No one is born a good writer. The great ones are constantly learning, honing their craft, to improve their writing and make better books. In decades past you'd have to go to workshops and college classes in order to learn new aspects of the writing world, but you're much luckier today. MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are college classes offered by respected colleges. Many of these classes are free, and all of them are online, available whenever you have time to study. Sign up for a class and do your classwork whenever you have an extra hour each week. Take a class while the laundry is drying, and another one on the flight to Denver. Audit the class, or sign up to get a certificate; it's your decision in which level you want to participate.
- Writing Mysteries and Thrillers This course offered by Stanford University focuses on great crime novels and mysteries. You'll learn how to invent great characters, ratchet up the suspense, and describe action. The class includes a live workshop.
- Writing for a Global Market Your readers aren't just from North America any more. Learn to write for diverse populations and multiple cultures.
- Discovering Ideas Learn about creativity and the process of finding new ideas. This course will help you to avoid writer's block and give you more plot ideas in the future.
- The Art of Creative Writing Learn character development, pacing, story ideas, rewriting, and editing. This course is great for those who are just getting their feet wet in the world of writing books.
- English Composition Go back to the basics to give your writing more confidence. Learn how to form sentences and paragraphs that make sense, and how to value writing as a process above the final process.
- Non-fiction Writing Go beyond the basics and learn how to organize your book, choose your subject matter, structure your book, and think like an editor. You'll have a publication-ready book at the end of this course.
- Paranormal Romance PNR, as it's known in the business, is one of the hottest genres in fiction right now. Learn the rules of the niche, what not to include, what makes a good paranormal story, and more.
- Writing Women's Fiction Women's fiction is one of the fastest growing genres around. From Bridget Jones to The Fault in Our Stars, people are buying these books like never before. Learn how to latch onto this popular niche.
- Introduction to Marketing If you're an author, you've got to learn marketing. You can't get much better than this course, offered by the Wharton School of Business. Learn about your ideal readers and how to entice them to read your books and to create a book marketing plan
- Marketing in a Digital World This course ups the ante, adding smart phones, the internet, and 3D printing into the marketing mix. Learn how to use digital tools to develop and brand your book catalog
Keep the Faith and May the Force be with You!