How many times have you read the Modern Love column in The New York Times and thought, “Wow, I wish I could write an essay like that!” If you feel you’ve got an incredible story to tell but don’t know how to transform it into a powerful piece that can win a prized spot in the Times or another major publication, this is the class for you.
Celebrated essayist and memoirist Joyce Maynard will take you on a guided journey through the process of writing a kick-ass personal essay that will get you noticed and published.
Maynard will go through the steps of figuring out your big theme, creating a strong outline, identifying the beats of your narrative and writing a compelling column. By the end of this course, you’ll not only have an amazing essay, you’ll have a whole new skill set that will make your writing the best it’s ever been.
In this class, you’ll learn how to:
- Identify a single big idea and weave it through your narrative.
- Focus on a small event or moment to make your abstract theme concrete.
- Build an outline so you can structure your story and identify the beats.
- Figure out the stakes, conflict, discovery, transformation and redemption.
- Create interesting characters and understand their motives.
- Wander off course but not too far—and only for a good reason.
- Add cinematic elements to your story, including a climactic turning point.
- Write a concluding scene that emphasizes your final discovery.