Friday, February 4, 2011

Learning the Craft

So, my apologies first off for no blog last week.  I am a new mom, and as such, am experiencing the type of delirious exhaustion usually only found during basic training or medical residency.  I'm not quite on top of my online/writer life like I should be.  Thank heavens this is only lasts a short period of time.

While I still plan on writing a series of blogs related to Japanese history and mythology, for the moment it would take a lot more time with research than I am able to give to really do right by such a fascinating and rich mythos, so that is on hold for a few weeks.

Instead today, I will focus a little more on the writer side of things, and talk about craft, specifically improving it.

Like almost every other writer, I had no idea how much there was to learn about how to write.  After all, all my life people told me how much they like my writing and stories.  Isn't that all there is to writing?  Sit down, put words on paper, and stand back as people give you accolades?

Umm, not so much.  It was rather humbling but necessary when someone told me that while I did indeed have talent, if I wanted to get published I really needed to study my craft.

Deep POV, Scene and Sequel, Show not Tell, World Building, the W Plot.  Good grief!  I guess there is a reason to study writing in college after all.

Since I did not, I've resorted to the next best thing - online courses.  These have exploded in the last few years, and I find them to be a reasonably priced way to learn some of these areas I'm lacking.  I encourage anyone who is weak in a particular area of writing (and who isn't!) to explore the online class option.

While I don't want to make this blog post a commercial for anyone, I do want to mention a few of my favorite instructors.  After all, if you have never taken a online class before but are interested, how are you going to know who to pick out of the hundreds of teachers out there?  These following are the instructors I felt were well worth both the time and money invested in their classes.

Mary Buckham and Laurie Schnebly Campbell started, one of the best places to begin.  Both these ladies are amazing teachers and will go above and beyond to make sure you understand the lessons.

Also included in my list of go-to instructors:  CJ Lyons, Bob Mayer, Christine Fairchild, and Margie Lawson.

What about you?  If anyone has any teachers they really enjoy, share them here!  Hey, I'm always on the lookout for a great teacher  :)


  1. I took Bob Mayer's pitch workshop last year. It helped me figure out what my book was about, establish the conflict and realize that I had a long way to go. Lol! After a year of revising, I finally sold it! I hear his workshops are fabulous, although I've only taken the one. But the one I took is probably the only reason I sold. I may have figured it out eventually on my own... 5... 10 years down the line.

  2. ah...I'm such a workshop whore. I have taken a couple of really good emotion workshops with Laurie Sanders; Margie Lawson, of course; and Editpalooza over at Savvy Authors, which has wiped me out but in a good way!

  3. Loved the W Plot Diagram class I took, though I use it to write a synopsis, not an actual outline.

    And there was a pitch class taught my Julie Rowe that I totally enjoyed!