This creative writing and self-publishing course will take place over five sessions, and its final goal will be the publication on Amazon Kindle, iBooks and other platforms of a collection of short stories, with at least one story by each of the participants.
The sessions will cover the following topics:
1. Why and How: You can’t become a writer without sufficient motivation to keep you going through the ups and downs. Additionally, becoming a writer entails dealing with resistance – be it from your own mind, from circumstances or from other people. So in this session we will discuss our personal motivations for writing, and the obstacles that we have to overcome on a day-to-day basis. To further help motivation, I will draw a map of the self-publishing landscape available through Amazon and other providers. In the second half of the session, we will examine the outline and origins of the Hero’s Journey writing model, with examples from movies and novels.
2. Planning a Short Story: We will look at the Snowflake Method and how to implement it. We will then use it to plan a complete short story together using the techniques learned in the previous session. Homework: plan your own short story. Bonus: If you have the time and dedication, additionally write the short story that we planned together. I will read and offer feedback on each story. The best story based on the structure we created together will be published in the anthology that we will upload at the end of the course.
3. Writing your own short story: In this session we will each share and discuss our plan for our own short story. Then we will talk about how to flesh out the structure to create the story itself. We will also introduce the method of Show-don’t-tell and learn how to format the story to be ready for conversion to Kindle format. Homework: write your first draft and send it to me.
4. Editing Your Short Story: Show-don’t-tell and other principles of creative writing are here used as standards for the effective editing of your short story. We will talk about specific issues based on the first drafts that you will have sent to me. Discussion of individual cases are strictly based on consent, so feedback can also be kept private. Homework: edit your story based on the feedback you have received.
5. Formatting and Uploading: We will go through the options available when uploading to Amazon. We will make the necessary formatting changes and then upload our anthology to Amazon in real time. We will then use the final version to upload to the other online platforms. Those of us who wish to, will then go out for a drink to celebrate that we have published our stories, and talk about our future writing plans.
During the course we will also discuss the possibilities for converting this knowledge to the writing and publication of novels.