Lani and I have been talking about a new project, The Writewell Academy for Wayward Authors, a collection of hour-long, downloadable lectures in narrated slideshow format that would include a short PDF workbook with each class (“workbook” does not mean “textbook,” it would be an outline for taking notes). We have a tentative list of courses and a tentative idea of what to charge, but the key word is “tentative.”
The Academy coursework would be divided into different levels. One hundred level courses would be the basics: a very general overview of story (that one would be free), introduction to discovery, and introduction to story core elements. Two hundred level courses would be about specific aspects of character (protagonist, antagonist, supporting characters, etc.) and plot (four act structure, 7 anchor scenes, scene, etc. Three hundred level courses would be about more advanced concepts–theme, metaphor and symbol, etc. And four hundred level would be application of all those things in different ways, such as analysis of a single story using all of the concept, Lani taking apart one of her books and me taking apart one of mine. Or something like that. We’re still figuring it out, which is why I’d like your input, since you’ve seen most of these concepts float past you here on Argh in the past years.
So here’s what I want to know:
What lecture topics do you think should be covered? (Remember, the lectures are an hour, so they have to be very focused. “Plot” is not an option.)
How much is it fair to charge? (We’re both behind on our books and we’d like to pay the mortgage, but we’re not into ripping off writers, either.)
Oh, and I designed T-shirts because every school has T-shirts. I was inspired by my fave college T-shirt of all time from when I taught at Antioch: “Antioch College: No Football Team Since 1929.” (They did used to play naked frisbee on campus, though.)
The front would be something like:
With several different backs:
So what do you think?