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Certificate in Advanced Fiction Writing Online Course

Advanced Fiction Writing


Explore All the Topics a Writer Needs

In this advanced fiction writing online 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. And in the Discussion Area, you'll have an opportunity to share your work with classmates to obtain their feedback.

In Advanced Fiction Writing, you'll explore the essential techniques that are often overlooked by other writing classes and textbooks. And you'll explore them in a clear, step-by-step fashion that will make it easy for you to turn your story idea into a published book. Join us for the next six weeks, and you'll never look at fiction writing the same way again!
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then Advanced Fiction Writing is for you!

 Course Fast Facts:

  • Only 6 weeks to complete this course
  • Approximately only 2 to 4 hours per week of study is required
  • This course is delivered 100% on-line and is accessible 24/7 from any computer or smartphone
  • Instructors lead each course and you will be able to interact with them and ask questions
  • You can study from home or at work at your own pace in your own time
  • You can download printer friendly course material or save for viewing off line
  • You will be awarded a certificate at completion of this course

How to study online course?

Upon enrolment an automated welcome email will be sent to you (please check your junk email inbox if not received as this is an automated email), in order for you to access your online course, which is Available 24/7 on any computer or smart mobile device. New courses start every month to ensure that we have the correct ratio of students to tutors available, please ensure you select a starting date when you go through our shopping cart, at checkout. The course is easy to follow and understand.

Recognition & Accreditation

All students who complete the course receive a certificate of completion with a passing score (for the online assessment) and will be issued a certificate via email.

Other Creative Writing Courses

If Shakespeare is your hero or you’d love to live the lifestyle of JK Rowling, then check out our range of creative writing courses!

There are 12 units of study

Story Structure

Welcome to Advanced Fiction Writing! During the next six weeks, we're going to take a detailed look at all the aspects of fiction writing, including story structure, plot, character, dialogue, setting, suspense, conflict, action, viewpoint, tense, and even how to get published. It sounds like we've got our work cut out for us! But don't worry. We'll take it one step at a time. We'll begin in this lesson by discussing the three-act story structure and how we can use it to create emotionally satisfying fiction.

 Plot Templates

Where do plots come from? Sometimes an idea pops into our heads, and all of its details play themselves out as we jot them down. Other times, coming up with a good plot is a real struggle. Wouldn't it be great if there were some templates we could use to create plots that would work? Fortunately, there are. In this lesson, I'll introduce you to them.

 Character Development

The driving force behind whatever you write is character. Without a well-constructed, believable character, your readers won't care about the story. And without a consistent, clearly defined character, you won't have anyone to traverse the physical obstacles of the plot. How do you create well-constructed, believable, consistent, and clearly defined characters? I'll show you in this lesson.

Viewpoint, Voice, and Tense

Today we'll turn our attention to viewpoint, voice, and tense. You'll have a chance right in the lesson to test-drive the ideas we'll be discussing. These road tests will give you an opportunity to try out your possible choices on sample scenarios and see how they work for you. Then I'll show you how I tackled them.

 Setting

What good is setting, anyway? Isn't it just a bunch of set decoration that we can add without much consideration of the story or plot? Oh, no. Setting is actually one of your most powerful tools for conveying emotion. How so? Setting helps establish your story's mood, reinforces your theme, and immerses your readers in the story, which makes all your other words more memorable. We'll explore all these ideas in this lesson.

Advanced Scene and Sequel

To write your long form, it's vital for you to understand that every sentence contributes to the flow of your prose. Each paragraph relates to those that come before and after. In this lesson, we're going to delve into the internal structure of fiction, called scene and sequel. You'll discover how to use scene and sequel with the checkpoints of story structure, with dialogue, and with an eye to pacing. You'll also have lots of exercises to help you polish your scene and sequel skills throughout this lesson.

 Conflict, Action, and Suspense

Today, you're going to learn about action and suspense. Conflict creates action. And it also creates suspense, which is the possibility of action. As essential as conflict is, it's surprisingly hard to write. Why? Because most of us spend our lives trying to avoid it. As a writer, though, you must immerse yourself in conflict. In this lesson, you'll learn how.

 Dialogue

We spend a lot of our lives talking, so doesn't it seem like it should be easy to write dialogue? Actually, in many ways, it's the most difficult part of fiction writing. Creating convincing, meaningful dialogue that advances the plot and contributes to character development can be an author's greatest challenge. In this lesson, we'll meet that challenge and see how to succeed.

 Beginnings and Endings

There's only one chance to make a first impression—that's as true of fiction as it is of people. So in this lesson, we'll examine how to make your first impression with your first few lines. You'll also see how to make a lasting impact with your story's last few paragraphs. I'll show you lots of great examples that should help you to spark your own creative ideas.

Symbols, Metaphors, and Writing Big

Writing is more than a profession. It's also an art. As we begin writing our long form, we have many artistic tools to work with. In this lesson, we'll look at a few of them, including symbols and metaphors, plus techniques for writing "bigger."

 Bring Your Story to Life

One of the most common bits of advice to authors is "show, don't tell." In short, it means letting your readers make discoveries through your characters and their surroundings, not because you, as the author, explained it to them. Telling is a trap even very experienced authors can fall into. In this lesson, we'll explore ways to avoid it. We'll also look at the differences between drama and melodrama, and when to use each of them.

Self-Editing, Submission, and Marketing

In our final lesson, we'll explore the steps you'll follow to get your book onto the shelves of your local bookstore. First, you'll need to edit your first draft into a polished second draft. Then it's time to find an agent, a publisher, or a printer. Finally, you need to take the initiative in marketing your book. If that sounds like a lot of effort, it is. But seeing your book in print makes everything well worth it.

Entry requirements

Students must have basic literacy and numeracy skills.

Minimum education

Open entry. Previous schooling and academic achievements are not required for entry into this course.

Computer requirements

Students will need access to a computer and the internet.

Minimum specifications for the computer are:

Windows:

  • Microsoft Windows XP, or later
  • Modern and up to date Browser (Internet Explorer 8 or later, Firefox, Chrome, Safari)

MAC/iOS

  • OSX/iOS 6 or later
  • Modern and up to date Browser (Firefox, Chrome, Safari)

All systems

  • Internet bandwidth of 1Mb or faster
  • Flash player or a browser with HTML5 video capabilities(Currently Internet Explorer 9, Firefox, Chrome, Safari)

Students will also need access the following applications:

Adobe Acrobat Reader

Customer Reviews


Steve is a student's dream -- attentive, knowledgeable, and able to present course material in a fun and interesting way. He is admirably meticulous in checking the discussion forums and offering comments on student work, even when work is posted days after more recent lessons have been released. A wonderful instructor and a wonderful class -- both highly recommended!

Steve is wonderful. I don't know how he does online what so many instructors can't do in a classroom. The content and pace were beyond expectation. His critiques were always immensely encouraging and right on. Thank you Steve.

This course has energized and motivated me more than I can possibly imagine. I loved every bit of it and I learned so much. I really got a lot out of lesson 5 with sharpening your descriptions and loved the whole lesson on metaphors and similes. One piece I wrote I read to my husband and he asked which book that came out of!! I felt so great. I can't wait to tackle my original novel and apply the things I've learned and also continue on with my second one. I can't thank you enough Steve, and everyone in the course who gives such wonderful feedback!!

Steve Alcorn's courses should be a literal MUST to every single aspiring writer in the entire civilized world. No one should ever go into writing without first mastering the basic fundamentals of construction that he teaches.

Before this class, I had read (and even studied) several books on writing fiction. Although several mentioned scene and one spoke of the importance of emotion, not one of them mentioned scene structure as taught here. Scene & sequel is powerful. I'll be back for Mystery Writing and Write Like a Pro in a few weeks. Thanks Steve.

For six weeks I've been excited, anticipating each lesson. It would be impossible to pick out what the most valuable thing I've learned would be; there are so many. I'm more determined than ever to complete and publish my novel and this class and Write Fiction Like A Pro have given me the confidence and drive I needed!

One of the stories I workshopped with you just won first prize in the National Medical Fiction Writing Competition for Physicians. Your advice and teaching made a huge difference in my writing quality and your support encouraged me to keep going. Now I can keep working on getting that novel published!

I'm glad you encouraged us to go back to our old writing. I found that by applying your techniques to very small sections of the old stories, those sections sprang to life. They improved not simply because of the rewriting techniques, but by virtue of the fact that they were being minutely examined, a task required by the specificity of the exercises. I loved that you provided a technique for getting into that. This class is like giving a knife to a starving man at an oyster roast. I'll be taking your other classes.

I thought I was blocked. After about three of Steve's lessons, I realized that I haven't been blocked, I just plain didn't know enough about the structure of a novel to write one effectively. Now a publisher had asked to see more of my work. Thanks, Mr. Alcorn.

This class was great!!!! I learned so much. I've been writing for a long time and have read countless books on the craft as well as how to get published. In this short period of time I learned more than all of those books put together. It's as though no one wants to tell the real secrets....hmmm. Thanks, Steve, for telling it like it REALLY is and giving me the best advice. I am certain to be published now and will most definitely send you the first autographed copy.

Through well-crafted lessons, expert online instruction and interaction with your tutor, participants in these courses gain valuable knowledge at their convenience. They have the flexibility to study at their own pace combined with enough structure and support to complete the course. And they can access the classroom 24/7 from anywhere with an Internet connection.

New sessions of each course run every month. They last six weeks, with two new lessons being released weekly (for a total of 12). The courses are entirely Web-based with comprehensive lessons, quizzes, and assignments. A dedicated professional instructor facilitates every course; pacing learners, answering questions, giving feedback, and facilitating discussions.

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Course Summary

Course ID No.: 007AFW
Delivery Mode: Online
Course Access: 6 Weeks
Tutor Support: Yes
Time required: 24 Hours
Assessments: Yes
Qualification: Certificate of Completion

Start Dates

This course is available to begin on the following dates

  • 17 October
  • 14 November
  • 12 December