Coursera, bless them, is presenting a series of courses on writing. Given by Wesleyan University, 4 modules cover 4 approaches to writing stories: Character, Plot, Style, and Setting. (More formally: The Craft of: Character, Settings and Descriptions, Plot, Style.)
I’m auditing, which means a. free and b. no certificate, but they do have a certificate program ($50/mo, ouch) if’n you need one for the CV. I am treating this as a self-paced seminar.
One of my favorite takeaways so far isn’t so much about the arts and crafts of writing as about the guest authors/teacher authors. I’d heard of MADONNAS OF ECHO PARK (never read it) and one segment is taught by its author, Brandon Skyhorse. Amy Bloom, Maria Venegas, author of the wonderful memoir, Bulletproof Vest, and, um, lots of others. With my head down in the genre writing community, I don’t get a lot of outside-the-genre exposure, damn it. (Though I did read ‘The Girl On The Train’ before it was popular, and did I mention that my favorite read last year was Joe Ide’s IQ?) But I do like reading off the top 10 list.
What I need now is a seminar on self-editing.
Sam Bellotto Jr at Perihelion SF is not only a fine publisher of science fiction but a great editor who appreciates great writing. Mine, that is. He’s published another of my stories, a tale of a wandering tinker who stumbles across a conspiracy. Along with her new friend, a travelling lizard, she … well, read the story of Dawn Sutorious here.