how to revise and proofread like an editor. As you craft your work from first to final draft, you will also learn what happens after "The End." Marketing your work and submitting for publication is an important part of a writer's work, and you will learn how to navigate this process. With the tools you will gain in this course, you will be ready to write, edit, and submit your story, novel, or screenplay.
Suite bundles are not eligible for partial drops or refunds. Transfers to other open sessions of the same course are available. Please refer to your school for additional details regarding drops, transfers, and refunds on Suite bundles.
How the course is taught
- Instructor-led online course
- 96 course hours
- Introduction to Screenwriting
- Why Write a Script Now?
- What Is a Story?
- Creating Characters
- Screenplay Structure
- The End
- The Scene
- Dialogue or No Dialogue
- The Rewrite
- Your Script and You
- Mystery Writing
- The Four Story Types
- Plot vs. Story
- Passion, Theme, Character, and Premise
- The Checkpoints of Mystery Story Structuring
- Act 1: Hook, Backstory, and Trigger
- Act 2: Crisis, Struggle, and Epiphany
- Act 3: Plan, Climax, and Ending
- The Story Outline
- Scene and Sequel
- The Mystery
- Romance Writing
- What Is a Romance Novel?
- The Elements of Romance
- Characters: The Heartbeat of Romance
- Getting to Know Your Characters
- Goal, Motivation, and Conflict
- The Basics of Plot
- Plotting 2.0
- Scene and Sequel
- Emotional Appeal
- Fiction Writing Craft I
- Fiction Writing Craft II
- After "The End"
- Writing the Fantasy Novel
- What Is Fantasy Fiction?
- World-Building, Part One: Exploring the World
- World-Building, Part Two: Magic
- World-Building, Part Three: Societies
- Creating Characters
- Plotting Your Novel
- The Narrative Voice
- The Writing Process
- The Postwriting Process
- Publishing Your Novel
- Marketing and Motivating
Laura K. Anderson
Laura K. Anderson picked up her first science fiction book when she was in first grade and she's been in love with speculative fiction ever since. She particularly enjoys writing fantasy fiction and is the editorial director for Sojourn: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction. Laura has a Master of Arts degree in literature and creative writing and is currently working on a Master of Arts in special education.
Priscilla Oliveras has a Master of Fine Arts in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. Her debut novel, His Perfect Partner, is an October 2017 release with Kensington Zebra Shout. A long-time active member of Romance Writers of America, she currently serves as the PRO Liaison on the national board. She's a four-time Golden Heart finalist who has won multiple contests and writes contemporary romance novels with a Latino flavor. Priscilla has lectured on college campuses, presented for local writers groups, penned multiple articles on her craft, and completed five romance novels. Sharing her love of the written word and the information she's gleaned over the course of her writing career is one of her greatest passions.
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.
William Rabkin is a veteran writer/producer whose 300-plus hours of produced television include Monk, Psych, and The Glades. He has served as "showrunner" on Diagnosis Murder, Martial Law, and She-Wolf of London, and has written a dozen network pilots. He is the co-creator and co-editor of Amazon Publishing's bestselling Dead Man series of action horror novels, and has also published five additional novels and two books on writing, Successful Television Writing (2003, with Lee Goldberg) and Writing the Pilot (2011). As a teacher, he has lectured and led workshops for writers, producers, and executives in Spain, Sweden, Belgium, and the Netherlands, and led traditional classes at UCLA Extension and Stephens College. He is currently an adjunct professor of screenwriting in the University of California, Riverside-Palm Desert's low-residency MFA program.
Instructor Interaction: The instructor looks forward to interacting with learners in the online moderated discussion area to share their expertise and answer any questions you may have on the course content.
There are no prerequisites to take this course bundle.
- This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac.
- PC: Windows 8 or later.
- Mac: macOS 10.6 or later.
- Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
- Adobe Acrobat Reader.
- Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.
- Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.
Instructional Material Requirements:
The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.
A new session of each course opens every 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.