Special Announcement: Final Odyssey Online Course Deadline +New Podcasts

OdboatThank you to all those who have registered for the winter online writing classes with Jeanne Cavelos and Barbara Ashford!

There is still time to register for “Point of View: The Intersection of Character and Plot,” taught by David B. Coe, author of The Thieftaker Chronicles (writing as D.B. Jackson), the LonTobyn Chronicle, a trilogy that was awarded the William L. Crawford Award for best new fantasy series, the Winds of the Forelands series, and the Blood of the Southlands trilogy.

Odyssey Online helps you to learn new techniques and build your skills, and provides in-depth feedback to guide you.  If you’re ready to hear about the weaknesses in your writing and ready to work to overcome them, you’d be welcome to apply.

Point of View: The Intersection of Character and Plot

Course Meets:  January 21 – February 18, 2016
Instructor:  David B. Coe
Application Deadline:  December 26, 2015
Level:  Beginner/Intermediate

Of all the many tools writers have at their disposal, perhaps none is more powerful, or more overlooked, than point of view. Often thought of simply as the perspective through which a story is told, it is actually far, far more.  It is the mechanism by which we guide our readers through the plot points, narrative arcs, and emotions of our fiction. It is the place where all of our storytelling elements–character, plot, setting, prose–come together. And point of view can also provide solutions to some of the most common problems encountered by aspiring writers and professionals alike. Award-winning author David B. Coe, highly praised mentor and teacher of fiction writing, will show how weaknesses in point of view can undermine an entire story.

We will begin our discussion of point of view by looking at the many factors that go into choosing the correct point of view character or characters for our stories, as well as the proper voice for those characters. We will then move to the study of how point of view influences not only character arc, but also our establishment of plotting, setting, and pacing. We’ll explore the challenges in writing from the point of view of non-human characters and characters from alien cultures. Finally we will conclude the course with an exploration of the ways in which POV can be used to address a host of common problems writers encounter in their work.


Resources abound at the Odyssey Workshop home! Visit the Odyssey Podcasts page for downloadable lectures on a whole variety of writing-related topics. Recent podcasts include:

  • “Making It Real” by E.C. Ambrose (#87 and #88), who discusses the importance of worldbuilding, setting, details, and POV.
  • “Productivity for Writers” by Alex Hughes (#85 and #86).  Alex Hughes shares how to prioritize writing and strategies for focusing on getting words on the page.  Alex will also be leading our first live webinar in February 2016. See the details and register here!
  • “Characterization” by Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman (#83 and #84). Guest lecturers at the 2014 Summer Workshop, Ellen and Delia talked about writing characters with your own heart and insight, and creating in depth, complex characters.

Interview: Guest lecturer Alex Hughes

Alex HughesAuthor and Odyssey graduate Alex Hughes will be a guest lecturer at this summer’s Odyssey Writing Workshop. Alex was born in Savannah, GA, and moved to the south Atlanta area when she was eight years old. Shortly thereafter, her grandfather handed her a copy of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonrider series, and a lifelong obsession with scifi was born.

Alex is a 2011 graduate of the prestigious Odyssey Writing Workshop, a Semi-Finalist in the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards, and a member of the Science Fiction Writers of America and the International Thriller Writers. Her short pieces are published in several markets including EveryDay Fiction and Monster Corral. Clean was a Finalist in the Silver Falchion Award 2013.

Alex’s work is layered, dark, adventurous, and a little funny, with an emphasis on great characters and interesting worlds. She gets her inspiration from history (she majored with a European history focus in college), family members, and headlines, as well as whatever book she has in her hand. Lately she’s been reading neuroscience books; the brain’s a cool, cool place and the mind even more so.

An avid cook and foodie, Alex loves great food of any stripe–even better if she can figure out how to put it together. Great food is like a great book; it has lots of layers that work together beautifully, and the result is delicious and harmonious. She’s working on figuring out Thai curries right now–suggestions welcome!

Alex loves swing dancing, Tetris, music of all kinds, and has been known to get into long conversations with total strangers at restaurants about the Food Network, much to the embarrassment of her sister. She can also balance a spoon on her nose while crossing her eyes, and talk for hours about absolutely nothing.


Congratulations on your recent release of Vacant Alex Hughes Vacant(Mindspace Investigations, #4, released December 2014 from Roc). We’re excited to have you as a guest lecturer this summer, wherein you’ll be lecturing, workshopping, and meeting individually with students. What do you think is the most important advice you can give to developing writers?

Thank you! I’m excited about Vacant, and about the opportunity to teach at Odyssey. The program was a huge push forward for me as a writer, and I hope that I can share some of the lessons I’ve learned in the last few years with the students. Continue reading “Interview: Guest lecturer Alex Hughes”

Graduate’s Corner: Alex Hughes: How to Do a Book Blog Tour, Part 2

sharpThis week we continue with Part 2 of our August post, written for us by Odyssey Writing Workshop graduate Alex Hughes, author of the Mindspace Investigations Series. Clean, Sharp and Payoff are all set in a future dystopian Atlanta and feature a down-on-his-luck telepath. Alex has also written a number of short stories.

Alex has written since early childhood, and loves great stories in any form including science fiction, fantasy, and mystery. Over the years, Alex has lived in many neighborhoods of the sprawling metro Atlanta area. Decatur, the neighborhood on which Clean is centered, was Alex’s college home.

On any given week you can find Alex in the kitchen cooking gourmet Italian food, watching hours of police procedural dramas, and typing madly.

Alex attended Odyssey in 2011. You can learn more at www.ahugheswriter.com.


PART TWO

Reach your readers where they are through a book blog tour.

In Part One of this series, we discussed how to get set up. Check out the post, get your ducks in a row, and then follow us here as we finish out the tour.

We begin with Step Seven.

Continue reading “Graduate’s Corner: Alex Hughes: How to Do a Book Blog Tour, Part 2”

Graduate’s Corner: Alex Hughes: How To Do a Book Blog Tour, Part 1

clean_zps42359464Alex Hughes is the author of the Mindspace Investigations Series–Clean, Sharp and Payoff, all set in a dystopian Atlanta–as well as a number of short stories.  Alex has written since early childhood, and loves great stories in any form including science fiction, fantasy, and mystery. Over the years, Alex has lived in many neighborhoods of the sprawling metro Atlanta area. Decatur, the neighborhood on which Clean is centered, was Alex’s college home.

On any given week you can find Alex in the kitchen cooking gourmet Italian food, watching hours of police procedural dramas, and typing madly.

Alex is a graduate of the 2011 Odyssey Writing Workshop. You can learn more about Alex at www.ahugheswriter.com.


PART ONE

One of the best ways to publicize a book these days is to do what’s called a book blog tour online. More and more readers are finding their next books via book bloggers–people who read and review books on their own private websites. So reaching out to these folks may really help you reach your readers better.

Here’s what I’ve done the last few years. While I’m coming from a traditionally published perspective, this process should apply equally as well to the independently published professional, provided you have a great product with a great cover and a good selling “blurb.”

1. Determine your book’s release date.
In the case of a traditional publisher, they will generally tell you when the book will release. (Although, be aware–some books’ release dates are pushed back occasionally.) In the case of a self-published book, choose a date a few months out from today. You’ll need the time, trust me! Continue reading “Graduate’s Corner: Alex Hughes: How To Do a Book Blog Tour, Part 1”

Interview: Alex Hughes

Alex has written since early childhood, and loves great stories in any form including science fiction, fantasy, and mystery. Over the years, Alex has lived in many neighborhoods of the sprawling metro Atlanta area. Decatur, the neighborhood on which Clean is centered, was Alex’s college home.

On any given week you can find Alex in the kitchen cooking gourmet Italian food, watching hours of police procedural dramas, and typing madly.

Alex is a graduate of the 2011 Odyssey Writing Workshop. You can learn more about Alex at www.ahugheswriter.com.


Congratulations on the upcoming launch of Clean! It’s been great to see so many success stories among the Odyssey alumni. Can you tell us about this dystopian thriller? Continue reading “Interview: Alex Hughes”