DIY MFA Weekend Writing Sprint Course Review

Wanting to get back to my writing, I signed up again to the Weekend Writing Sprint this past weekend. The course consists of six short videos and 27 minutes of recordings in all.

Everything covered focused on tips for planning such as setting smart goals, mapping out three ideas, organizing and setting time limits.

Rivalry is something that’s found in any activity. The course will give you tips for avoiding this and being true to your own writing.

Inspiration may be what is needed…or not. The course debunks myths surrounding whether you need it to write or not.

Gabriela teaches us that embracing wins, and indeed any type of progress, is good and that above all we should never give up.

The course is quick yet has some interesting details and examples as well as tips that made me think they were all good suggestions.

Gabriela teaches in a way that things are clear within the time limit and it was enjoyable. I think the course is good for all skill levels and if you have done it before like I have then it is a great tool for revising concepts.

My advice is to sign up for DIY MFA emails and follow on Twitter @diymfa.

The course is free of charge but it is available for a limited time every time it is taken out of the DIY MFA vault.

6 Figure Author Challenge-7 Days to 7x Your Leads, Sales, and Referrals by Launching (or Relaunching) A Book Chandler Bolt Course Review

On 10th September this year, I signed up to a new writing challenge. This one was taught by Chandler Bolt of Self Publishing School. Find out more HERE The course was initially for 7 days and then was extended for another 3 days with bonus sessions. Each class was around an hour long and was taught in a Facebook group. The time difference with the US meant that the classes did not arrive in my inbox until early evening which meant that I was able to watch some live and others only by replay. Even so, the course was full of new stuff to learn. My favourite classes were one about lead magnets and another on self vs traditional publishing. although I enjoyed them all. At the end of each daily class, there was a short homework task we had to do then share in the course’s exclusive Facebook group. Overall, I did find the classes incredibly interesting and I learned a lot as well as reinforcing somr things I knew. I met a lot of supportive likeminded people in the Facebook group.

J Thorn Supercharge your Scene in 5 Days Course Review

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. 

Irresistible Fiction Course Review

In early December last year, I was really happy to receive a Holiday Pack from a fellow writer who is always so supportive of me and my writing endevours.
The pack is created by William Victor S.L. and the courses are email courses taught by Nancy. 
It contains 2 courses, the first of which is Irresistible Fiction. This course has 8 classes (1 per week) and I eagerly awaited each of them every Tuesday evening. Details are HERE if you want to sign up to this course.  

I went into it really excited, as many of the books I buy and the Advance Review Copies (or ARCs) I review are fiction. Many of my own writing projects are fiction (either Young Adult, General Fiction or Women’s Fiction). 
I had some questions beforehand which Nancy answered quickly and thoroughly. Mostly, I was concerned about the pace of the course and the workload, since all through my previous educational life I required close support. 
As it turned out, I had nothing to worry about and was able to work the course around my other commitments. 
The best thing was that, as well as the course emails, I was able to share my homework tasks and comment on others’ work on the specially created class blog. 
In general, my homework responses were well received and liked by others on the course. 
There was one occasion when my work was not exactly what the reader liked but, if there’s one thing that I’ve learned in my 8 years of being a writer and blogger, it’s that everyone has different styles and tastes. 
And that’s OK with me. 
Thanks to the Irresistible Fiction course, I’ve come away with more ways to incorporate pacing, mystery suspense cliffhangers and more into my writing as well as know what to keep and what to cut and how to create better characters. 
Obviously, I know about all these aspects, but it was good to find it out from a different source with different prompts and examples. 
I signed up to Creative Writing Now which is a great site run by the same company with prompts and I have been receiving their emails for years now. I have short stories I’ve come up with based off their prompts and they have a wealth of resources. 
I’m due to start the Poetry Essentials course which is the second one in the Holiday Pack next week, and that will be 8 weeks long too and also have a blog for homework and comments. I’m looking forward to fleshing out some poems I was working on during Camp NaNoWriMo years ago and learning more techniques related to that genre since poetry is a pretty unknown genre for me. 

Details are HERE for the poetry course.