It’s that time again when we start to plan for that upcoming year. And as we all get ready to declare our 2012 New Year’s resolutions, it’s the perfect time to get your writing career headed in the right direction. But if you’re nervous about whether or not you’ll be able to stick to your goals, we’re happy to spread the word: Romance Writers of America's local chapters are ready to help you whip your writing into shape! This winter these writers' groups have compiled a selection of online courses (from beginning programs to specialty workshops) that will get you primed for success, pumped up for publishing and ready to take on the world. And not only are these classes convenient, requiring you to simply hop online to learn, but they are also very affordable — each course costs less than $25. Check out the five that our making us considering stretching out our writing muscles and getting in the game.
Peeling Yourself Off The Wall: 20 Ways To Duck The Writer’s Block Bullet: Because there are few things more deadly to a story than writer’s block, we suggest you get the tools to combat this dangerous creature before it ever appears. To that end, author Beth Daniels will teach you how to rock, roll and write your way out of a corner. Discover what hurts the beast and how to make it retreat back into its lair with a series of lectures and writing challenges specially crafted to help you slay this monster! Sign up here >>
The Word Loss Diet: Throughout the month of January, author Rayne Hill will help you trim the fat from your tale. Hill will arm you with a metaphoric machete and help you whack the brush and scrub from your story, so by the start of February you will be ready to move forward with a much more manageable manuscript. Sign up here >>
Sleuth Facts: Real PI Procedures For Your Plot: This 20 day online course is taught by retired PI — and award winning author — Linnea Sinclair. She will help you get into the spirit of PI work that will make your sleuth (and your story) shine. Sinclair will show you what a day in a detective’s life is like by sharing everything she knows from basic procedures all the way to special tricks of the PI-trade. The course starts on January 2 and is sure to fill up fast so make your reservation today! Sign up here >>
Editing Dialogue For Snap, Crackle And Punch! Experienced editor and author Christine M. Fairchild has created a workshop to help you hone your YA wordplay. Figure out how to show not tell teen emotion, have your story move quickly by using your dialogue to keep the plot snappy and learn how to keep your lingo as fresh as the faces you’re writing about. Over this eleven-day course online, Fairchild will give you all the tools you need to word your story wisely. Sign up here >>
To The West … And Beyond: Women In The American West —1865 To 1900: Historian and author Bella Steele (aka Billie Warren Chai) will transport you back to the Old West for a primer on how to make your heroine look, sound and act like she was raised on the range — or lives there now. Learn what women did each day, how life as a pioneer, rancher, frontier woman and farmer’s wife were very different — and how these roles lead to conflict and contentment with the hero of your heroine’s choice. Steele’s class will help you maneuver through the social life, fashion and transportation of a Western woman so that you don’t make the kind of writing faux pas that has fans frustrated by shoddy research. This four-week class comes complete with lectures, discussions and writing exercises that all take place online. So if you’ve got a historical heroine, or may have one someday, we suggest you step into the past with this class! Sign up here >>
These are just a few of the programs that RWA is offering just in time for the New Year; you can see the complete list here. So gear up and get your story in shape in 2012. For writing tips and helpful hints for honing your craft all year long, be sure to check out RT’s Aspiring Authors Page.