Monday, September 21, 2020

9 Writing Courses You Never Knew Existed on Amazon


Things are changing rapidly in the world we live in today, and how we learn is one of them.  For most students this means learning from home.  So it's no surprise that courses, such as writing have become so popular.

How effective is online learning?

There is strong evidence to suggest that learning online can be really effective in a number of ways.  Research has shown that students retain 25-60% more when learning online compared to about 8-10% learning in a classroom environment.  Partly due to the fact that students learn faster online.  E-learning warrants only 40-60% less time to learn than a classroom setting.  This is because students learn at their own pace, skipping, re-reading, or speeding through information as they choose.

There are lot's of well known companies such as Udemy, CreativeLive and Coursera who offer plenty of online courses for writers.  But have you ever thought about looking at what Amazon has to offer?

Let's face it you can purchase just about anything these days from Amazon, and courses are no exception.

The courses featured in this post are available on Amazon Prime Video.

So let's get started.

1. Creative Writing Workshop: Exercises to Boost Creativity and Generate New Ideas - Tatiana Ambrose

Tatiana Ambrose, award winning creative artist and instructor will help kick-start your creativity flow, with writing exercises, tackling areas such as character ideas, story plots and poetry.

If you want to make writing a full-time career this course will show you how to make an income from writing stories, poems and novels, with proven creativity boosting writing exercises from an experienced expert.

A course well-suited for writing professionals who are creatively stuck, and writers looking for inspiration for their next project.

2. Writing Great Fiction: Storytelling Tips and Techniques - The Great Courses

Great fiction isn't reserved for the talented few, it can be learned.  Even if you've never dreamed of writing the next Moby-Dick you'll enjoy discovering the elements of fiction.  This course has a wealth of exercises to get you writing, so you can practice these techniques on your own.  From picturing a scene to charting a plot, you'll get a master class in storytelling.

Working novelist Professor James Hynes imbues his teaching of the elements of fiction with the wisdom of personal experience.  Using vivid examples from history of literature as well as lessons and anecdotes from his own time in the novel-writing trenches.  Sharing his personal processes and techniques, and even examaning specific examples where he struggled as a writer, revealing how he overcame those difficulties.

This course is meant to be a toolkit, not an instruction manual.  One of the amazing things about fiction writing is that it's a creative field.  So there are no right answers, and no single way to tell a story.  With a wealth of exercises to get you writing so that you can practice the many techniques you learn.  Professor Hynes will guide and show you the techniques that have worked for him and other novelists in the past, showing you the pitfalls to avoid.  A truly exceptional course for anyone interested in storytelling.

3. Screenwriting 101: Mastering the Art of Story - The Great Courses

Lying at the heart of screenwriting is the same thing that undergirds all great fiction writing, the story.  Script writing is just another way of telling a story, even though it has a special set of possibilities and limitations.  If you're looking to write stories in any style or genre, the practical and versatile skills you can learn from screenwriting will enhance any tale you want to tell.

You might want to write your own scripts or simply gain a deeper appreciation for the great stories you see reveal before your eyes.  Professor Angus Fletcher of English and Film at The Ohio State University will bring both a personal and scholarly perspective to this craft.  A screenwriter himself, he has experienced the ins and outs of the process first-hand.  A key faculty member in Projective Narrative, a think tank devoted to using cognitive science to study the effects of stories on the human mind, Professor Fletcher offers his unique insight into storytelling from both neuroscientific and a literary perspective.  

In the 24 episodes you will understand not only how to write a script, but how to tell a great story that moves audiences, which is the ultimate goal of storytelling in any medium.

4. How to Write Best Selling Fiction - The Great Courses

Get your hands on a comprehensive, eye-opening, and illuminating survey of the entire writing process, as well as a complete breakdown of how dozens of best-selling authors have put to work best practices in their own writing.  As an aspiring author, you will gain an abundance of wealth and tools that will not only improve your ability to write, but will also increase your enjoyment of the craft.

Winner of the International Thriller Writers Award and the Christy Award for Suspense, James Scott Bell taught the principles of best-selling fiction for over 20 years, principles that can be applied to any genre or style.

Famous writer Somerset Maugham once said, "There are three rules for writing a novel.  Unfortunately, no one knows what they are."  Maybe no one knows "the rules," but there are plenty of writing techniques, practices, and fundamentals that writers have used for decades to become best-selling authors.  With this course you get an intimate introduction to the fundamentals of how to write your best seller, from a best-selling author who has mastered the secrets to success.

5. English Grammar Boot Camp -  The Great Courses

Explore the essential aspects of English grammar, through these spirited and accessible lectures.  They offer a comprehensive core training in all of the key elements of grammar and usage, in their most immediate, practical application.  Acquire a breadth of perspective and context you won't find elsewhere, improving your grammar competence and confidence in all contexts.

Linguist and Professor Anne Curzan of the University of Michigan takes you through 24 spirited lectures, speaking in Socratic teaching style.  With refreshing humour, Professor Curzan leads you through many parts of speech, from nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs to the fine points of determiners, intensifiers, prepositions, coordinating and subordinating conjunctions, conjunctive adverbs, dangling modifiers, and more.  At the end of the course all of these elements will be combined to take a penetrating look at matters of style and clarity, in settings ranging from daily speech to formal, academic, and scientific writing. 

6. Write Your Novel - Steve Alcorn

In this fun and lively course, author and mentor Steve Alcorn shows you how to plan, write, polish and publish your novel.  Steve has helped more than 30,000 aspiring writers structure their stories, many of whom are now in print.

This course is open to all aspiring, young or old, experienced or just getting started authors.  

7. How to Publish Your Book - The Great Courses

The internet offers new submission conveniences for today's authors, leaving them to face unprecedented competition in the writing market.  So how does an aspiring author get published? This course lays out your best options for publication and leads you step by step toward achieving your goals.

Publishing industry expert and educator Professor Jane Friedman outlines both the pros and cons of self-publishing, walking you through a typical process.  Introducing some of the options and platforms for self-publication, and elaborating on the steps you will need to take to enable a self-published book to succeed.

8.Writing Great Essays - The Great Courses

These 24 informative lectures evaluate numerous types of essays, challenging you with writing prompts, and bring insights into how to get to know yourself like never before so that you may write honest, compelling, and great essays.  Since essays are so flexible in their style and function, the skills you build writing great essays may be applied to almost all other forms of writing.

Your expert guide through these lectures is Dr. Jennifer Cognard-Black, Professor at St. Mary's College of Maryland, who is an award winning author, 2012 Fulbright Scholar, and a former student of the renowned author Jane Smiley.  Teaching you that the versatility and expressiveness of the essay make it an ideal medium for crafting stories and drawing perspectives out of even the most reluctant writers.  

The goal of this course is to provide you with fundamental abilities that will improve your essays, the skills you will learn also provide a foundation to develop any writing project you undertake.

9. The Secrets of Great Mystery and Suspense Fiction - David Schmid

Some of the most unforgettable stories in all of literature are written by great mystery and suspense writers, steadily growing in popularity as each year passes.  So how did the genre become so popular, and why is it a go-to for so many readers around the world?

Professor David Schmid of the University of Buffalo examines these questions, guiding you through an examination of the many different varieties of the genre.

Investigate multiple angles, getting a truly multifaceted picture of a fascinating literary subject.  Whether you're an admirer of mystery on radio and film, or simply fans of literature, history, or pop culture, you are sure to find something to enlighten in this study of a genre with such an immense impact.

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