This online course is 6 weeks long, followed by a 2-week period to complete the final exam (online, open book). Lessons are released on Wednesdays and Fridays of each week. You are not required to be online at any specific time. You register and pay on our website and instructions on how to access your course will be emailed to you immediately after registration.

The actual time commitment involved in completing any given lesson can vary significantly based on a number of factors including reading speed, familiarity with the topic, related experience, the amount of time spent completing optional assignments, and involvement with discussion board. For planning purposes we suggest setting aside 1 hour per lesson as a starting point.


Advanced Fiction Writing

Advanced Fiction Writing

$190 + applicable tax

Do you have a story idea but aren't sure how to begin? Do your friends say you write well, but you're not sure how to get started on that first book? Do you have a manuscript, or parts of a manuscript, and need to know how to polish it for publication? Are you a published author who wants to learn techniques to write more effectively and efficiently?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then Advanced Fiction Writing is for you!

In this course, you'll explore all the topics a writer needs to create a successful manuscript, including story structure, plot, character, dialogue, setting, suspense, conflict, action, viewpoint, tense, and even how to get published. Each lesson includes an assignment that will help you develop or polish your manuscript. And in the Discussion Area, you'll have an opportunity to share your work with classmates to obtain their feedback.

In Advanced Fiction Writing, you'll explore the essential techniques that are often overlooked by other writing classes and textbooks. And you'll explore them in a clear, step-by-step fashion that will make it easy for you to turn your story idea into a published book. Join us for the next six weeks, and you'll never look at fiction writing the same way again!

Week 1 Wednesday - Lesson 1

Story Structure
Welcome to Advanced Fiction Writing! During the next six weeks, we're going to take a detailed look at all the aspects of fiction writing, including story structure, plot, character, dialogue, setting, suspense, conflict, action, viewpoint, tense, and even how to get published. It sounds like we've got our work cut out for us! But don't worry. We'll take it one step at a time. We'll begin in this lesson by discussing the three-act story structure and how we can use it to create emotionally satisfying fiction.

Week 1 Friday - Lesson 2

Plot Templates
Where do plots come from? Sometimes an idea pops into our heads, and all of its details play themselves out as we jot them down. Other times, coming up with a good plot is a real struggle. Wouldn't it be great if there were some templates we could use to create plots that would work? Fortunately, there are. In this lesson, I'll introduce you to them.

Week 2 Wednesday - Lesson 3

Character Development
The driving force behind whatever you write is character. Without a well-constructed, believable character, your readers won't care about the story. And without a consistent, clearly defined character, you won't have anyone to traverse the physical obstacles of the plot. How do you create well-constructed, believable, consistent, and clearly defined characters? I'll show you in this lesson.

Week 2 Friday - Lesson 4

Viewpoint, Voice, and Tense
Today we'll turn our attention to viewpoint, voice, and tense. You'll have a chance right in the lesson to test-drive the ideas we'll be discussing. These road tests will give you an opportunity to try out your possible choices on sample scenarios and see how they work for you. Then I'll show you how I tackled them.

Week 3 Wednesday - Lesson 5

Setting
What good is setting, anyway? Isn't it just a bunch of set decoration that we can add without much consideration of the story or plot? Oh, no. Setting is actually one of your most powerful tools for conveying emotion. How so? Setting helps establish your story's mood, reinforces your theme, and immerses your readers in the story, which makes all your other words more memorable. We'll explore all these ideas in this lesson.

Week 3 Friday - Lesson 6

Advanced Scene and Sequel
To write your long form, it's vital for you to understand that every sentence contributes to the flow of your prose. Each paragraph relates to those that come before and after. In this lesson, we're going to delve into the internal structure of fiction, called scene and sequel. You'll discover how to use scene and sequel with the checkpoints of story structure, with dialogue, and with an eye to pacing. You'll also have lots of exercises to help you polish your scene and sequel skills throughout this lesson.

Week 4 Wednesday - Lesson 7

Conflict, Action, and Suspense
Today, you're going to learn about action and suspense. Conflict creates action. And it also creates suspense, which is the possibility of action. As essential as conflict is, it's surprisingly hard to write. Why? Because most of us spend our lives trying to avoid it. As a writer, though, you must immerse yourself in conflict. In this lesson, you'll learn how.

Week 4 Friday - Lesson 8

Dialogue
We spend a lot of our lives talking, so doesn't it seem like it should be easy to write dialogue? Actually, in many ways, it's the most difficult part of fiction writing. Creating convincing, meaningful dialogue that advances the plot and contributes to character development can be an author's greatest challenge. In this lesson, we'll meet that challenge and see how to succeed.

Week 5 Wednesday - Lesson 9

Beginnings and Endings
There's only one chance to make a first impression—that's as true of fiction as it is of people. So in this lesson, we'll examine how to make your first impression with your first few lines. You'll also see how to make a lasting impact with your story's last few paragraphs. I'll show you lots of great examples that should help you to spark your own creative ideas.

Week 5 Friday - Lesson 10

Symbols, Metaphors, and Writing Big
Writing is more than a profession. It's also an art. As we begin writing our long form, we have many artistic tools to work with. In this lesson, we'll look at a few of them, including symbols and metaphors, plus techniques for writing "bigger."

Week 6 Wednesday - Lesson 11

Bring Your Story to Life
One of the most common bits of advice to authors is "show, don't tell." In short, it means letting your readers make discoveries through your characters and their surroundings, not because you, as the author, explained it to them. Telling is a trap even very experienced authors can fall into. In this lesson, we'll explore ways to avoid it. We'll also look at the differences between drama and melodrama, and when to use each of them.

Week 6 Friday - Lesson 12

Self-Editing, Submission, and Marketing
In our final lesson, we'll explore the steps you'll follow to get your book onto the shelves of your local bookstore. First, you'll need to edit your first draft into a polished second draft. Then it's time to find an agent, a publisher, or a printer. Finally, you need to take the initiative in marketing your book. If that sounds like a lot of effort, it is. But seeing your book in print makes everything well worth it.

Course Details
This course is fully online, you require internet access and an email account. The course duration is 6 weeks, followed by a 2-week period to complete the final exam (online, open book). Lessons are released on Wednesdays and Fridays of each week, for a total of 12. You are not required to be online at any specific time.

In addition to the specific lesson content, there is a discussion board with each lesson and often there is an optional assignment to apply the learning.

Following each lesson, there is a short multiple choice quiz. Your score on these quizzes does not count towards the final mark but completing these helps solidify your learning as well as prepare you for the final exam.

The final exam is an open-book, multiple choice exam and you need to achieve a minimum of 65% on the final exam to pass the course. There is only one opportunity to pass the exam. A certificate of completion from Ed2Go is available for printing immediately upon successful completion of the course and a certificate from the University of Waterloo will be emailed typically 1-2 weeks later.

Certificates
Many of the Ed2Go courses are eligible towards the various online certificates offered by Professional Development.

Choose your course start date:

Jul 13, 2022Aug 17, 2022Sep 14, 2022Oct 12, 2022