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Research Methods for Writers

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Attention all writers! Learn how to efficiently and effectively conduct research for any writing project: fiction, nonfiction, business . . . even term papers and dissertations. Research has progressed far beyond a visit to the library. Today, myriad sources provide almost anything a writer might need to know on any subject. Learn how to identify and access every information source imaginable.

About the Instructor

Jacquelyn Landis has worked as a nonfiction editor for more than 15 years. Her editing repertoire includes books, articles, and business manuals written by authors such as Eva Shaw, George Carpozi, Anthony Robbins, and Tom Blair. She has been a speaker in the UCSD Extension program and has participated in writing panels at the University of San Diego. Landis is also the author of numerous published books and magazine articles. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from San Diego State University.

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Mystery Writing

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You may be surprised to discover that many, if not all, of the books you have read recently are mysteries. From Dan Brown to Dennis Lehane, mysteries are hot items on today's best-seller lists. This course is designed to teach you the techniques you need to know if you want to become a best-selling mystery author.

The course begins by introducing you to the four types of stories and explains how they relate to mysteries. You will discover the three-act story structure and show you how to propel the action forward to a climax, followed by a release of tension as your readers experience a great finish. You will discover the between story and plot and get a chance to experiment with viewpoints to see which one works best with your mystery. This course will allow you to write a complete scene and learn the internal structure that makes every scene feel right. You will discover special techniques that apply to mysteries, including crime scene description, MacGuffins, and the use of red herrings to misdirect your readers and create suspense. Following each lesson, you will get to practice on your own story.

This information-packed online course combines the best advice of many writing professionals. Follow the guidelines taught in this course, and you will be well on your way to writing a successful mystery of your very own.

About the Instructor

Steve Alcorn is the published author of a wide range of fiction and nonfiction works. During the past decade he has helped more than 30,000 students turn their story ideas into reality, and many of his students have published novels they developed in his classes. His novels include the mystery A Matter of Justice, the historical novel Everything in Its Path, and the picture storybook Molly Builds a Theme Park. He is the author of the non-fiction books How to Fix Your Novel, Theme Park Design, and Write Your Life Story. When he isn't writing and teaching, Steve is the CEO of Alcorn McBride Inc., a leading theme park design company.

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Write Effective Web Content

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Is your web content as effective as it could be? In this course, you will gain tips for crafting content to make your website or blog into an exciting multimedia place for visitors. You will learn how to develop a website writing style that speaks to your readers' needs and ensures that your content is clear and easy-to-understand. You will explore ways your web copywriting can convey the right "feel" through your content, how to get conversations going with your visitors, and how to organize your content to produce better search engine rankings and happier readers. You will also explore all kind of multimedia: images, info-graphics, slideshows and screen casts. You will also discover ways to encourage interaction with your readers through polls, surveys, and quizzes.

Finally, you will examine ways to make your online copywriting appear as professional and authoritative as possible. By the end of this course, your content will be well on its way to rising to the top of the billions of pages on the web.

About the Instructor

Linda Aksomitis has a master's degree in adult vocational/technical education, with a minor in English. She has published 25 books for readers of all ages (fiction and nonfiction), including numerous e-books, and she has a few thousand publications in newspapers, magazines, and on the Internet. She's been an acquisitions editor for an e-publisher, webmaster of half a dozen websites, managing editor and webmaster for an Internet magazine, and she maintains two active blogs. Linda traces all of her publishing success to the Internet and the contacts she's made in cyberspace.

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The Keys to Effective Editing

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Ask any published writer and you will hear that a good editor is not just helpful, but essential. If you aspire to be an editor, this copyediting course will teach you the fundamentals of top-notch editing for both fiction and nonfiction. If you're already working as an editor, you will not only brush up on your skills, but will also learn about recent advances in your chosen profession. If you're a writer, you will learn essential self-editing tools to give your manuscripts the professional look that publishers like to see.

From the language of editing to grammar, punctuation, and syntax to the all-important relationships between editor, author, and publisher, every facet of editing will be explored in this copyeditor course. Online editing is gaining popularity; its complexities will be unraveled and its advantages and pitfalls explored. Can you make a living as an editor? Tips and resources for finding work will be addressed at length. When you finish with this course, you will feel confident enough to tackle even the most complex of manuscripts.

About the Instructor

Jacquelyn Landis has worked as a nonfiction editor for more than 15 years. Her editing repertoire includes books, articles, and business manuals written by authors such as Eva Shaw, George Carpozi, Anthony Robbins, and Tom Blair. She has been a speaker in the UCSD Extension program and has participated in writing panels at the University of San Diego. Landis is also the author of numerous published books and magazine articles. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from San Diego State University.

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Writing Fiction Series

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How do you turn your idea for a novel into a novel? The answer may not be an exact science, but most published authors would point to the fundamentals of storytelling: character development and dramatic structure. As the basis of a good story, these two elements of fiction are further shaped by techniques like dialogue, pacing, and scene building to bring your idea to life on the page. But having all the moving pieces to a good story only equates to a first draft. To truly create publishable work, you must add complexity to your fiction and then learn the process of revision.

This course series will help you plan, write, and edit fiction. Write Fiction Like a Pro focuses on ideation and plotting. You will first learn how to plot the structure of your story and flesh out characters. As you progress to Advanced Fiction Writing, you will begin to look at dialogue, setting, action, viewpoint, and tense with a professional's eye. When your draft is close to being finished, you will then learn how to pare down and refine your manuscript.

These lessons will help you develop and sharpen your fiction writing skills. As you apply each technique, your story will take shape, with a clear path from beginning to end. By the time you finish this series, you will be ready to submit your work for publishing.

 

 

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Write Your Life Story

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Have you thought about writing your story, sharing life-altering events? Does your family really know about their heritage? If you've ever thought about writing your life story, now is the time!

In this course, you will have the satisfaction of telling history your way. You will learn how to bring characters to life, recall vivid memories, engage readers, and even manage your creative time. You may even find a lucrative market for your story, just like the authors of the bestselling Rocket Boys and Angela's Ashes. This course walks you step-by-step through the process of writing your life story. It's fun. It's exciting. It's a story only you can tell!

About the Instructor

Eva Shaw, Ph.D. is a full-time working writer. She has authored thousands of articles, essays, and short stories and more than 70 books including "Writing the Nonfiction Book" and "Insider's Guide to San Diego." Her work has been featured in USA Today, San Diego Union Tribune, Publisher's Weekly, and others. She has won several awards, including the Book of the Year Award from the American Journal of Nursing, the Benjamin Franklin Award, and the Woman of Merit Award.

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Grammar Refresher

The key to effective writing and speaking is English grammar. Whether you are just now learning the basics of grammar or if you need a refresher, this course will help you develop the foundational skills you need. In this course, you'll explore the eight parts of speech, punctuation and mechanics, foundational sentence construction, and we'll even get into the details of phrases, clauses, problem words, common grammar mistakes, and much more! An instructor will guide you every step of the way as you learn grammar through hands-on, practical exercises. You'll also learn through short videos, examples, and even fun games. Take your writing and speaking to the next level of excellence!

Writing Essentials

Master the essentials of writing, and become the stellar wordsmith you always wanted to be! In this course, you'll develop the skills you need to excel at business communications, express yourself clearly online, and take your creative literary talents to a new level. Whether you're hoping to get a better job, write for a blog, or publish your short story, this course will give you the writing tools you need for success.

Effective Business Writing

Do you have a nagging suspicion that a small improvement in your writing skills might also improve your career prospects? Don't let small gaps in your business writing skills prevent you from reaching your full potential. It doesn't matter whether you're a clerical worker, an engineer, or an executive. If you communicate with others in writing, you need this course to help you identify and eliminate problem areas. By the end of this course, you'll know the secret to developing powerful written documents that immediately draw readers in and keep them motivated to continue until your very last, well-chosen word.

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Writing the Fantasy Novel

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Fantasy is an increasingly popular genre of fiction, and now is a great time to become a fantasy fiction writer! This course is perfect whether you have an idea for a book or even if you don't know where to start. With the tools you'll gain in this course, you'll be ready to tackle your first fantasy novel.

In this course, you will learn what separates fantasy fiction from other types of fiction. You will also discover how to create characters and populate your world with unique, compelling, and interesting creatures. You'll learn how to outline your book, come up with a theme, and commit to actually writing. You will learn how to revise and edit so that when you complete it, your book will essentially be a finished product. You will even learn a bit about publishing your book, including the differences between self-publishing and traditional publishing. Finally, you'll get a number of tips about how to stay motivated and complete your novel - because, after all, writing is hard work!

About the Instructor

Laura K. Anderson picked up her first science fiction book when she was in first grade and she's been in love with speculative fiction ever since. She particularly enjoys writing fantasy fiction and is the editorial director for Sojourn: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction. Laura has a Master of Arts degree in literature and creative writing and is currently working on a Master of Arts in special education.

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ON DEMAND - Instructor-Led, you pick date or Self-Paced Tutorial! Register Here

You really can make money with your writing. Whether you want to create your own business, add to your income, supplement your retirement, or boost what you're earning as a writer, you'll find the how-to's here. You'll learn secrets, methods, and tips to help you generate income with your writing. This class includes all the practical information that so rarely gets taught in writing classes.

In most courses and social groups it's taboo to discuss money, but not here. This course embraces it! Making money is the focus of the lessons. You'll explore a dozen genres that can help you establish a sometime, part-time, or full-time career as a writer. Along the way, you'll learn methods to work faster, suffer less rejection, and bring home more bacon. Fulfilling (and lucrative) writing work is waiting for you!

About the Instructor

Eva Shaw, Ph.D. is a full-time working writer. She has authored thousands of articles, essays, and short stories and more than 70 books including "Writing the Nonfiction Book" and "Insider's Guide to San Diego." Her work has been featured in USA Today, San Diego Union Tribune, Publisher's Weekly, and others. She has won several awards, including the Book of the Year Award from the American Journal of Nursing, the Benjamin Franklin Award, and the Woman of Merit Award.

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Introduction to Journaling

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If you have ever wanted to try journaling, this course will provide answers to your every question. You will discover the different types of journaling and many journaling techniques, exercises, tools and resources. You will explore a seven-step process that will ease you into writing a journal. You will get detailed instructions on developing, decorating, and customizing your journal, and you will learn exciting new ways to express yourself and develop your creativity.

You will discover how you can use your journal to explore your thoughts, feelings, and values, and you will learn how to use your journal to support your emotional well-being. You will also understand how journaling can ease the stress of unwanted change throughout the course of your life. You'll even discover how journaling can help you choose the best career for you or advance in your current career.

About Instructor

Cheryl Simpson, L.P.C., is a Career Coach and Ohio-licensed Career Counselor with more than 30 years of journaling experience. Simpson is the author of more than 30 articles for both print and Internet media. She also has developed more than 100 journaling exercises and leads journaling workshops and retreats on college campuses, at conferences, in schools, and for religious organizations.

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Fiction spans several genres and touches millions of readers. Some of the most enduring works of fiction have come from genres like fantasy, romance, and mystery. And today, many genre pieces have gone on to become multimedia franchises. If you want to become a writer, there's no better time to learn genre fiction and screenwriting.

Explore Fiction Writing will teach you how to write works of fantasy, romance, and mystery. You will also learn screenwriting, since film as a medium can further expand your story ideas. You will learn how characterization, plotting, narrative, and other techniques of fiction translate to genre writing. And through targeted writing assignments, you will put what you learn into practice. Whether you're a new or experienced writer, this course bundle will help you broaden your skills and understand what makes readers engage with your work.

Writing the first draft is only the first step though. You will also learn how to revise and proofread like an editor. As you craft your work from first to final draft, you will also learn what happens after "The End." Marketing your work and submitting for publication is an important part of a writer's work, and you will learn how to navigate this process. With the tools you will gain in this course, you will be ready to write, edit, and submit your story, novel, or screenplay.

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Advanced Fiction Writing

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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?

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. You will explore the essential techniques that are often overlooked in a clear, step-by-step fashion. After completing this course, you will never look at fiction writing the same way again!

About the Instructor

Steve Alcorn is the published author of a wide range of fiction and nonfiction works. During the past decade he has helped more than 30,000 students turn their story ideas into reality, and many of his students have published novels they developed in his classes. His novels include the mystery A Matter of Justice, the historical novel Everything in Its Path, and the picture storybook Molly Builds a Theme Park. He is the author of the non-fiction books How to Fix Your Novel, Theme Park Design, and Write Your Life Story. When he isn't writing and teaching, Steve is the CEO of Alcorn McBride Inc., a leading theme park design company.

 

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