You know you want to. You've known for a long time. You dream of writing.
Here at The Writer's Path at SMU, we teach adults how to write books and how to make those dreams come true.
The Writer's Path at SMU is there for you, from your first idea through the process of the doing the work and completing it, to the necessary revision stages, polish, rewrite and final polish. For those who want to take their book -- fiction or nonfiction -- to the world stage, there is a traditional New York publishing component (for those who qualify). For those who want to blog or write short pieces, we have your class, Write Now! too.
Step onto the Path.
Creative Writing Foundation
The prerequisite, offered EVERY session! Explore your inner poet, screenwriter, travel author and short story writer in this course that teaches the basics of the craft.
You’ll be writing stories, building on skills and interests developed in Creative Writing Foundation, to sharpen your point of view character and narrator. Explore plot points and story events – fact or fiction – to push your character to change. You’ll learn how to craft conversations, verbal and nonverbal. Research techniques will help your characters and stories – fact or fiction – come alive. By course end, you should have completed and polished two articles and/or stories, with strategies for publishing, plus have 3–5 blog posts! Prerequisite: Creative Writing Foundation
NOVEL: THE STORY
Taught by authors with distinctive voices, this is the first part of the journey. Answer the questions: What is my story? Why are character and plot inseparable? How do my characters relate to each other? What is pacing? What is my story arc? Why is it important for my hero to have her/his own arc? What's my theme, my genre, my style? Answer these and other fundamental questions as you create an outline and draft key scenes in this class. Prerequisite: Creative Writing Foundation.
NOVEL: THE PLOT
Strengthen your understanding of story components, learn how the advanced elements of structure can expand your manuscript while transforming an overwhelming concept into a manageable project. Practice your craft while acquiring skills in creating tension bonds, developing dramatic scenes and deepening character and plot. Prerequisites: Creative Writing Foundation, Novel: The Story.
You're on the road of actual writing -- join this class for weekly deadlines, accountability, direction and encouragement. Writing requires allies, and this class is full of them. From any point of the writing experience, in any genre, this class can help you get closer to your goals. Prerequisites: Foundation, Story, Plot and/or instructor approval
You've completed a first draft. Where do you go from here? Revision offers hard-core analysis of structure, character and pacing while preparing you to write a stronger, cleaner draft, no matter which draft it is. This final story class helps you deepen what you've already created while giving insight to what still needs to be done. Prerequisite for New York Seminar: all classes and manuscript approval. For Revision open to non-track students, required manuscript approval. Deadline for summer, May 15, 2013. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for submission details.
Polish covers the minutiae, details, trimming and edits that will help you perfect the words on the page -- the difference between "done" and "finished." The class includes synopsis writing, logline pitches and every step up to the query letter. Be sure your book is as good as you can make it. This class is spit and polish, not rewriting. Prerequisite: all classes.
Taking The Scenic Route: Finding Your Own Road in Fiction and Creative Nonfiction With Guest instructor BK Loren. "This course starts with basic structure and moves forward to help you discover and feel confident with a structure more authentically your own. In the process, we'll also explore voice, character development, sense of place, style, and many other elements of good writing and story-making (whether it's fiction or nonfiction). The class welcomes all levels of writers who are willing to generate new material, revise old material, and break through to new territory in writing. The only requirement is that you submit one short story (fiction or nonfiction) to me prior to the class, and be willing to share it with your colleagues on day one. Please don't bring your best work. Bring your most honest work, the work that has challenged you most. Together, we'll work to transform it by day five. The week will go fast, so we'll have to buckle up and drive fast and hard to the end. As in any road trip, we'll have a few rest stops and some fun along the way. The point is, we'll all arrive at a new place by the end of the class. You ready to drive? See you in July!
Polish, with Daniel J. Hale for those NY-bound: Cover the minutiae, details, trimming and edits that will help you perfect the words on the page – the difference between
“done” and “finished.” This class also includes synopsis writing, logline pitches and every step UP TO the query letter.
Plot with J. Suzanne Frank: Strengthen your understanding of story components, learn how the advanced elements of structure can expand your manuscript while transforming an overwhelming concept into a manageable project. You'll come to understand more while acquiring skills in creating tension bonds, developing dramatic scenes and deepening character and plot.
And for those who want to have a writer's retreat, with daily accountability, we offer Chapters.
(Includes: lodging, meals, class, in single or double occupancy. Student is responsible for transportation.)
Single occupancy $1745
Double occupancy $1695
Course & meals only (no lodging) $1595
Meals & lodging only (perfect for spouse/guest) $1095