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Creative Writing: Fiction

Just the fiction, ma'am.

War and Peace, The Hunger Games, Moby Dick, Harry Potter: they didn't pop out of nowhere. Whether you're out to achieve fame, gain literary immortality, or just tell a story that will nail people to their Kindles, you've got to start somewhere. This course will get you schooled on the basics: how to come up with story material, how to develop a character, and how to build scenes. By the end of this three-week shebang, you'll have a draft of a short story on your hands and the beginnings of a brilliant literary career.

Hey, is that your eyebrow arching? Are you maybe thinking, why go through all the trouble to make up characters and situations? Why not write memoir or opt for journalism—something real? Well, aside from the fact that nearly every Hollywood movie and prime-time TV show you enjoy is based on some form of fiction (even reality shows—news flash), think about why people build model airplanes or play The Sims: when you put things together yourself, you learn how they work. In fiction writing, you're putting together all of reality, and once you finish this class, you'll be a Master of the Universe.

Just a thought.


By the end of this course, you should be able to

  • get comfortable with jacking ideas from all kinds of places.
  • make characters interesting, believable, and unboring.
  • Frankenstein ideas into living, breathing situations.
  • spot and eradicate clichés (the termites in the condo of fiction).
  • structure and pace a story from beginning to end, with no dead weight.
  • take ideas, characters, and situations, and squeeze them into one tall refreshing glass of story.
  • write one 3-5-page short story draft that'll end up in a museum someday.

Course Breakdown

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*Purchasing by unit includes course material only.

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Unit 1. What's the Big Idea?

This unit is all about ideas—where to find 'em, how to develop 'em, and when to use 'em.

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Unit 2. Character Building—It Builds Character

In this unit, you'll dig into characterization—and by the end, you'll have your very own creation, Dr. Frankenstein.

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Unit 3. Building the Situation

It's time to throw all those ingredients into the situation pot. At the end of this unit, you'll have a bona fide short story with your name on the by line.


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  • Course Length: 3 weeks
  • Grade Levels: 11, 12, College
  • Course Type: Short Course
  • Category:
    • English
    • Writing

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