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.
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.
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.
Lesson 01 - Discovering Young Adult Fiction
In our first lesson, we'll explore what makes young adult fiction the most exciting choice for your writing. You'll discover why it's rewarding from both a creative and monetary standpoint, and then you'll have an opportunity to select the genre that works best for your own original story, which you'll develop during this course.
Lesson 02 - The Dramatic Elements of Young Adult Fiction
This lesson is filled with what I call "lightbulb moments" that I hope will make you say "Ah-ha!" We'll begin by defining the important difference between story and plot, and then we'll examine the dramatic elements of young adult fiction. Finally, you'll begin planning your own story by choosing the dramatic elements that will propel it to success.
Lesson 03 - Young Adult Characters
We all have some idea of how to write a character sketch, but do you know the two most important things that drive your characters? This lesson shows you how goals drive your characters and how flaws impede them. Then you'll have a chance to choose attributes that create your characters' goals and flaws. We'll make it easy, with a Comprehensive Character Attribute Form.
Lesson 04 - Story Patterns
What on earth are "story patterns"? This lesson answers that question. By the time you finish it, you'll have a whole cookbook full of great recipes to use in concocting your own original story. Best of all, you'll understand exactly how other best-selling young adult fiction has used those patterns so you can pick the one that works best for you.
Lesson 05 - Creating Young Adult Fiction in Three Acts
You might have heard of the three-act structure, but did you know that nearly all great fiction uses it? That's because it guarantees an effective beginning, middle, and end. I've refined it into my own nine-checkpoint system that makes it incredibly easy to create a well-structured story. This lesson shows you how to apply it to your own work. After following these simple steps, you'll wonder how you ever got along without it!
Lesson 06 - Action and Emotion . . . and Repeat
This lesson delivers plenty of lightbulb moments. It's all about the ebb and flow of fiction, and how you create that using plot and story. You'll have an opportunity to practice writing scenes for your original story and learn how to use transitions and chapter breaks to achieve maximum impact.
Lesson 07 - Conflict, Suspense, and Mystery
Conflict, suspense, and mystery are what make your story exciting. In this lesson, we'll explore how conflict is much more than a fight—it's the dramatic underpinning of your story. Then you'll learn a simple technique for creating suspense. Finally, you'll discover a few tricks for adding mystery to your young adult story.
Lesson 08 - Young Adult Dialogue
Dialogue is very different from conversation. This lesson explains why and helps you develop your dialogue-writing skills. You'll polish your "teenspeak" and learn when to use dialect—and when not to. You'll even discover there are some kinds of dialogue that aren't spoken!
Lesson 09 - Viewpoint and Tense Choices
Young adult fiction is almost always written in one of three viewpoints and two tenses. In this lesson, you'll have fun comparing the techniques used in some of the best young adult books and discovering which combination you like best. Then you'll have a chance to try them all on your own original story.
Lesson 10 - Finding Your Young Adult Voice
Voice can be a slippery concept, but this lesson makes it easy to hold on to. You'll learn how to give your main character or narrator a distinctive voice and then discover other techniques for imparting deeper meaning and bigger imagery to your own young adult story.
Lesson 11 - Putting It All Together
As you've seen so far, there's a lot more to writing your novel or screenplay than just jumping in and writing your long form! In this lesson, you'll learn about the collateral documents that will help you with the planning, writing, and marketing stages—stages that are all equally important. You'll also discover how to write a synopsis that sells your work. Finally, I'll give you an extensive Manuscript Evaluation Checklist to help you make your story perfect.
Lesson 12 - Getting Published
It's all about getting into print so others can read your work, and this lesson shows you how. You'll learn submission strategies for finding an agent or publishers. We'll also discuss what contests can (or can't) do for you. Finally, you'll explore how print-on-demand publishing can turn your young adult fiction into income and might be your perfect choice.