Novel Writing Classes and Workshops
Members have access to full course content for independent study.
Scheduled group classes range from 1 to 16 weeks in length.
(See Fiction Writing for up-to-date list of courses)
F112 Character Development
This course will guide the student toward a better understanding of what makes our characters tick. Lessons cover Character Shaping, Improvisations, Unity of Opposites and Motivation.
F114 Doing It With Dialogue
The purpose of this class is to emphasize the importance of dialogue. In the next three weeks, we will address the two main issues of dialogue: the what and the how. The what will explore how much detail we convey through the dialogue in what the characters are saying. The how is exactly what it sounds like; how are the characters saying it. In the final week, we will put it all together and see how far we've come.
F116 Getting the Words Right
This an advanced course for those who have completed the first draft of their novel and are now working on rewrites. You will be using your own novel as we go through the text. This course is designed to focus on the skills needed to revise and edit. You may work on the first chapter of your novel or skip around to various problem areas. However, given the time limitation, assignments will be limited to three paragraphs per lesson. Once the course is completed, you should have the tools to continue revising and editing your manuscript. Although the book can be applied to other forms of writing, we will be concentrating on fiction. Once you have completed the course, you may join in the F118 Getting the Words Right Editing Workshop to complete a revision of your novel using the skills learned in this class.
F118 Getting the Words Right Editing Workshop
F118 is an open workshop for those who have completed the F116 Getting the Words Right course. This board has been made available for those to continue to post chapters of their novels and exchange feedback using what they learned in F116.
F120 The Fiction Query Letter & Synopsis
This course will show you how to write an effective query letter for your completed novel followed by the synopsis. To query or not to query, isn't the question; however, to query with a synopsis is. Editors and agents know they are almost asking the impossible when it comes to writing a dynamic summation of your novel on one page. Although it is suggested you look for the publisher or agent guidelines before querying, why not pack a punch and include a synopsis? The do's and don'ts will be discussed and the art of risk taking.
F122 Writing the Mystery Novel
Writing the Mystery Novel is an eight week course that will help students understand the mystery novel and assist them in writing one of their own. The first four weeks focus on where each writer fits into the genre, the importance of characters to the mystery genre, especially the villain, and the crime scene and setting. The second part of the course focuses on plotting, the hook, clues and red herrings (and how to plant them), and pulling it all together. During the break, students are encouraged to conduct research, read at least one new release in their chosen genre, and continue character development.
F124 Completing the Mystery Novel
Completing the Mystery Novel is designed to help students understand the mystery novel and assist them in writing one of their own. This course is designed for students who have completed, or nearly completed, parts one and two of F122, Writing the Mystery Novel. Each lesson covers two weeks, for a total of eight. The exercises and writing assignments are aimed to get and keep you writing the rough draft.
F126 Story Structures (and Everything In Between)
This advanced, eight-week course will help the student gain a better understanding of story form and structure through reading and writing exercises.
F127 Story Structures Editing Workshop
The Story Structures Editing Workshop is an open workshop for those who have completed F126 Story Structures. This board has been made available for those to continue the work started in F126 and exchange feedback using what was learned in the class.
F128 Taking the Intimidation Out of Theme
This course will attempt to calm your nerves when you're asked, "What is your book about?" We will answer who, what, when and where which will lead up to the why and to what effect. The answer to what the book is about: the theme. This course is for those who have a short story, novella, or novel completed or underway.
F130 Mythic Structure Part 1
Screenwriting, novel writing, short story writing, fiction or writing creative nonfiction, this course teaches the concepts behind blockbuster movies and best-selling novels. "The Hero's Journey has served storytellers and their listeners since the very first stories were told, and it shows no signs of wearing out. Let's begin the Writer's Journey together to explore these ideas. I hope you find them useful as magic keys to the world of story and the labyrinth of life."
F133 Mythic Structure Part 2
The writing course is for screenwriters, novelists, and short story writers. It continues to explore concepts and structures found in polpular movies and novels.
F135 Mythic Structure Part 3
The writing course is for screenwriters, novelists, and short story writers. It continues to explore concepts and structures introduced in Mythic Structure Part 1 and Part 2.
F137 Mythic Structure Part 4
The course concludes the Mythic Structure Writing series and prepares students for the Mythic Structure Workshop.
F138 Mythic Structure Workshop
The writing workshop will give Writers an opportunity apply what they've learned in the Mythic Structure Writing series.
F144 Preparing for the Novel
The writing exercises in this four-week course cover the eight-point arc, character and dialogue, point-of-view and style, and editing and shaping.
F146 Let's Make A Scene
Novel Writing, Short Story and Screenwriting Course Learn how to build scenes for novels, screenplays and full-bodied short stories.
F148 Other Worlds in Science Fiction and Fantasy
. The objective of this Science Fiction and Fantasy writing course is to show the power of a mythic vision of the world when writing science fiction novels, fantasy novels or short stories
F150 Design Your Own Novel Program
The writing exercises in this four-week course cover the eight-point arc, character and dialogue, point-of-view and style, and editing and shaping.
F152 Horror Writing
To give the student of horror writing a perspective in the horror field, its history, develop an idea and terrifying characters while avoiding the clichés found in this field. By the end of the course, the student will have a completed first draft of a short story or be well on the way to writing a solid horror novel.
F154 Writing Fiction for Children
Are you a master at making up bedtime stories for children? Do you think there is a children's story inside you? If so, this course will show you some special techniques to use when writing for a younger audience. Topics in this course will include; why writing for children is not easier than writing for adults, choosing age appropriate language, different types of children's books (picture books, chapter books, etc.) and more. By the end of this course, you will have prepared a first draft of a story for children.
F156 Children's Writing Workshop
. Children's Writer’s Workshop is an open workshop for those who have completed WVU’s children's writers courses and are now nearing the submission stage. Serious tweaking. Sharing of information
F162 Character Driven Plots - The Big 5
A study in the use of psychological behavior models for developing realistic characters. This course has applications in all forms of creative writing. Those writing novels will find this course very useful in both the creation and revision stages.
F164 The Single Effect Theory by Poe
The Single Effect Theory is an advanced study of the short story through the eyes of Edgar Allan Poe. The purpose of the course is to help writers understand how all parts contribute to a single effect.
F166 Beginnings, Middles and Ends
An intense 8-week course to develop your knowledge of a strong opening hook, building drama credibly and delivering a satisfying ending. Make your short story a success from the very first sentence to the last paragraph. The emphasis in this course will be on writing.
F200 Independent Novel Workshop
Thie writing workshop is open for members to post chapters of their novels and exchange critiques.
F202 Independent Novel Workshop
This is an open writing workshop for members to post chapters of their novels and exchange critiques.
F212 Heroes and Heroines (Sixteen Master Archetypes)
From the earliest days, storytellers have known the simple truth: strong characters may carry a weak plot, but weak characters cannot be hidden by a strong plot. But high or low, brilliant or average, characters whose stories survive through the ages are those heroes and heroines that ring true to the human spirit. Their personalities, tragedies and triumphs, their decisions made in the heat of the battle-strike a chord of recognition in all who hear the tale.
F215 Worlds of Wonder
Worlds of Wonder will introduce the building blocks of character, world building, plotting and style as used in Science Fiction and Fantasy. Upon completion of the class, students will have produced either a short story or the first chapter of a novel.
F228 So, You Want to Build a Fictional World, Do You? Part 1
So You Want to Build a World, Do You? This course will introduce you to the challenge of building a world of your own. It will help you to describe the world in which your characters live. You will develop your world from the ground up including geography, history, politics and more. Upon completion of this course you will have the physical, historical, and political setting for your story.
F230 So, You Want to Build a Fictional World, Do You? Part 2
So You Want to Build a World, Do You? This course is a continuation of So You Want to Build a Fictional World, Do You? It will help you to describe the world in which your characters live. You will start developing the sociological aspects of your world. You will delve into the Legal System, War, Crime, Transportation, and Medicine. You will also start to develop the general rules for life in your world. Upon completion of this course you will have the beginnings of the social setting for your story. This will also help in the development of your characters.
F232 So, You Want to Build a Fictional World, Do You? Part 3
So You Want to Build a World, Do You? This course is a continuation of So You Want to Build a Fictional World, Do You? Parts I and II. It will help you to describe the world in which your characters live. You will further develop your world from the Sociological aspects, including Enjoyment, Spirituality, and Magic, as well as, putting the finishing touches on your characters way of life. Upon completion of this course you will have completed the social setting for your story.
F234 Crafting Children's Stories
This course covers writing for older children on to the young adult story lines.
F237 Romancing the Plot Doctor
Writing the Romance Novel: This course is based on Carolyn Greene's comprehensive plotting workbook, The Plot Doctor. With determination and hard work, you will learn how to organize your thoughts and ideas and research information as the methods take you through the plotting and planning of your romance novel. Learn your characters dominant traits, needs, goals and strengths. Use the Magic Conflict Chart to develop and focus on the heart of your story. This system will help you develop your story so you keep it interesting from the opening hook, through the dreaded ‘saggy’ middle and provide a satisfying conclusion.
F238 Introduction to Children’s Writing
Acquainting yourself with a variety of picture books and the Children's Book Award list. Researching children's publishers.
F240 Children’s Characters
This course is designed to show you how to breathe life into your character.
F242 Science Fiction Workshop
The subtitle of the course textbook is "An Introduction to Fiction Mechanics." It is specific to the writing of Science Fiction and short stories in particular, although it applies to longer works as well. The course will cover the basic aspects of what it takes to create a selling SF story or novel from conception to the finished product. At the end of the course, students will have gained the tools necessary to develop well-constructed works of their own.
F246 Writing Historical Fiction
Recognize the types of historical fiction, identifying the type you want to write, research your history and develop your fiction, write the hook.
F248 Picture Books with Minimal Text
. Students will develop a simple story line with a simple plot keeping the story’s total word count at 600
F251 Independent Writing Challenge
This is an open workshop for members to post chapters of their novels and exchange feedback. The challenge is to write one chapter per week. Upon registration the course facilitator will assign you to a group. Group members are to provide general feedback (no nits) and encouragement amongst themselves. Completed novels are encouraged to register for F200. This course is for works in progress. If your chapters are very long—in excess of 25 pages, you may need to break them into sections.
Creating Antiheroes: Antiheroes are protagonists who lack the attributes that make a heroic figure, as nobility of mind and spirit, a life or attitude marked by action or purpose, and the like. The Antihero’s approach is a Reflection in a Looking Glass, a mirror image of normalcy.
F2534 Write Fright
This six-week course will provide an overview of the fundamentals of horror fiction. Students will gain knowledge of the horror genre, how to develop an idea, and how to invoke essential emotions in the reader through characterization, setting, description and dialogue. By the end of the course, students will have completed a short story or the opening chapter of a horror novel, and will have gained insight into markets for publication and the submission process.
F300 Crafting Stories for Children
There is an art to storytelling- especially for children. Once the basic principles are mastered, thee are no boundaries, a good story flows from the understanding of writing and structure, character development and plot. Throughout history, storytelling is ever present. Later those same stories would go on to be written, from the original stories to present ,not much has changed; and to share that writing with children gives them a glimpse into the past, can educate them, and even open new worlds.
F102 Romance Writing - Part 1
The objective of the Romance course is to understand and learn how to write your own Romance novel in 12 weeks. This will be done in a step-by-step procedure. The first part of the course is to learn the history behind romance writing, fine-tune our research capabilities and learn our characters inside out. The fourth lesson will concentrate on knowing how to hook the reader. There will be a one-week break, and during this break the student will do more research, writing and studying of the genre of choice along with some scene writing. There will be online readings as well
F102 Romance Writing - Part 2
In the second part of the course, the concentration will be centered on the sub-genres of Romance writing, including the Paranormal Romance, Contemporary Romance, Regency, Romantic Suspense and the Medieval Romance. This section includes writing various scenes to complete your novel. There will be a one week break between parts B and C.
F103 Romance Writing - Part 3
. This will include the business aspect of writing and completing your proposal packet. It is at this time that you will have near to finished rough drafts and learn the art of submitting to publishers. By the conclusion of the Romance class, we should have a Romance novel written or at least the first draft of one
F105 Romance Writers Editing Workshop
Romance Editing Workshop is an open workshop for those who have completed the Romance Writing series (F102, F102, F103). This board has been made available for those who wish to continue to post their work and exchange feedback on the stories started in the Romance Writing course.