by Kris Neri
Next to my own writing, I love teaching writing the best. I love to pass along to others what I’ve learned about this craft. While nothing is more gratifying than when I hear that one of my students has had a book accepted for publication, a close second comes when I see newer writers make gains in their abilities and their confidence.
I mostly teach online classes these days. While I miss that face-to-face interaction of in-person classes, by teaching online, I get to interact with students from around the world, and that’s been really fun, too. Love those British expressions and spellings!
I have a couple of great online classes coming up this summer:
Through the Writers’ Program of the UCLA Extension School, I’ll be offering WRITING THE CRIME NOVEL: INTERMEDIATE WORKSHOP. Students are always asking for this class, and I’m thrilled that the Writers’ Program wants to offer it again. This intensive workshop provides in-depth feedback, along with advanced lectures on characterization, structure, point-of-view, dialogue, and other craft issues; in-depth discussions are always tailored to meet individual writing needs.
WRITING THE CRIME NOVEL: INTERMEDIATE WORKSHOP will begin on Wednesday, July 4 and run for ten weeks. You can read more about it here:
Not long thereafter, I’ll also be starting a mystery & thriller characterization class just for the Guppy Chapter of Sisters in Crime. The Guppies, which stands for Great Unpublished, are a wonderfully energized, supportive group of writers, and I really enjoy my interactions with them.
In this 3 ½ week class, which starts on July 8, we’ll be creating rich, textured characters. Here’s a description of the course:
Creating Characters that Live off the Page - While most mystery readers do care about the quality of the mystery, many say it's the characters that keep them turning the pages, just it's the characters that make them to keep returning to a series. Today's crime novels are more character-driven than those of old, so it's essential that your characters be fully fleshed out, with hidden pockets and fascinating paradoxes that readers can relate to —characters that live off the page. We’ll look at both the basics of character development, as well as advanced characterization, along with the character hierarchy common to mysteries. Students will have the opportunity to develop three characters (ideally from their current crime WIP or a planned mystery or thriller), and receive instructor feedback and suggestions.
For this class, it’s necessary to belong to both Sisters in Crime and the Guppy Chapter. For more information, email Elaine Douts: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those of you new to writing, welcome to the writing continuum! Make you reap great rewards on your journey. You'll find some writing tips on my website, which may help you.
Wishing all of you great advancements in your writing careers. There are readers out here waiting for you.