You’ve learnt the key techniques for fiction – now you’d love to perfect them! This course is ideal for creative writers – not (yet) working on a novel – but craving the chance to develop their ideas and improve their existing storytelling skills. Enjoy expert coaching and guidance – online LIVE over six fortnights.
Bridge the gap between beginner and a novelist
Hone the five key techniques for stellar stories
Receive regular live feedback from your experienced presenter
Workshop your writing with like-minded classmates
Beat procrastination with a regular writing routine
Emerge bursting with motivation and confidence to achieve your writing goals.
Now that you have the foundation techniques for amazing storytelling, it’s time to strengthen your creative muscles. This course will allow you to further harness your creativity and improve your fiction writing techniques with ongoing exercises and tutor feedback.
Think of it as your own writing gym where you can receive personal training with a small group of other writers. Each fortnight you will complete writing exercises to elevate your skills and gain valuable feedback. The exercises each fortnight will concentrate on a different aspect of the fundamentals of writing a good story.
You’ll enjoy the benefits of group support and interaction and the motivation from an experienced writing coach.
At the end of the Writing Workout you will have improved your writing techniques, gained greater confidence in your approach to storytelling and have a much deeper understanding of your own narrative voice.
Do any of these sound like you?
If you already have a story idea and are confident in your grasp and application of all the fundamental fiction techniques then you are ready for our Novel Writing Essentials course. If not, this course is for you.
On completion of the course, you will have completed multiple exercises and, if you choose to, have developed an idea into a story under the guidance of your presenter.
In this first class, you’ll be introduced to your presenter and fellow classmates. Each student will be able to develop their goals for the course and your presenter will plan the workouts based on the needs of the group. You’ll discover more details about the upcoming exercises and your writing routine over the next few months. Then you’ll get straight into writing and receiving feedback, with in-class exercises and workshopping.
New writers are often great at knowing their main character, but less adept at creating a vibrant, diverse cast of secondary characters. This module will allow you to develop individual characters with in-depth exercises aimed at improving your storytelling.
Overwhelmingly, getting limited point of view right is the thing aspiring writers need to work on. This module’s exercises go into detail about how to develop your point of view character’s voice, including how to overcome the most common pitfalls for new writers.
Characters come alive when they speak. Without dialogue, fiction is dull and heavy. So how do you make your characters’ speech both believable and interesting? This module helps you practise techniques that allow you to achieve wonderful dialogue that will lift your story out of the ordinary.
How do you construct and write scenes so that they grab the reader and push a story forward? How long should scenes be? This module will have you working hard to gain the skills required to craft scenes that have maximum impact.
So, you know what a three-act structure is…but how can you use that knowledge to shape your idea into a page-turning, unputdownable story? This module encourages you to complete a set of exercises designed to improve your understanding of how to map your idea into a three-act structure, and how to control the pace of your storytelling so that the structure works for readers.
To make sure you get the most out of this course it is a prerequisite that you must have completed one of AWC’s foundation creative writing courses (such as Creative Writing Stage 1 or How to Write for Children and Young Adults) where you were introduced to all the important concepts for fiction writing.
The great thing you will get out of this Writing Workout is: practice! Yes, that’s our goal. To get you to write regularly, concentrating on specific skills.
This is a highly practical, focused course which allows you the time you need to take in concepts and then apply them to your writing.
You’ll find that there’s more to writing than putting words on a page. This course will hone how you think about writing as well. How you approach developing characters, how you plan your structure, how you go about finding your character’s voice.
The focus is writing lots, and receiving lots of feedback.
But in addition, you will receive more advanced theory to cement your understanding of how fiction works and what techniques will be useful to you.
Plus, the exercises you will receive with each module can be used indefinitely—the techniques in them can be applied to future stories, ad infinitum!
This course is about writing, sharing your writing and getting feedback on it, without the pressure of having to plan and write a novel.
If you’re craving the motivation and professional guidance to further hone your writing craft – without needing to have a specific story idea or manuscript to work on – then the Writing Workout is your ideal creative gym.
What’s the difference between Writing Workout and Novel Writing Essentials?
Novel Writing Essentials is designed for people who:
We find that many people who enrol in Novel Writing Essentials are not quite there yet. They may have an idea for their novel, but they don’t necessarily have all the skills they need to write it. Or, they are not in the position to fully commit to writing a whole book right now, but they want to continue their writing practice. Or, they are tossing up between two ideas and don’t know which to commit to. Or, they just enjoy writing but feel the only way they can do that is write a book (wrong!). Or…there are lots of reasons people aren’t ready to write a novel right now.
If you are one of those people, Writing Workout is ideal: it will improve your skills, keep your interest in writing fresh, deepen your knowledge and understanding of writing theory, and continue your movement into the writing community.
What if I don’t have a novel in mind?/What if I just want to play with writing?
This is the course for you! We fully support people who just want to write for the fun of it; for the love of it. So this course can be completed entirely by simply doing the exercises, without any other creative goal.
In fact, we think it would be fun to do it that way!
Will I receive feedback on my writing?
Yes, you absolutely will receive feedback on your writing in every class. You’ll also be invited to give feedback to other students. Past students tell us they learn as much by giving feedback as by getting it.
Each module, you will have the opportunity to submit work for feedback. Each module will have a word limit for the work you submit. The last module has a larger word limit so that you can submit a complete scene or story outline.
How does the feedback work?
In Module 1, we will have writing exercises and feedback in class.
After that, a week before the next meeting, you will submit either the results of one of the exercises for that module, or a section from a story you are working on.
Your presenter and the other students will read your submission. During the class meeting, each student will receive verbal feedback on their work.
How do the exercises work?
For each module, you’ll be given five exercises to complete in your own time. You can choose to do them immediately, or at any time in the future. They are entirely optional.
The exercises are designed so that you can do them even if you don’t have an idea for a story right now.
If you do have a story you are working on, each exercise has an alternative option for you to complete, so that you are improving your connection to and understanding of that story in each module.
You may choose one exercise, or a section from a story of your own, to submit for feedback each module.
How much time should I set aside to do the course?
The course meeting (once a fortnight) is two hours in duration. Per module, most students spend two-three hours a module doing the exercises, and about an hour reading the other students’ work. However, since the exercises are not compulsory, how much time you spend doing them is up to you – they are designed so that you can decide how much energy and time you want to put into them.
Because this course has a fortnightly meeting schedule, we are suggesting that students write and submit in the first week, and then read their fellow students’ work in the second week, ready to comment at the class meeting. Just to be clear, you are not expected to submit all of your exercises; only pick one of them, or a section of your story, to submit for each class meeting.
Do I need to log in at a set time?
You will need to join the class meeting live via Zoom once a fortnight. But downloading the exercises, doing them and uploading your work for submission can be done at your own pace, as long as you meet the class deadlines.
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