Marilynn Byerly

 

Paranormal Romance * Romantic Suspense * SF Romance *SF Adventure

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Schedule

 

“Keeping the Reader Reading the First Chapter”

 

A Writing Course

 

given by

 

Marilynn Byerly

 

Drawing a reader into the first chapter of your novel is more than an exciting beginning, more than a “cute meet,” more than a sexy hero and a feisty heroine. Step by step, I’ll show you the craft needed to draw the reader into your novel and make her eager to keep reading.

To get the most out of this course, you should already have a good idea about the plot and characters in your novel.

The workshop will include a chapter critique.

 

COURSE SYLLABUS

Course work, articles, and questions will be given through a Yahoogroups' listserv. Each day, Marilynn will post a lesson or an assignment. Your assignments will remain private between you and Marilynn, though.

WHAT GETS THE READER INTO A STORY?

WHAT KEEPS HER THERE?

WHAT IS THE MOMENT OF CHANGE?

WHAT KIND OF BEGINNING DRAWS THE READER IN

GIVING THE READER QUESTIONS

THE MAJOR HOOK--What it is and what it does.

THE VIEWPOINT CHARACTERS AND THEIR GOALS

WHAT'S MY NOVEL ABOUT?

CHARACTER MOTIVATION

HOW NOT TO WRITE THAT FIRST SCENE

DANGEROUS CHOICES, TROUBLE AHEAD

THE PROLOGUE

TOO MUCH BACK STORY

HOW MUCH BACK STORY?

FLASHBACKS

NOW WE WRITE THE CHAPTER

CHOOSE YOUR VOICE

MAINTAINING TONE

VISUAL AND SENSUAL DETAILS

VIEWPOINT AND NARRATIVE DISTANCE

HOW MANY VIEWPOINTS SHOULD YOU HAVE?

THE BAD GUY WITHOUT A POV

VIEWPOINT AS CAMERA OR AS PARTICIPANT

TWO OR MORE BRAINS, Head Hopping

NARRATIVE AND VIEWPOINT

POINT OF VIEW ERRORS IN NARRATIVE

VIEWPOINT CHANGES WITHIN A SCENE

BEGINNING A SCENE'S VIEWPOINT

THE CORRECT PERCENTAGE OF DIALOGUE, NARRATIVE, AND INTROSPECTION:

HOW MUCH INFORMATION DO YOU NEED ON THE FIRST PAGE?

GETTING INTO YOUR CHARACTER'S HEAD

WAKING THE READER UP

SUBPLOTS

FORESHADOWING AND SUBTEXT

HOW LONG IS A CHAPTER?

IT'S THE READER, STUPID!

FINDING YOUR CHARACTER'S WEAKNESS

KILLING CHARACTERS

CHARACTER NAMES

HOW YOU DESCRIBE

DIALOGUE

INTERNAL DIALOGUE

FILTER WORDS

THE CAMERA SHOT IDEA AND PACING

HoHOW LONG SHOULD A CHAPTER BE?

THE ETHICS OF CRITIQUING

SUMMATION

 

Marilynn's Teaching Biography:

Marilynn Byerly's two passions are writing and teaching. With a BA and MA in English with an emphasis on fictional structure and literary analysis, she has taught writing, judged numerous national and regional writing contests, reviewed books, and written articles on writing which have appeared in trade publications, national magazines, and writing websites. She also has acted as a book doctor for established authors and a NY Times bestseller.

 

Her romance, fantasy, and suspense novels, and short stories have won major awards including the National Readers Choice Award, the Sapphire, and the Write Touch. She has also been named an outstanding achiever in romance by a major romance magazine.

 

What qualifies Marilynn to teach this topic?

"From the first page, I was immediately swept into the time and place of the story, and I wasn’t released until the last word." -- a review of Marilynn’s STAR-CROSSED from Ivy Quill.

 

Many of Marilynn's reviews praise her ability to draw the reader into a story and keep them there. As a teacher, she can show you how to do it, too.

 

Marilynn's Online Writing Workshops

 

Workshops Schedule

The Big Question: How to Create a Powerful Novel from a Few Ideas and One Big Question

Worldbuilding Course: Creating a Believable Paranormal, Fantasy, or SF World.

Writing in the Moment: How to get your voice, viewpoint, and craft so perfect that you disappear and your story comes alive.

The Blurb: Mother of All Promotions How to write a blurb -- that pithy description of your novel in a query letter, the short "elevator pitch" used at a writer's conference, the log line for online promotion, and the all important back cover copy for a published novel.   

Analyzing Jim Butcher's Storm Front

The Game We Play Star-crossed The Once and Future Queen By Fate's Hand GuardianAngelTn Time After Time

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