Register for Odyssey’s Winter 2022 Online Classes

The Odyssey Writing Workshops Charitable Trust has announced its online class offerings for Winter 2022:  

  • Scene and Sequel: How to Generate Character-Driven Momentum, Control Pacing, and Write a Page-Turning Story, taught by bestselling author Gregory Ashe; 
  • Emotional Truth: Making Character Emotions Real, Powerful, and Immediate to Readers, taught by award-winning editor/publisher Scott H. Andrews; and
  • Getting the Big Picture:  The Key to Revising Your Novel, taught by award-winning novelist Barbara Ashford. 

The application deadline for all three courses is December 6, 2021.  Classes are held in January and February.   

Course Meets: January 6 – February 3, 2022 

Instructor: Bestselling author Gregory Ashe 

Level:  Beginner to Intermediate 

At last summer’s Odyssey workshop, guest lecturer Gregory Ashe blew us away with his lecture on scene and sequel.  Most of the class already had some understanding of the difference between scene and sequel, but Greg presented these concepts with such insight and depth that it felt as if we were hearing about something entirely new and extremely valuable. More than that, Greg explained how the skillful use of scenes and sequels can strengthen almost every aspect of your story. They can help you make sure your protagonist has a strong goal that moves the story forward. They can help you convey the impact of events on your protagonist and bring more emotion into your story.  They can help you structure your story, manipulate pacing, and keep readers turning the pages. This was such a fascinating lecture that several students immediately requested that Greg be invited to teach an online class on the subject, where he could expand on these concepts. So here it is.  Students will study the use of scenes and sequels in the works of professional writers, will explore what makes scenes and sequels effective or weak, will write their own scenes and sequels, and will learn how to make the most of scenes and sequels in every story or novel. These skills are invaluable for beginner to intermediate students seeking to take their work to the next level.  

Course Meets: January 5 – February 2, 2022 

Instructor: Award-winning editor-in-chief and publisher Scott H. Andrews  

Level:  Intermediate to Advanced 

According to Scott H. Andrews, editor-in-chief and publisher of the eight-time Hugo Award finalist and World Fantasy Award-winning online fantasy magazine Beneath Ceaseless Skies, the most common weakness in submissions is the failure to convey character emotions in a powerful way. To help writers develop this skill, Scott created the course Emotional Truth: Making Character Emotions Real, Powerful, and Immediate to Readers.  Scott taught this class last year, and the reactions were so enthusiastic, we wanted to offer it again. 

Scott will explain the most effective techniques to convey character emotions realistically and powerfully on the page, so that moment by moment, you can create an authentic and evocative experience. He’ll show you which techniques work best for point-of-view characters, and which work best for non-point-of-view characters. He’ll also discuss how to handle multiple emotions, conflicting emotions, and complex emotions, because that’s when stories get really interesting. More than that, the course will cover strategies for developing situations and stories with strong potential for emotional resonance, and how to use character emotions to make every page a gripping read. The character’s emotions may draw readers to the character or repel readers from him, but either way, line by line and scene by scene, you’ll be able to give readers an authentic, powerful, involving experience. 

Course Meets: January 4 – February 15, 2022 

Instructor: Award-winning novelist Barbara Ashford 

Level:  Intermediate 

 In response to many requests, we’re bringing back this course, one of our most highly rated.  There are few things more difficult than revising a novel.  You’ve worked on it for months, or years, and you’re so immersed in it you can’t step back and see the big picture. You might polish the draft and make minor changes, but you don’t really know what to change to turn that rough draft into a powerful, unified novel. And chances are, major changes are necessary. In this course, Barbara Ashford, one of our most popular instructors, will guide you in a deep examination of the “big picture” elements of your novel–premise, promise, theme, world, character, plot.  Analyzing each of these building blocks and how well they are working together can give you new perspective on your novel, reveal weaknesses, and provide direction for major changes that will help you to maximize your novel’s potential.  

 Whether you’ve already completed your first draft, are still working on it, or are struggling with revisions, this course will provide invaluable insights into your novel through the lectures, assignments, and critiques. Barbara’s feedback on assignments has been widely praised for its depth and helpfulness.   

 Barbara’s course will be longer than the standard Odyssey online class, with four class meetings rather than our usual three, so you’ll be able to fully process and incorporate the important concepts discussed. If you’re participating in #NaNoWriMo, this course can show you the path from rough draft to completed novel.   

Odyssey Online offers only three classes each year and admits only fourteen students per class, to keep quality high and ensure each student receives individual attention.  Courses are focused on some of the biggest challenges writers face.

Live class meetings allow a virtual classroom experience, with students participating in discussions, asking questions, and learning from an instructor responsive to students’ concerns.  Between class meetings, students interact with each other and the instructor in a discussion group, complete assignments, and give and receive feedback.  Each student also has a one-on-one meeting with the instructor.

Classes are held in January and February.  While Odyssey’s nonprofit mission is to help writers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror, writers of any genre of fiction are welcome to apply.  Courses cover issues helpful to writers aiming their work at adult, young adult, or middle grade readers.  Full information can be found at their website or you can email jcavelos@odysseyworkshop.org.  

[Based on a press release.]

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