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How to Write a Short Story


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  • 12
    Lessons
  • 23
    Exams &
    Assignments
  • 11
    Hours
    average time
  • 1.1
    CEUs
  • 1,580
    Students
    have taken this course
 
 
 

Course Description


If you're a reader and thought you might like to try your hand at short story writing but just don't know how to get started, this course will help!
 
 
We'll take you through the entire process…preparing your mind, getting ideas on paper, and help you through the editing and proofing process. You'll learn new skills, and find new ways to express yourself.
 
As you advance through this course, you're going to learn the correct way to write a short story.  More than that, you're going to learn the aspects of every good short story as well as learn how to create your own wonderful works!
 
Amateur short story writers try to write their stories like miniature novels. Their stories read as either an excerpt or a condensed novel. Unfortunately, undisciplined writers do not write short stories that are complete. They overlook the fundamentals--such as--what sets the short story apart from a novel, and why one can never be substituted for the other. 

This course will show you how to write effectively and creatively. So join us today! And let's write some short stories that people will want to read!
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  • 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
 

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Course Lessons

Average Lesson Rating:
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"Extraordinarily Helpful"
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Lesson 1: The Differences between a Short Story and a Novel

Please remember, this is a mechanics class. You will not be writing short stories in this course. You will, however, learn the mechanics to help you write a great short story! To write short stories it's important that one have a good understanding of what one is and how they differ from novels. This lesson examines in detail what they are and how they differ from and novels. 33 Total Points
  • Lesson 1 Video
  • Review Article: East of the Web
  • Complete Assignment: An Introduction
  • Complete: Lesson 1 Assignment: The Short Story
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 1: The Differences between a Short Story and a Novel

Lesson 2: Starting a Short Story

While novels may have lengthy introductions with background information, short stories do not. With short stories you need to jump right in and work to advance the plot. This lesson explores all the ins and outs of starting a short story. 28 Total Points
  • Lesson 2 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 2 Assignment: Characters
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 2: Starting a Short Story

Lesson 3: Writing a Catchy First Paragraph

The first paragraph of a short story is the biggest determining factor as to whether or not the reader will continue reading or not. This lesson looks at what goes into writing a great opening paragraph. 28 Total Points
  • Lesson 3 Video
  • Review 3 Articles: Daily Writing Tips; Writer's Digest; Writing Catchy Introductions
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Assignment: Show, Don't Tell
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 3: Writing a Catchy First Paragraph

Lesson 4: Developing Characters

While a strong opening to a short story is essential, the characters are the glue that hold it together. In this lesson you will learn about what should go into developing a character. 27 Total Points
  • Lesson 4 Video
  • Review Article: About.com
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Assignment: Good Characters
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 4: Developing Characters

Lesson 5: Choosing a Point of View and Tense

The point of view your story will take is an important factor. This lesson explains the differences in points of view and tenses and when it's appropriate to use each of them. 30 Total Points
  • Lesson 5 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Tenses; The Crafty Writer
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Assignment: Simple Tense
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 5: Choosing a Point of View and Tense

Lesson 6: Dialogue

Dialogue is one of the most important and interesting things that goes on in a short story. But how do you write it correctly? This lesson looks at the rules of writing good dialogue. 40 Total Points
  • Lesson 6 Video
  • Review Article: About.com
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Assignment: Writing Dialogue
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 6: Dialogue

Lesson 7: Setting, Context, and Plot

In this lesson you will learn about how to go about writing the setting, context, and plot of the story. A lot of what you have learned so far starts coming together with this lesson. 28 Total Points
  • Lesson 7 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Everybody Scribbles; Learner.org
  • Complete: Lesson 7 Assignment: What's the plot?
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 7: Setting, Context, and Plot

Lesson 8: Conflict and Tension

Conflict and tension are key elements to any short story. This lesson breaks down and explains the rules of how to use it in writing short stories. 30 Total Points
  • Lesson 8 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: About.com; Writing.com
  • Complete: Lesson 8 Assignment: Conflicts
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 8: Conflict and Tension

Lesson 9: Building to a Climax

All good short stories must build to a climax. This lesson explains what the climax is and when it's ideal to reach it. 28 Total Points
  • Lesson 9 Video
  • Review Article: Classic Short Stories
  • Complete: Lesson 9 Assignments: The Climax
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 9: Building to a Climax

Lesson 10: The Resolution

This lesson focuses on the resolution to the conflict in the short story. It covers what it is and how it's used. 28 Total Points
  • Lesson 10 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: About.com; Writer's Write
  • Complete: Lesson 10 Assignment: The Resolution
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 10: The Resolution

Lesson 11: Tips for Writing Your Short Stories

This lesson covers information about writing short stories, finding fresh ideas, and finding a market to get them published. 50 Total Points
  • Lesson 11 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Writing Fiction; Short Story Contests
  • Complete: Lesson 11 Assignment: Short Story Writing
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 11: Tips for Writing Your Short Stories

24 Answers Every Writer Should Know

24 Answers Every Writer Should Know 0 Total Points
  • Lesson 12 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Daily Writing Tips; Yudkin
  • Take Poll: What do you think about this course?
  • Take Survey: Course Comments
  • Take Survey: Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
350
Total Course Points
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Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Compare and contrast the differences between a short story and a novel.
  • Demonstrate writing techniques that start a short story.
  • Describe ways to write a catchy first paragraph.
  • Know ways to develop characters.
  • Describe how to choose a point of view and tense.
  • Demonstrate how to properly write dialogue.
  • Define setting, context, and plot.
  • Identify conflict and tension.
  • Build a climax.
  • Demonstrate writing out the resolution, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.
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Additional Course Information

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Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
 
Course Title: How to Write a Short Story
Course Number: 7550283
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Category:
Course Type: How To (Self-Paced, Online Class)
CEU Value: 1.1 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 Online CEU Certification: $90.00

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Student Testimonials

  • "The entire course was helpful to me. She is a great instructor, I've had the chance to have for 2 courses I've taken. She was always available for questions and offered constructive instructions during these courses. I'm looking forward to having her as an instructor for other writing courses I will be taking." -- Joy K.
  • "I think this course was by far the most helpful for someone starting out in this area." -- Deborah K.
  • "The instructor was very encouraging and helpful." -- Paul W.
  • "What was most helpful was being able to access the materials 24/7. The instructor explained each lesson with good examples and links to further reading. I also loved the testing process." -- Harriet S.
  • "Entire course was helpful!...The instructor was just fabulous. She knows her material and is supportive. She also has consistently fast grading turn around." -- Cecil B.
  • "I found the whole course helpful, but I think one of the most helpful part was the lesson on "Showing not Telling"" -- Eric B.
  • "This course gave me a structure to follow and because of this I gained more confidence and definitely more clarity in my writing. The instructor was pleasant and immediately responsive. What was most helpful to me was the additional reading material that reinforced what the lesson was about and other sites that will be helpful for a long time. The structure was great and the feedback helpful as well." -- Beverly H.
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