A note about using your own work in these lessons:
The exercises on this site will make use of your own work. If you want to tighten up your completed short stories or your finished novel chapters, or you want to begin working from the writing exercises provided throughout each lesson, we let you use your own writing in teaching these basic fiction writing skills.
This can be done in an ongoing manner, using the same pieces you want to work on throughout the lessons, growing them into sharp, focused, honest work you can be proud of. Using your own work is best, it allows for a deeper understanding. How else will the principles presented here mean anything to you?
What You’re In For
These site lessons (and my coaching) are aimed at letting you get what you want to say onto the page in ways that others can love. And that takes work. No one writes wonderfully on their first try. We all need to learn the basics of:
• Sensory details in the narrative and descriptive portion of your work.
• Dialog written at cross purposes, alive interchanges that sounds real to the ear.
• Twists in your view and plotting of the action that takes the reader where they did not expect to go.
What you’re in for here is a way of coaching that gives you an active role in your learning. These lesson examples and exercises allow you to find and polish your personal voice, though using your own work as you move through 52 steps to better, stronger writing skills. And that journey will allow for:
• Unexpected, original endings
• Un-clichéd dialog, where each voice is distinct.
• Stories that sound like life, instead of soap-opera.
You can work from lesson 1 through 52, or jump in at any spot; every lesson will lead you to clearer ways to better your writing.
But clearer writing does not mean:
• Every detail and narration is spelled out in minute detail.
• Every action/plot twist/bit of dialog you first came up with is included in your final draft.
• Nothing is left for the reader to figure out for themselves.
Genuine writing shows what you know, feel, or believe, to be real. But genuine doesn’t mean
• Ideas you express are echoes of what the current crowd is thinking, feeling, or believing.
• Your side of view (as opposed to a point of view) creating characters with only one good/bad side to them.