Challenge,  On Writing,  workshops

Great Ideas For Advanced Classes

Thank you, Everyone!!

For the ideas here in the comments and to me directly through email. Fun Stuff.

So let me break down some of the suggestions and combine them into advanced classes.

Structure for this Advanced Series would be nine weeks long, with assignments along the way. Price would be $500 (same as the 9-week long collection classes). If we decide to do this, we would offer 6 of them in a year. You can buy all six at some point. They are not part of the regular workshops and would not be available for at least a year on any sales, just as the Business Master Class was not available on a sale for a year.

Here is some feedback on the ideas you folks sent in. (Again, thank you!)

— Advanced Pacing is one Kris and I have been talking about for some time and would be fun. It will be one of the six. Includes advanced Information Flow.

— Advanced Character Development would be another we will do for certain. It will include advanced teams, point of view closeness, and other character details most writers do not think about but stage four writers do automatically in many ways. Tags and emotions included in this one.

— Floating Viewpoints (and how to do them without a reader noticing and why even do them in stories.) This is very advanced and goes with both Advanced Pacing and Advanced Character Development. It will be one of the six for certain.

— Visible and Invisible Writing. Extremely advanced controlling your character voice, author voice, and how you flow information to a reader. Invisible writing is by far the hardest and the most desired by any writer but a literary genre writer. When to let your writing sing, when to let a story take front stage. In other words, complete control.

— Unputdownable. This is how to make sure a reader gets into your book and can’t get out until you let them out. This includes some ideas from you folks like advanced cliffhangers, character development, tension, time in stories, and so on. More than likely this will be the last one we will offer of the six because it will draw from the other five.

So there are five ideas for advanced craft workshops. We need one more to round out the year of these.

We also got a great idea in the comments for a six-week regular workshop called PROJECT MANAGEMENT that we will do as a regular workshop.

So more suggestions are welcome if you have some craft area you are really struggling with. For example, advanced critical voice control. That’s one no one mentioned, which tells me not an issue for most I guess.

Also interested in ideas for more challenges. Right now we have a story per week, a novella per month, a novel every two months, and publishing something major every month. They seem to have run their course with a few still taking the short story per month and one or two others on the other ones. Or maybe most don’t realize those challenges are even there.

So any ideas always welcome. Fire away!

(I can say this… These Advanced Series classes would sure be a fun challenge for me and Kris to figure out how to explain and teach. Yikes. And they are not confirmed yet. We might chicken out. (grin))


  • Connor Whiteley

    Hi Dean, if these do happen I’m extremely excited for them. These are going to be great.

    Just as a note as an International author, could you please make buying these available through your Kickstarters if you launch these? Otherwise it adds another $100 through VAT and I would rather spent that 100 on another workshop to be honest.

    Thanks in advance.

  • Linda Maye Adams

    I think the critical voice one might not get many takers. It’s a strange topic. Most people don’t see the true impact of critical voice. I’m not sure I do myself, and I’ve had to think a lot about it. Critical voice cropped up as a topic in my time management for fiction writers blog series. My day job introduced new ways for my critical voice to mess with me. All of which I brought into the writing.

    When I was co-writing, my critical voice collided with co-writer’s critical voice. Mine actually did an admirable job of protecting me (I was terrified I would lose my writing over the horrifying mess). But it turned on me after the co-writing ended. If you’d told me at the time it was critical voice, I wouldn’t have believed it. It was like it had pulled me below the surface and I couldn’t see there was a surface. Judging from what I see on Twitter, most writers never even escape from this. Maybe Stage 1 Critical Voice (maybe that’s a topic for a book like Stages of Fiction Writers?).

    The series has forced me to look at the places where critical voice gets its claws in. It’s shocking. There’s a book called Irresistible that talks about goals in such a way that I think critical voice gets a foothold in there. A Franklin-Covey 7 Habits course from work mentioned that lack of sleep can make you more critical–and that was mentioned in passing.

    The worst part of it–and why people wouldn’t take it–is that so much of the critical voice is passed around like candy. Most of it is so common that it’s hard to spot until you start looking for it.

    • dwsmith

      Got a hunch you are right. But the few that do take it could make their career and allow writing to happen, vs being stopped by voices and bad learning out of their pasts.

  • Maggie King

    I’d definitely take the critical voice workshop because I need all the help I can get. This is a “thing” with me that I need to fix. I probably do need therapy because I’m a retired pet groomer and managed to squeeze most of the joy out of that career by my perfectionist/critical voice tendencies too.

  • Rob Vagle

    Honestly, It never occured to me there could be a class on Advanced Critical Voice. What else don’t I know about critical voice? Very interesting. And interested. For example, I find it hard to grasp when you say “clear that out,” meaning a specific critical voice thinking. I understand being aware of it, and replacement thinking, but what does “clearing it out” entail?

    I assume Advanced Critical Thinking is just the working title. Because who needs advanced critical thinking.