Ten-Week Video Course
These ten short video lessons supplement the writing workbooks Writers Roundup and Writers Gold Mine. There is no cost to view these video lessons. To benefit the most from this course, however, you may want to buy the workbook to complete the assignments. They are available from Amazon or the Circle C store.
Instructor: Susan K. Marlow
Writers Roundup and Writers Gold Mine writing workbooks are based on multi-published, award-winning author Susan K. Marlow’s twenty years of experience with homeschooling, teaching writing, and working with editors and publishers. Her Circle C and Goldtown series total over 180,000 copies in print. Originally presented as live Zoom classes once a week, she has consolidated the video lessons and now presents them here to benefit young writers. The writing workbooks are self-taught, but the short (15-20 minutes each) video lessons enhance the book lessons and are available free of charge. You will, however, need to purchase either Writers Roundup or Writers Gold Mine to get the full benefit of the course. Buy the books here or on Amazon (Roundup) or (Gold Mine)
The workbook and video lessons are self-taught and can be worked through at the student’s own pace. An answer key is provided at the back of the workbook. For students who would like personal, one-on-one feedback for each lesson, contact Susan. This feedback and editing service is available for a fee of $75 and covers all ten lessons.
Lesson One – The Five Essential Story Elements >>
This is the foundational lesson for writing a story. You will learn how to begin looking at stories with “Author Eyes,” digging deeper to understand how a story is put together. At the end of this lesson, you will be familiar with the five story “puzzle pieces” you must have to create a good fiction story.
Lesson Two – Will the Main Character Please Stand Up >>
This lesson begins a three-part teaching on creating memorable characters that come to life for readers. Using charts, you create your characters’ physical and personality traits, as well as their likes and dislikes.
Lesson Three – Let the Feelings Show >>
This lesson guides you into how to write character sketches from the charts you created in lesson two. Then you will dive into how an author uses “show-don’t-tell” to express characters’ feelings
Lesson Four – Nuts and Bolts of Character Expression >>
This lesson digs into the details of dialogue: using tags like “he said” and “she said,” action tags, and sometimes no tags. The lesson also covers how to punctuate your dialogue to make it clear. Point of view is presented and how to avoid “head hopping” from one character’s head to another in the same scene.
Lesson Five – Freeze That Scene >>
In this “setting” story element, you will learn how to use an imaginary writing camera to describe KEY characters, settings, and objects for their stories, how to identify “dead” words, and how important it is to use vivid words when creating descriptions.
Lesson Six – Begin Your Story with a Hook >>
This lesson explores two concepts from the “story problem” element. 1) how to create a 40-word (or less) nutshell summary for your story, and 2) how to create a beginning that will hook your reader from the very start.
Lesson Seven – “What Ifs” and Ups & Downs >>
This lesson presents the next essential story element, “plot events,” or the ups and downs (conflict) in your story, along with brainstorming and learning how to create a plot outline for your story.
Lesson Eight – Keep the Story Moving >>
This lesson takes the Plot Elements (ups and downs) you created from your outline in lesson 7 and guides you through turning those notes into full-blown story scenes.
Lesson Nine – Create a Satisfying Solution >>
Did you know that a story’s ending is just as important as the story’s beginning? Learn how to create a delicious story ending by using one or more of these ingredients: a memory, a feeling, a decision, and/or a hope.
Lesson Ten – Revise and Polish Your Story >>
This lesson teaches you how to self-edit your story. It covers some of the more common writing mistakes and how to spot and correct them.
Bonus Lesson – Publish Your Story (2 parts) >>
These two bonus lessons guide you through formatting the interior pages of your story and uploading the story to an online printer. It also includes tips on creating a cover flat using Canva.com.
For a general overview of what the book and video course cover, watch this 3-minute video below. Then jump in and begin your writing journey with Lesson One >>