All class sessions include:
- Video Lectures
- Workbook and Handouts (The 10 Mistakes Book)
- Optional reading material
- Video and movie clips
- Group discussions
- Lesson assignments
- On-demand personal mentor to help integrate concepts into your writing.
This course tackles exactly what you need to do to always write compelling and engaging material. You’ll learn what writing mistakes amateur writers make, what kills successful publication, and what is sure to tag you as an inexperience writer. Not all mistakes are grammatical. Most mistakes come in the form of style. You’ll learn what those mistakes are and how to avoid them. Good writing is much more than grammar. A sentence can be grammatically correct but mean nothing to a reader. This course shows why some writing works and why other writing does not. You’ll learn the science behind word choice and how to construct sentences to achieve the impact you want to create. You’ll also learn hoe to influence the thinking of the audience you want to reach.
Week One: The Hidden Power of Words.
- Word choice not only determines what is said and how it is said, it also determines what kind of impact it delivers. Words are multi-layered. They serve as scaffolds upon which readers build pictures and experience an emotional response. The activity of reading is to engage the reader’s imagination.
- The great myth behind how description is done
- Why reader’s read and the importance of reading between the lines
- How to decide the point you want to make
- How to create reader emotion
Week Two: How readers read and what that means to writing.
- There is a science, a physical and biological component, to how readers take in the information on a page. The most critical is the fact that the words are heard. Another is the split second speed with which they make decisions about the reading and the kinds of information they can humanly absorb. In order for a writer to write with impact and engagement, he or she must know how readers take in information.
- The adjective /adverb myth
- The difference between an intellectual understanding of a word and the emotional understanding of a word
- Why the road to hell is paved with adverbs
- The false impact of intensifiers
- The power of the metaphor family
Week Three: I’ve got rhythm. Who can ask for anything more?
- Rhythm: Readers hear words; they don’t read them
- The importance of how sentences sound
- The power of word echoes
- Sentence lengths and emotional impact
- Using rhythm to enhance meaning
- Barbara Kingsolver, Pat Conroy and Harper Lee
Week Four: Breathing life into a sentence
- Great sentences go beyond grammar. Science tells us that readers don’t read words; they hear them. This lecture explores how great sentences are achieved and why they are the foundation of great works of literature.
- The introductory clause
- Jargon, slang, clichés and meaningless talk
- The art of writing succinctly—never using two words when one will do.
- The redundancy menace
- Trusting the reader’s ability to think.
- The dangling modifier and unintended laughter
- The passive sentence cure
Week Five: New thinking on how to use words.
- How to use words to influence readers and expand creativity. Word power and structuring compelling sentences. Words have the power to reshape knowledge and readers see the world. Learn the science behind their use.
- Creating “extreme” words to create impact
- Getting out of the author’s chair
- Not telling everything you know all at once
- How to avoid leading the reader
- The cure for bland beginnings
Week Six: Dialog and how to use it properly.
- What not to do and what you must do. Your characters are what they say and how they talk.
- Consider the character’s personality
- Consider the character’s motivational history
- Never qualify what’s being said
- Dialog tags and rendering the narrative mute
- How to punctuate dialog
- Say or said, the king and queens of dialog
You’ve Earned Your Certificate. Congratulations.
Individuals that complete the course receive a Certificate of Completion and a progress suggestion card. Given your particular skills and challenges we have discovered during the course, we will suggest what courses or resources will contribute to furthering your writing skills. We will help you explore what your next writing step should be.
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