Fiction Writing Advanced

Picture of Fiction Writing Advanced
Quick Facts
  • Delivery Method Online
  • Professional Certificate
  • 24hrs Suggested Study Time
  • 3 Months Access
  • Tutor Support
  • Study On Any Device
  • 3984 Students

Explore advanced fiction writing techniques with a published novelist.

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 this 3 month course, and you'll never look at fiction writing the same way again!

Courses are delivered to you through expertly executed lessons, online instruction and interaction with like-minded students. Our courses are designed to deliver all of the benefits of studying in a classroom whilst giving you the flexibility to study at a time and place to suit your needs. You can access your classroom 24/7 from any device with an internet connection.

This course has a 3 month duration. You'll complete comprehensive lessons, quizzes and assignments before submitting your final exam at the end of the course to achieve your certificate. Courses must be completed within the 3 month access period.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

Steve Alcorn

Steve Alcorn

Steve Alcorn is the published author of a wide range of fiction and nonfiction works including the mystery A Matter of Justice, the historical novel Everything in Its Path, the romance Ring of Diamonds (under the pseudonym Sha... Read more

Read Steve Alcorn's Profile

Frequently Asked Questions

Once you've made the payment, we'll send you a confirmation email with a link to start your course. Feel free to get started whenever you're ready!

You'll have 3 months access to your course. In that time you are free to study at your own pace. The course duration is 24 hours.

Online learning is a flexible way to study that fits around your schedule, giving you the freedom to learn at your own pace from anywhere in the world. You'll have 3 months to complete the course and can take the multiple-choice questions and final exam whenever it suits you.

If you need help, you can contact us anytime. You can also join the discussion area where you can interact with other students. The discussion area for each lesson is open for the entire duration of the course.

Of course! We offer a 10-day money back guarantee. As long as you haven't completed the course, you can get a full refund within 10 days of enrolling.

We do not offer extensions or transfers for this self-paced course. However, you will have 3 months to complete the course, and if you need to cancel within the first 10 days of enrolment, we offer a money back guarantee.

The Learning Environment

From the moment that you enrol in the Fiction Writing Advanced you will become an integral part of our learning community. You'll find yourself with the freedom to learn at a speed that suits you, on any device, from anywhere in the world. Achieving your career goals no longer has to mean compromising family and work commitments.

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