Over the years, I’ve thought about a variety of ways to supplement my royalties. I could sell some of my professional/writing craft books on Amazon’s used books section. I could write advertising copy for companies. I could write quick and dirty writing craft books and indie publish them. I even considered offering on-line classes. That’s a novel idea for a former educator, right?
I approached the co-founder of one of my favorite on-line writing class sites with a couple of ideas for teaching classes for them. Might they be interested? It turns out they might.
I’m not naming the site or the person (yet) I contacted since “interest” is a long way from “implementation.” I’m just trying out some ideas here. I’m looking for help. Tell me what you think.
One excellent suggestion I was given was to offer the class to a few beta participants so I could refine the class after the initial design. Great! I will do that!
In the meantime, I am working on the 20 class lessons I could offer. Here are the general areas I’ve come up with so far. In the comments section, please offer critiques, suggestions, options, and other ideas that might help me design this course.
First the title.
The course is sharing with others and having them try the elements that I use when I plan my novels. I am a mega-planner, most of the time. The system I’ve developed over the years is what helps me “win” National Novel Writing Month, “winning” being defined as producing at least 50,000 words in 30 days.Whether the participant wants to win NaNoWriMo or whether heesh just wants to try the jump-start apart from NaNoWriMo, this course is designed to ramp up the planning process.
So what would be a good title for a mega-planning class? Planning Your NaNoWriMo Novel? Write/Writing Your Novel in 30 Days? Planning for NaNoWriMo? Or do you have another idea?
I would pitch this as being for novels not yet written, novel ideas not drafts.
Topics to be covered in 20 lessons (some take more than one day to present):
Plotter or Pantser? A spurious distinction.
Choosing a mentor text for assignments; what it is and
why it’s important
Recommendations for several craft books for later
reading such as Larry Brooks' Story Engineering and
James Scott Bell's Write Your Novel from the Middle
What planning gets you and why you should do it
Bell’s 14 signposts
Bell’s five essential tent poles
Premise vs concept
Concepts and sub-concepts
10 key events
Scene grid Elements
Using the scene grid for planning
Writing the first scene
Lessons/Assignments (some take more than one day):
Advantages of plotter. Advantages of pantser. Where are
you and why?
Choosing your mentor text—the components: your
genre; recent; well-written
List craft books you’ve read and their influence on you
What does “planning” mean?
Find examples of Bell’s signposts in mentor text
List your concept. List your premise.
Identify your sub-concepts
List your 10 key events
Write five character sketches
Write a three-page story treatment with main characters
and plot twists including the ending
Design your scene grid
Fill in your scene grid from the middle out
Write the first scene from your scene grid
So the question remains: would you take this course? Do you have suggestions for inclusion or change?
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