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Writing Women's Fiction

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  • 16
  • 39
    Exams &
  • 10
    average time
  • 1.0
  • 299
    have taken this course

Course Description

Statistics from the American Bookseller Association and Book Industry Study Group show that women's fiction makes up 40 percent of adult popular fiction sold in the United States.  It also makes up about 60 percent of adult popular fiction paperbacks sold.  A recent Gallup Poll shows that women's fiction is a 24 billion dollar industry.  Wowza!
So what is women's fiction, exactly? Well, according to Women's Fiction Defined, women's fiction "is a book about a woman or women... The protagonist's journey is about self-discovery, self-preservation, self-acceptance, or self-improvement.  And this journey is taken in the company of others who affect the main character, influence her, but do not save her.  In women's fiction, the main character saves herself."

And, according to the Romance Writers of America, women's fiction is: "a commercial novel about a woman on the brink of life change and personal growth. Her journey details emotional reflection and action that transforms her and her relationships with others, and includes a hopeful/upbeat ending with regard to her romantic relationship."
So, basically women's fiction is just that: fiction about women's issues written for a female readership. But note that it is not the same as chick lit or romance. Because, while women's fiction does utilize literary prose, it is very commercial in its appeal. The characters of this genre are often women attempting to overcome both personal and external adversity.
In this course, we're going to show you how to write creative women's fiction. We're going to review what is how and how to create a compelling story step-by-step. Don't worry if you have no prior experience, we will start at the beginning and move up from there until you have the confidence and ability to master writing great women's fiction. So join us today!
  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

Course Lessons

Average Lesson Rating:
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"Extraordinarily Helpful"
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Lesson One: What, Exactly, Is Women's Fiction?

In this lesson, you will learn just exactly what women's fiction is. 106 Total Points
  • Review Article: Best Women's Fiction Novels
  • Complete: Assignment 1A
  • Complete: Assignment 1B
  • Complete: Lesson 1 Quiz

Lesson Two: Setting Your Work Schedule and Dumping Writer's Block

In this lesson we will talk about your writing schedule and how to avoid, or conquer, writer's block. 205 Total Points
  • Review Article: Strategies for Overcoming Writers Block
  • Complete: Assignment 2A
  • Complete: Assignment 2B
  • Complete: Lesson 2 Quiz

Lesson Three: Subgenres of Women's Fiction: It's Not Chick Lit!

This lesson will explain what a subgenre is, and you will also learn the difference between romance and women's fiction. 204 Total Points
  • Review Article: Women's Fiction vs. Romance: A Tale of Two Genres
  • Complete: Assignment 3A
  • Complete: Assignment 3B
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Quiz

Lesson Four: The Rules of Women's Fiction

This lesson will explain the "rules" of women's fiction. You will learn what you need to include to write in this genre. 203 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Helpful writing dialogue tips; Jaclyn Dolamore's blogspot article
  • Complete: Assignment 4A
  • Complete: Assignment 4B
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Quiz

Lesson Five: Themes of Women's Fiction

In this lesson you will learn the common themes of women's fiction. 103 Total Points
  • Review Article: Interview of Writing Process with author Jane Green
  • Complete: Assignment 5
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Quiz

Lesson Six: Writing Your Central Character

This lesson will help you define your main character. You will learn how to build her and give her a backstory. 205 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: How to Write a Character Analysis; What Makes a Good Story?
  • Complete: Assignment 6A
  • Complete: Assignment 6B
  • Complete Assignment: Character Building Worksheet
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Quiz

Lesson Seven: Positive Aspects of Women's Fiction

In this lesson we will cover the ways positive ideas and themes of women's fiction. It is not all heartbreak and pain! 104 Total Points
  • Review Article: Speech given by Jojo Moyes
  • Complete: Assignment 7
  • Complete: Lesson 7 Quiz

Lesson Eight: Common Threads and Big Picture Thinking

This lesson will explore the common threads of a women's fiction novel. It will also explain what those common threads are. Additionally, we will talk about "the big picture" -- where you hope to go from here. 203 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: The Story Goal: Your Key To Creating A Solid Plot Structure; Writing a Book and #8211; The 5 Step Method
  • Complete: Assignment 8A
  • Complete: Assignment 8B
  • Complete: Lesson 8 Exam

Lesson Nine: Setting the Scene

In this lesson, we will explore the typical settings for women's fiction. 103 Total Points
  • Review Article: How to Write a Setting for a Book
  • Complete: Assignment 9
  • Complete: Lesson 9 Quiz

Lesson Ten: Plotting Your Course

This lesson will discuss plotting, and explain how to use outlines, plot maps, and charts. 104 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Example of a Plot Diagram; Glen Strathy's tips How To Create A Plot Outline In 8 Easy Steps
  • Complete: Assignment 10
  • Complete: Lesson 10 Quiz

Lesson Eleven: How to Use Subplots in Your Writing

In this lesson, you will learn what a subplot is, and how subplots can help to make your work stronger. 204 Total Points
  • Review Article: 7 Ways to Add Great Subplots to Your Novel
  • Complete: Assignment 11A
  • Complete: Assignment 11B
  • Complete: Lesson 11 Quiz

Lesson Twelve: A Growing Market

This lesson will describe the growing market for women's fiction, and we will discuss agents and publishers. 104 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: How to Find a Literary Agent; Tips on Finding a Literary Agent
  • Complete: Assignment 12
  • Complete: Lesson 12 Quiz

Lesson Thirteen: Publishing Guidelines for Women's Fiction

In this lesson, we will discuss publishing guidelines and research -- what publishers are looking for when it comes to women's fiction. 104 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: How to improve your writing skills; Improving your writing
  • Complete: Assignment 13
  • Complete: Lesson 13 Quiz

Lesson Fourteen: Agents: What They Do and How to Find One

This lesson will emphasize the importance of finding an agent, rather than blindly sending queries to publishing companies. 105 Total Points
  • Review Article: Agent Search in the this genre
  • Complete: Assignment 14
  • Complete: Lesson 14 Exam

Lesson Fifteen: Query Letters

In this lesson, we will talk about what a hook is --how to write one and why you need one; and you'll also learn what goes into a query letter. 104 Total Points
  • Review Article: How to Write a Query Letter
  • Complete: Assignment 15
  • Complete: Lesson 15 Exam

Lesson Sixteen: Wrapping it All Up

In this final segment, we will recap the previous lessons and talk about what to do now. 100 Total Points
  • Review Article: CreateSpace
  • Take Poll: What is your opinion of this course?
  • Take Survey: Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
  • Complete: Assignment 16
Total Course Points

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Describe what, exactly, is women's fiction.
  • Demonstrate setting your work schedule and dumping writer's block.
  • Describe subgenres of women's fiction.
  • Describe the rules of women's fiction.
  • Know common themes of women's fiction.
  • Demonstrate choosing and writing your central character.
  • Describe positive aspects of women's fiction.
  • Identify common threads and big picture thinking.
  • Demonstrate setting the scene, plotting your course, and using subplots.
  • Know publishing guidelines for women's fiction and dealing with agents.
  • Demonstrate writing query letters for your work, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Additional Course Information

Online CEU Certificate
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Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
Course Title: Writing Women's Fiction
Course Number: 9770562
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Course Type: General Education (Self-Paced, Online Class)
CEU Value: 1.0 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Instructor: Dana Kristan
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Duration: Continuous: Enroll anytime!
Course Fee: $65.00 (no CEU Certification) || with Online CEU Certification: $90.00

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Student Testimonials

  • "I have enjoyed doing two courses, and now I have signed up for the third one. It is obvious that I like Universal Class. Keep up the good work!" -- Jaya S.
  • "I had been struggling to get my head around story structure and plotting, and this course helped with that. Also, understanding the women's fiction genre helped me decide where I wanted to focus my writing endeavors; helped me correctly classify the genre of a novel I was working on; and helped me identify what was right and what was wrong in my first draft and what was essential to fix the problems....Overall, the course was really enjoyable and excellent value. I will be doing more creative writing courses with UniversalClass." -- Lorraine C.
  • "I enjoyed the course. It helped me with my manuscript." -- Patsy W.
  • "This is a fabulous instructor who helped me become a better writer. Thank you!" -- Anita B.
  • "I enjoyed all of it....Instructor very encouraging and knowledgeable about lessons taught. Prompt to respond to questions." -- Denise H.

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