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Odyssey Writing Workshop's online classes

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    Dear Myth Soc Yahoo Group Owner, Hi. I thought you might be interested in our press release, below, announcing the Odyssey Writing Workshop s online classes
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 20, 2012
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      Dear Myth Soc Yahoo Group Owner,

      Hi. I thought you might be interested in our press release, below,
      announcing the Odyssey Writing Workshop's online classes for Winter 2013.
      If you know any writers who might be interested, I hope you'll pass the
      information along.

      If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

      Thanks for helping to spread the word!



      Jeanne Cavelos


      Odyssey Writing Workshops Charitable Trust

      P.O. Box 75

      Mont Vernon, NH 03057

      Phone (603) 673-6234




      Publicity Release

      October 2012



      For seventeen years, Odyssey has pursued its mission to help developing
      writers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror improve their work by
      holding its annual six-week, in-person workshop in Manchester, New

      Three years ago, Odyssey expanded its mission, taking the teaching
      techniques that are so effective at the workshop and adapting them to create
      online classes. Director Jeanne Cavelos explains, "Technology allows us to
      hold live online class meetings, so students can ask questions and
      participate in the class. Each course is designed to provide intensive
      focus on a particular aspect of fiction writing, and challenging homework
      assignments help students to improve their skills. Feedback from the
      instructor and from classmates allows students to gauge their progress.
      Each student also has an individual meeting with instructor." Courses
      provide a supportive yet challenging, energizing atmosphere, with class size
      limited to fourteen students. While courses are designed for adult writers
      of fantasy, science fiction, and horror, interested writers of other genres
      are welcome to apply.

      Last winter, Odyssey had a huge response to the three online courses
      offered. Writers from all over the world applied. This year, Odyssey is
      offering three different online courses covering some of the most critical
      issues for developing writers:

      Three-Act Structure in Fantastic Fiction

      Course Meets: January 2 - 30, 2013

      Instructor: Jeanne Cavelos

      Application Deadline: December 7, 2012

      When we first offered this course in 2011, we received more interest than in
      any course taught before or since. So we're offering it again, to provide
      more writers the chance to learn the exciting possibilities inherent in this
      plot structure. One of the greatest weaknesses of developing writers is
      plot. One of the best tools for strengthening plot is the act. Plotting in
      acts creates a more suspenseful, unpredictable, and emotionally satisfying
      experience for the reader. This course will start by defining key units of
      structure--the scene, chapter, and act--and explore why we need acts. We'll
      discuss the effect of acts, the importance of acts, how acts work in short
      fiction and novels, and how acts are used in science fiction, fantasy, and
      horror. How does one identify an act? When are three acts appropriate? Why
      are three acts so popular and powerful? We'll learn how to plot in three
      acts. We'll explore what makes a strong three-act plot and what makes a weak
      three-act plot. We'll look at powerful methods and weak methods of ending an
      act. We'll explore how to create a causal chain that generates escalations
      and a strong climax, how subplots work within three-act structure, the
      connection between structure and character transformation, and the unifying
      role of theme.

      Getting the Big Picture: The
      Key to Revising Your Novel

      Course Meets: January 7 - February 4, 2013

      Instructor: Barbara Ashford

      Application Deadline: December 11, 2012

      Barbara Ashford believes the most important skill a novelist needs is to be
      able to see the "big picture" of the novel, to understand where that big
      picture is lacking or weak, and to make the major changes necessary to
      create a coherent, complete, powerful, and unified novel. Barbara believes
      this skill made all the difference in her writing, transforming it from
      promising but unsalable to compelling and published. Writers often approach
      revisions as an opportunity to polish their manuscripts rather than to take
      a hard look at the story itself. If your plot meanders and your
      protagonist's goals are unclear, polishing your prose won't help. This
      course examines the "big picture" elements at the foundation of every novel:
      premise, promise, theme, world, character, and plot. Whether you've already
      completed your first draft, are still working on it, or are struggling with
      revisions, analyzing and strengthening those elements can lift your novel
      out of the slush pile and onto an agent's desk. Award-nominated author
      Barbara Ashford will examine each of these big picture elements and the ways
      that linking them can create a unified, compelling, powerful story. Through
      lecture, discussion, and writing exercises, students will analyze their
      premise, the promise that the novel is making to readers, the themes that
      arise from the novel, the world they have created, their protagonists'
      backstory, motivations, and goals, and the plot events they have chosen to
      lead the reader from the story's promise to its climax.

      Bodies and Heartbeats:
      Crafting Character from the Inside Out

      Course Meets: January 23 - February 20, 2013

      Instructor: Elaine Isaak

      Application Deadline: December 27, 2012

      "If you will try being fictional for a while, you will find that fictional
      characters are sometimes more real than people with bodies and heartbeats."
      --Richard Bach

      In her critiques as a guest lecturer at the Odyssey Writing Workshop and as
      a critiquer for the Odyssey Critique Service, Elaine Isaak has become
      legendary for identifying weaknesses in character and suggesting brilliant
      yet simple ways to strengthen characters. This course will help you to
      develop a clearer sense of what makes a powerful character and will teach
      you the techniques you need to develop strong characters. The first duty of
      the fiction writer is to make the reader care about people that don't exist.
      In this course, we'll talk about how to create the core of a sympathetic
      character and bring that character to life through words so that the reader
      invests in the dreams and challenges of your imagined people. Students will
      study and discuss examples, perform exercises to practice creating
      sympathetic and believable characters, and write short-shorts that put these
      new skills into practice. Students will also provide critiques of their
      classmates' work.

      More information about our online classes can be found here:

      http://www.sff.net/odyssey/online.html or by emailing jcavelos@....

      If you've visited the Odyssey site recently, you may need to click REFRESH
      on your browser to see the new content.

      PLEASE NOTE: Those application deadlines are coming up soon! If you would
      like to apply for more than one course, you must apply separately for each

      Odyssey's Online Classes pack valuable content into each session, allow for
      significant interaction with the instructor, and provide assignments that
      challenge students. The classes provide the tools students need to improve
      their writing, along with feedback on their work that reveals whether they
      are successfully using those tools. Cavelos says, "If you're ready to hear
      about the weaknesses in your writing and ready to work to overcome them,
      you'd be welcome to apply to our online classes."

      In addition, the Odyssey Web site,
      www.odysseyworkshop.org, offers many resources for writers, including free
      podcasts, writing and publishing tips, a writing blog, a critique service,
      and information about the six-week in-person workshop.

      The journey to take your writing to the next level starts now!
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