Welcome to the Writing the World Lecture Series
These video lectures are based on the more popular seminars I’ve taught over the years. Some are accompanied by handouts, which I will email to participants.
Each major topic is separated into subtopics from which you may choose. The complete descriptions below will help you decide which subtopics you want or need.
There currently are 27 lectures thoroughly covering the topics and subtopics below. I’ll add more as they occur to me or as they are requested. However, I will teach only what I know. If you want solid writing instruction with no fluff and no BS, you can’t go wrong with these lectures.
After you’ve paid for your lecture(s), I’ll send you the password. You may watch the lecture(s) at your own pace and come back as often as you want.
Note: These videos are information intensive. Prices vary based on the amount of information contained in each lecture.
How to Sign Up
Step One: Email firstname.lastname@example.org (please put Lecture Series in the subject line) and provide the following information:
2: E-mail address
3: Name of lecture(s) you are signing up for.
Step Two: Pay for the lecture, either by PayPal to email@example.com or by personal check made out to HarveyStanbrough.com, LLC. Mail it to Harvey Stanbrough, PO Box 604, Saint David AZ 85630.
Step Three: Within a day of receiving your payment I’ll send you the password for the lecture(s) you purchased. From that point on you can watch them at your own pace and as often as you want.
Available Lectures and Descriptions
Lecture 1 — Writing Realistic Dialogue (complete course, 4 lectures): $95
1a — Writing Realistic Dialogue 1: $20 — Introduction. Punctuation for Writers. Specific uses of particular marks to create a desired effect in the reader. (You’ve never seen punctuation presented this way before.) The elements of dialogue: one part quoted material, two parts narrative. Tag lines, brief descriptive introductory and interruptive narratives.
1b — Writing Realistic Dialogue 2: $20 — Bringing characters to life through dialogue. How the protagonist/antagonist talk. How secondary/flat/cardboard characters talk. Colorful, memorable dialogue. Learn to read your work aloud.
1c — Writing Realistic Dialogue 3: $40 — Conveying emotion through dialogue. The effect of various sentence structures and constructions. Reaction of reader to longer, shorter sentences, more punctuated, less punctuated. Influencing the mood of the reader. Conveying emotion directly through punctuation. Specific techniques for conveying emotion with pacing and paragraph construction.
1d — Writing Realistic Dialogue 4: $40 — Continuation of influencing the mood and physiology of the reader. Reader speed = physiological reaction. The influence of the sounds of letters and words. Using punctuation to affect reader speed, pacing and emotion.
Lecture 2 — Creating Realistic Characters (complete course, 2 lectures): $45
2a — Creating Realistic Characters 1: $25 — Introduction. The two kinds of character traits, how to assign them and in what proportion. Creating the protagonist/antagonist. Creating protagonist/antagonist helpers. How and why to create flat/secondary/cardboard characters. Assigning personal quirks and eccentricities.
2b — Creating Realistic Characters 2: $30 — Crafting the character arc. Using character slams and rooting techniques.
Lecture 3 — Writing Effective Dialect (complete course, 2 lectures): $50
3a — Writing Effective Dialect 1: $20 — Introduction. What is dialect? Why use it? Reading your work aloud. Practicing dialect/pronunciation is essential. Labor intensive.
3b — Writing Effective Dialect 2: $40 — How to write dialect. Techniques for creating particular effects. Dialect table provided. Notes on writing effective dialect.
Lecture 4 — Writing Narrative (complete course, 4 lectures): $95
4a — Writing Narrative 1: $30 — Introduction. Narrative defined. The natural voice of narrative and rationale. Narrative as adjunct to dialogue. Narrative as quasi-dialogue. Describing the scene. Using action verbs. The necessary use of adjectives and adverbs.
4b — Writing Narrative 2: $30 — Taming the Overreaching Narrator, Part 1. (If you have a narrator, he’s overreaching.) “Show, Don’t Tell” explained once and for all. “Passive Voice” (Passive Construction) explained once and for all.The use of state-of-being verbs, “had” and gerunds.
4c — Writing Narrative 3: $30 — Taming the Overreaching Narrator, Part 2. Using throw-away verbs. Using the sense verbs. Assigning human traits to human parts. Assigning possession to inanimate objects.
4d — Writing Narrative 4: $30 — Taming the Overreaching Narrator, Part 3. Editorializing. Repeating in narrative what the reader just heard through dialogue. Interrupting to tell the reader the dialogue was not interrupted. Inane constructions (Read Your Work Aloud). Misused words and phrases. Misplaced modifiers.
Lecture 5 — Point of View: $60 — Introduction. POV defined. Narrative Voice defined. The difference between POV and narrative voice, explained once and for all. How to establish POV characters. When the narrator is also a character. One way to sketch a POV outline. Plotting: the 3-6-3-1 Rule (after John Galishaw).
Lecture 6 — Writerly Sins: Common Snags in Writing Narrative: $40 — Introduction. Unnecessary/excessive text. Berating the reader. Using erroneous “facts.” The infamous “gave.” Misplaced modifiers. Inanity.
Lecture 7 — Writing Great Beginnings: $30 — Introduction. Story starters. Components of a great beginning. How to capture and hold the attention and imagination of the reader from the beginning. How to appeal to the emotional senses.
Lecture 8 — Writing Flash Fiction: $30 — Introduction. An excellent exercise on brevity. What is not flash fiction. The elements of flash fiction. Notes on the character arc; action verbs, adverbs, adjectives; regular and very irregular contractions; dialogue vs. narrative; how to use suggestion (implication); story starters. This is an excellent way to see the elements of fiction interacting in a confined space.
Lecture 9 — Writing Poetry (complete course, 3 lectures): $75 — Note that this is a very good lecture for prose writers as well. Ours is a metrical language. If you learn to use poetic techniques in your short stories and novels, you will be that much farther ahead of most writers.
9a — Writing Poetry 1: $30 — Introduction, including history and definitions. Titling the poem. Making every word electric. The use of metaphor, simile and symbology. The use of punctuation in poetry. Line vs. Sentence in the poem.
9b — Writing Poetry 2: $30 — The Elements of Structure: The line (length/brevity, internal phrases/clauses/caesura), the stanza, the canto, the poem. Techniques for developing structure.
9c — Writing Poetry 3: $30 — The Elements of Sound: whether and how to intentionally manipulate meter, rhythm, internal rhyme and close/near rhyme. The effect on the reader of the sounds of letters and words. Notes on revision and writing naked. Notes on blank verse, free verse, the prose poem, the feminine line, the masculine line, the headless line. On coming full circle (framing the poem, wrapping the poem).
Lecture 10 — Microsoft Word (complete course, 3 lectures): $75
10a — Microsoft Word 1: $30 — For writers and editors. Introduction. Different versions of Word. Where to get it if you don’t have it. Alternate word processing programs. In Word, setting up the menu. Setting up the quick-access toolbar. Setting Word options. Odd and ends (uses for Save As, moving files, selecting text, copy/paste, etc.)
10b — Microsoft Word 2: $30 — Primarily for writers. Setting up and using the Paragraph Formatting Tool. Using Find & Replace as a writer. Overall, exhaustive example. Setting up Styles.
10c — Microsoft Word 3: $30 — Primarily for editors. Setting up and using Track Changes. Using Find & Replace as an editor. Overall, exhaustive example.
Lecture 11 — Book Marketing (complete course, 2 lectures): $40
11a — Book Marketing 1: $20 — Introduction/rationale. Preparation of book, of self. Establishing a brand. Identifying the product (it’s not what you think). Identifying potential buyers. Physical marketing activities.
11b — Book Marketing 2: $30 — Emarketing. Web presence: website(s), blog(s); specific sales venues by URL; publicity venues by URL; social media by URL; special tools to combine/manage social media. Putting it all together. Working your platform.
Lecture 12 — Self-Publishing (complete course, 3 lectures): $65
12a — Self-Publishing 1: $20 — Introduction/rationale. Sales/distribution venues. Digital publishing & print publishing. ISBN. LCCN. Distribution. Notes on ebook covers.
12b — Self-Publishing 2: $30 — Save time by engaging the “nuclear option.” Microsoft Word’s nasty little habits. Formatting and converting the Word document. The case against non-descriptive chapter heads. Preparing a linked TOC (required).
12c — Self-Publishing 3: $30 — Submitting the properly formatted Word document to Smashwords, Amazon, and B&N Nook Press (formerly PubIt). Notes on marketing.
If you have questions about anything in the lecture, email me and I’ll do my best to respond within one day.