2013: Creative Writing Course in Italy

This is waaaay advance notice: in October 2013 I’ll be teaching a one-week course on writing crime fiction. I’ll be teaching it in Italy. And you can sign up.

“Crime Writing” is scheduled for October 5-12, 2013 at The Watermill at Posara. It’ll be a small, intensive seminar. A small, intensive, fun seminar, at a villa in Tuscany. The course is all inclusive — students get writing instruction, one-on-one with me to talk about their works in progress, and time off to play tourist. In Italy.

The Watermill has offered writing courses for a number of years. My friend Sharon Kendrick regularly teaches their immensely popular course on Writing Romance. I’m excited that I’ll be joining the posse. Did I mention that the course involves talking about writing for a week — in Italy?

If anybody’s interested, here’s information about the Watermill at Posara and how to sign up for the course: 2013 Writing Course Program.

And here’s my tentative course syllabus:

Crime Writing: Course Itinerary

The rough cut at the topics the course will cover:

Why we love crime: Thrills, danger and justice. What’s really at the heart of great crime novels.

Story Structure: How to spin a tale that grips readers to the last page. The basics of plotting: thwarting desire. The essential elements of a thriller.

Heroes, Heroines, and the Hook: Creating compelling main characters and a big idea to hang the story on.

The Antagonist: Why a great villain is the key to successful crime writing. Analysis of memorable villains in crime fiction. Build a bad guy: animating your own creation.

Secrets, Lies and Adrenaline: the inside scoop on techniques for creating suspense, upping tension, and improving pace.

Dialogue: How to get it right. Writing prompt: Love, hate, lust and bullets.

Designing the Perfect Crime: Story design in crime novels. Genre and sub-genre. Acts, scenes, beats, lines. Creating a powerful opening paragraph.

The Crime Writer’s Arsenal: Voice. Point of view. Flashbacks and subplots. Research: the key to credibility. Love scenes.

Revision: All good writing is rewriting. Triage, or a better way of revising. I’ll ask you to make a plan for revising your first drafts.

Publishing: Nuts and bolts and lasers. Welcome to the new world of the 21st century. Commercial publishing, self-publishing. Where crime fiction and thrillers are heading.

The itinerary also includes food, drink, the company of other writers, and trips to Tuscan towns near the villa. Spread the word.

2 responses to “2013: Creative Writing Course in Italy

  1. that sounds all kinds of amazing.
    But Italy? no good writers come from Italy! 😉

  2. Oh my god, I would love do this but my good friend is getting married in Vietnam next summer so I am set to travel through Vietnam for 4 weeks, which is most of my holiday days taken up. If you do this again in 2014 I am there!

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