When I found out this was free , I decided to do it.
Spread over 5 days from Monday 15 June to Friday 20 June, the course premise is to teach you how to write a better scene.
I have been seriously into,and active, with anything related to writing since 2013 but have never done any course that was specific at the scene level.
The course is based on short videos (1 each day) which address different concepts:
There was a video uploaded on the 14th of June and the title was Prep Work: How to decide on the scene or article you want to write and why you must write it. At this stage, I went through the extensive prompt PDF.
I was torn between women’s fiction, YA general fiction and thriller so spent some of the 14th mulling over which prompt I was finally going to use.
I have never worked on a thriller before and felt I needed a lot more practise in the genre before I did, so I chose women’s literature.
Starting on the 15th, the first video was:
How to frame the scene, so you know what you want the scene or article to accomplish.
To use NaNoWriMo terminology, I have tried planning and “pantsing” novels and my work and either way works for me. in fact, I often do a hybrid of both. So am a plantser really.
Tuesday 16 June: How to ignite the motivations of your protagonist and antagonist. Motivations are always something I have struggled to show but this was clear and gave me more confidence with that.
Wednesday 17 June: How to guarantee that your scene or article explodes on the page- I love my work to be detailed in the right places and have great visuals or small details that make people resonate with characters or decide what they think about them as much as possible.
Thursday 18 June: How to create a difficult, complicated decision for your protagonist that readers can’t possibly ignore- this had me thinking more, but in a good way. I love a challenge!
Friday 19 June : How to utilize the protagonist’s consequence when you start the next scene- Just as a hook is important for the beginning of the story, the ending has to leave people satisfied too. This video helped with that step.
Saturday 20 June: This was a day with a bonus video.
As well as daily videos, J Thorn created a Facebook Live schedule for this event with videos on 13,16 and 19 June:
June 13, 2020, 12:00 pm Eastern time – “What do you want to get out of this challenge?”
June 16, 2020, 6:00 pm Eastern time – “How’s the challenge going so far? How can I help you?”
June 19, 2020, 9:00 am Eastern time – “What do you need to write your scene, short story, or article?”
I took part in the first 2 and asked a lot of questions. I did not take part in the last Facebook chat since I worked on my piece each day and felt confident about it.
One thing about this challenge is that you absolutely do not have to be on Facebook to participate and complete it and that the Facebook community is completely optional. This was a new aspect to me and one which differentiated this challenge from others I’ve done.
The AutoCrit challenges I have done, as well as some related to DIY MFA, while immensely enjoyable, are more closely linked to the need to be on Facebook.
There’s a downloadable worksheet (in Word and PDF format) to use as you work through the challenge.
The assignment for the challenge was to come up with a scene of 2,000 words and under by the 23rd of June.
The idea was to wait until the end of the five days to do the work but I wanted to get it done so I could relax.
The scene can also be a standalone short story, article, or blog post. J Thorn says Creativity needs constraints, so the scene must stay under 2,000 words.
Of course, there are prizes too!
Every writer who completes the challenge gets automatically entered into the prize pool drawings, which include:
A FREE signed copy of Three Story Method: Foundations of Fiction
A $50 Amazon gift card
A FREE 30-minute, 1-on-1 consultation with J.
The course is free until June 24th at 12:01 EST.
Overall, it was a really fun experience and very well organized. I even managed to get 4 edits in.
I submitted my scene a few days ago and am proud of it.
The course is a very enjoyable way to spend 5 days if you want to improve your writing at scene level and love a challenge.
Join J Thorn’s writing community HERE.
I took part in the participant bonus mini course too. That’s free until 12:01am EST on 24 June too. Review of that to come.