Editing: I am sometimes available for novel editing and on-going
coaching. Email me for
current availability, pricing and general information.
Read student endorsements.
Here are some of the online classes I teach for the
Writers' Program of the UCLA Extension School, though only
one is currently scheduled. Scroll down for information on
my currently scheduled class for the Guppy Chapter of Sisters
Entry level mystery writing class:
the Perfect Crime: Writing Your First Mystery
Do you long to commit the perfect crime--and see it bound
between covers and on the bestseller lists? Crime novels sell
outstandingly well today, but the competition for publication
has never been tougher. If you always thought you would like
to write a mystery or suspense novel, but you don't know how
to begin -- then this class is for you.
Designed for beginners as well as those with a work-in-progress
who need direction, this course is a supportive, results-oriented
workshop that guides you in planning your mystery or suspense
novel, or revising some of the choices made in your work-in-progress.
Through weekly writing assignments, some of which draw on
characters and develop scenes for the students' projected
novels; lectures on craft; assigned readings; and instructor
and peer feedback, students learn the fundamentals of crime
writing, including structure and pacing, point-of-view, setting,
character development, dialogue and voice, and clues and red
herrings, as well as critical self-editing techniques. Also
covered are the practical aspects of attracting the right
agent and/or editor. The goal is to draft the first chapter
of your planned mystery or suspense novel.
This course will focus on shaping your vision, by helping
you to identify the story and thematic elements of your idea,
and providing you various approaches to structure. We will
also explore techniques for creating memorable characters
that live off the page, dynamic dialog, and ways to identify
and capture the unique voice of each student, as well as the
practical aspects of finding the right agent and/or publisher,
and effective marketing and presentation methods.
Make this the year you complete the mystery novel you've always
wanted to write! Click to read
This class is currently scheduled for the Fall session, starting
on Wednesday, October 8, 2014.
me if you wish to be on
the email list for its next scheduled date.
Writing the Crime Novel: Intermediate Workshop (Online)
Designed for writers of mystery or suspense fiction with at
least one completed chapter and a plan for their book in hand,
this intensive workshop provides in-depth instructor and peer
feedback of up to 8,000 words of each participant's novel
and synopsis. Focused discussions on characterization, structure,
point-of-view, dialogue, and other craft issues are tailored
to meet individual writing needs, and all students are encouraged
to analyze the choices they have made in their works-in-progress,
sharpen their critical judgments, and request feedback on
their special areas of concern.
This class is not currently scheduled. Email
me if you wish to be on the mailing list for its next
Approaching the Mystery Marketplace: A One-Week Class(Online)
The mystery market, including cross-genre romantic and paranormal
mysteries, always enjoy strong readership, but publication
in this varied genre has never been more competitive. As you
move towards getting your mystery novel to as good as it can
be, how you should approach publication? What does it take
to attract the right agent, the right editor? Large presses
or small ones — which is right for you? What resources
will aid you in your search? This course provides in-depth
lectures that address those questions and more, as well as
the query letter, synopsis and general-submission procedures.
Joining the instructor for part of one day is Greg Lilly,
publisher of Cherokee McGhee Publishing, an independent publisher
of mysteries, historical and general fiction. Greg shares
the best and worst of the queries and approaches he sees,
and is on-hand for a 3-hour period to take questions on the
publication process. From the instructor, who enjoys the unique
perspective as both an award-winning mystery author and a
bookseller, you learn how the choices you make now will determine
bookstore receptiveness toward your future book. After reading
detailed lectures, students have the opportunity to submit
their questions to the instructor.
class is not currently scheduled. Email
me if you wish to be on the mailing list for its next
also occasionally teach classes for the Guppy Chapter of Sisters
in Crime. Currently scheduled is:
& Thriller Structure: How to go from Premise to Plot
- Many newer writers report that they're great with coming
up with intriguing story ideas, but they don't always know
how to break those big ideas down into workable parts that
they can actually write. With Kris Neri's method, you will
move step-by-step through the novel planning process, focusing
your storyline while also broadening it. She'll show you how
to shore up your narrative drive by working out behind the
scenes motivations and actions. She'll also show pantsers
how they can adapt this method to their way of working.
class is currently scheduled for November 3 - December 7,
2013. NOTE: ENROLLEES MUST BE MEMBERS OF BOTH SISTERS IN CRIME
AND THE GUPPY CHAPTER. ENROLLMENT IS LIMITED AND NOT GUARANTEED.
The UCLA Extension Writers' Program is the nation’s
largest and most comprehensive continuing education writing
program in the United States where adult learners study with
their choice of more than 250 professional screenwriters,
fiction writers, playwrights, poets, nonfiction writers and
writers of children’s literature. The Writers’
Program offers more than 550 courses annually, both on-site
and online, as well as a yearly Writers Studio, nine-month
Master Classes, a screenplay competition, and writing consultations
– all designed to help students meet their writing goals.
For more information, visit www.uclaextension.edu/writers.