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Writing the Great American Short Story


Writing Creative Fiction Picture
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Course Description

A pair of hands on the keyboard, a blank screen, and a single wish: You want to write the Great American Short Story! You've read many of them -- Poe's "Black Cat," Cheever's "Enormous Radio," Welty's "The Worn Path" -- but have you come close to writing a tale that lingers with readers after the last page is turned?

 

In this class, you will gain the inspiration and the discipline to write a short story of 1000 to 8000 words. We will use examples from all genres, exploring the techniques of plot, style, flow, voice and tone that will make your fiction sing. This close reading of master works is accompanied by tried and true methods for putting words on the page, revising, and handling criticism from others. One thing's for sure: Your stories are ready to tell themselves to you. And, if all goes well enough, they'll tell themselves to the world as well. So, are you ready to start writing?

 

  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • Instructor Feedback
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider
 

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Know the short story landscape in America.
  • Describe developing a main character.
  • Know telling the story.
  • Describe styling the words you write.
  • Know ending your story like a master.
  • Revise and edit the story, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.
 
 
 

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Course Lessons

Average Lesson Rating: (362 votes)
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"Extraordinarily Helpful"
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Lesson 1: The Short Story Landscape in America

Who reads short stories in America? Who writes them? Who will read your story? 20 Total Points
  • Review Article: Duotrope's Digest
  • Take Poll: Who Will Read Your Short Story?
  • Complete: Assignment 1
  • Complete: Assignment 1A: Class Forum Postings
  • Complete Exam: The Short Story Landscape

Lesson 2: Answering to the Muse

Before you can begin writing a story, you need to know what story you will write. In this lesson, we'll consider how a short story is born. 20 Total Points
  • Review Article: Zoetrope Virtual Studio
  • Take Poll: Inspiration
  • Complete: Assignment 2: Write the First Page of Your Story
  • Complete Exam: Answering to the Muse

Lesson 3: Developing a Main Character

Who is your hero, and why? The hero or heroine of your story is the person the reader must become as the story progresses. 15 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Character Development; How to Develop a Character in a Short Story or Novel
  • Take Poll: The People Around You
  • Complete: Assignment 3: Character Profile Worksheet
  • Complete Exam: Developing a Main Character

Lesson 4: Telling the Story: Structure & Plot

In this lesson, we're focusing on plot, story structure, narrative -- whatever you choose to call the act of telling the story. 9 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: The Short Story on Structuring Your Short Story; Plot Structure
  • Take Poll: Approaches to Storytelling
  • Complete Exam: Telling the Story: Structure & Plot

Lesson 5: Styling the Words You Write

In fiction writing, differences in style and language distinguish writers from each other. 10 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Short Story Writing Styles; Tips for Writing a Short Story
  • Take Poll: What's Your Flavor?
  • Complete Exam: Styling the Words You Write

Lesson 6: End Your Story Like a Master

Brilliant conclusions are definitely possible. 40 Total Points
  • Take Poll: The Easy Way Out
  • Complete: Assignment 4: Finish Your Short Story
  • Complete Exam: End Your Story Like a Master

Lesson 7: Revising Your Writing

How long is your work a work-in-progress? 10 Total Points
  • Review Article: How to Revise Your Writing
  • Take Poll: Receiving Feedback
  • Take Survey: Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
  • Complete Exam: Revising Your Writing
124
Total Course Points

Additional Course Information

Online CEU Certificate
  • Document Your Lifelong Learning Achievements
  • Earn an Official Certificate Documenting Course Hours and CEUs
  • Verify Your Certificate with a Unique Serial Number Online
  • View and Share Your Certificate Online or Download/Print as PDF
  • Display Your Certificate on Your Resume and Promote Your Achievements Using Social Media
Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
 
Course Title: Writing the Great American Short Story
Course Number: 7550279
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Category:
Course Type: College Level
CEU Value: 0.5 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: Melissa Behrend
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Duration: Continuous: Enroll anytime!
Course Fee: $65.00 (no CEU Certification) || with CEU Certification: $90.00

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