Bodies and Heartbeats: Crafting Character from the Inside Out, 2013
"An excellent class that equipped me with good ideas and useful techniques for creating viable characters. Receiving very detailed critiques by fellow students and by the class instructor Elaine let me see my work from multiple angles, sometimes confirming my own views, sometimes surprising me greatly, always in helpful and informative ways. A very rewarding experience altogether."
"Before my characters began their existence as plain-vanilla and I tried to develop them as the story progressed. Bodies and Heartbeats gave me the tools to create characters that engage from the moment they step on the page, characters ready for conflict, adventure, and suffering."
--Scott T. Barnes
Three-Act Structure in Fantastic Fiction, 2013
"I came away from this course with increased confidence in my ability to see a story as a whole. It was an enriching experience."
"Although I have taken online classes and workshops before, I have not worked so hard on class assignments since I was in college. This class will not only make you work, it will make you into a critical reader and a better writer."
"This is the second Odyssey online course I have done, and it was every bit as good as the first. Highly recommended. Short, but like an Italian espresso, sweet--and charges up your creative brain."
"This class has made a big difference in the way I write. After the first lecture itself, I had an “Aha!” moment. I now look at movies, novels and short stories in a fundamentally different way. Not only has my writing improved, the way I analyze and critique stories has undergone a positive change too. I am able to identify possible weaknesses in a plot and I am able to structure my stories better.
"The lectures notes, recordings and the group message board helped me learn at my pace. Jeanne's thorough evaluation of the assignments was very insightful."
Getting the Big Picture: The Key to Revising Your Novel, 2013
"Odyssey Online provides a great opportunity for intensive learning in an international environment from the comfort of your home--wherever it may be."
"I am in the outlining stages of a novel. The Odyssey online class Getting the Big Picture helped me focus in on the true nature of my story, what lies at its heart. The class has given me the tools to improve both plot and characters and tie the two more strongly into the theme. These are the most useful three class sessions I have ever attended."
--Scott T. Barnes
Secrets of Literary Agents, 2012
"Odyssey Online is a great way for busy people to enhance their writing skills."
"The Odyssey program has done it again! Not only do they offer some outstanding courses, but they are taught by some of the best in the business. The one-on-one attention you get in the Odyssey program has helped me take my writing to the next level. Working with an agent really helped me find my strengths and my weaknesses in my query and synopsis. Every writer trying to break through should consider taking an Odyssey class. The quality of instructors and the talent of other students made me feel like I was part of an elite group. It was a grand experience. Thanks again Jeanne!"
Showing versus Telling in Fantastic Fiction, 2012
"Are you are tired of telling tales? Do your readers seem uninvolved in your stories? Then Odyssey's Showing versus Telling in Fantastic Fiction is the course for you! This course gave me the tools to build up my showing, whether I was tackling emotions, actions, thoughts or setting. And I had a chance to try out these new tools under the eye of Jeanne Cavelos, our enthusiastic but rigorous instructor. The on-line delivery made it a convenient way to learn."
"Jeanne's Showing versus Telling in Fantastic Fiction was another amazingly effective Odyssey Online course that I had the privilege of participating in. As Jeanne's brilliant teaching guided the discussions and led me through passage after passage of great writing examples, revealing their subtleties, rendering their secrets and the techniques responsible for their emotional impact, and as her amazingly designed assignments led me to experience such effective revision tools, study them, apply them, make them my own, and as it all took place among the propelling enthusiasm of such a diversely talented group, I saw my weaknesses and learned to treat them; I saw my strengths and learned to enhance them. I felt the gigantic leap of improvement, and so did my readers. Now after the class has ended, I sit in eagerness for what's in store for next year. I can't imagine a better class than the one I just had, and yet experience tells me that for sure it will be."
"I started out not understanding showing vs. telling and offering resistance to the idea of showing. In the last assignment I felt like I GOT IT. I'm calling it a breakthrough. My post-Showing versus Telling writing was so much better than the passage my pre-SVT writing. Like 100 times better. You can see, sense, feel the scene that I am writing."
"Jeanne's teaching gets at a level of sophistication and nuance in writing that's hard to find in other courses. These are the questions that writers want answered, even if they haven't articulated those questions in their own minds yet. I especially like the way Jeanne highlights tools and best practices and working principles. The lessons are easy to capture and remember.
"This class gave names to writing concepts I've struggled with for a while, and provided the guidance and practice I needed to improve. Thank you, Jeanne, for the insightful lectures, challenging assignments, and individualized support."
"Thank you, Jeanne, for the in-depth discussion of how to engage the reader with more showing and less telling. I finally get what so many people say 'show, don't tell!' My fiction has already improved. Great class!"
"Odyssey Online is an invaluable resource to any writer who is serious about writing the best fiction they possibly can. Each class is intense and will make you look at your writing in a whole new way, but when you are done you will be glad you took the journey."
Narrative Structures in Fantastic Fiction, 2012
"This course was brilliant. It was intense, stimulating and demanding. I could not have asked for more!"
"Bruce's Narrative Structure class exceeded my expectations and I'm very glad I tried out an online class. We got meaty information to think about, challenging homework to complete, and support from an instructor who is caring and insightful."
"The Narrative Structures in Fantastic Fiction course was the first online class I've ever taken, and I was pleased with the organization and overall quality. The homework was challenging, which I appreciated because I intended to learn. I have many more tools at my disposal when I write and edit. On top of that, I am now connected with other writers who have received similar instruction and can help me improve in a more specialized way."
--Carrie E. Stemrich
Three-Act Structure in Fantastic Fiction, 2011
"Most fantastic (and other) fiction follows the three-act structure. Thanks to the Odyssey Online Course, the nature of three-act structure has become much clearer to me, which will be a great help for my future writing."
"I was wonderfully surprised by how much I could learn in such a compact course. I feel like a key element of writing has been forever inscribed in my mind, in my writing process. This may prove to be the single most important learning moment in my development as a writer."
"WOW! This course was incredible. Jeanne Cavelos is not only an expert in her field but also a wonderful teacher, a truly rare combination! I learnt so much. I can't recommend this course highly enough."
"This class has changed the way I write. Before, the words 'plot and structure' would make me recoil in anxiety and frustration. Now, I see plot and structure as exciting tools to help me create the kind of stories I want to write."
--Tom L. Waters
"It was somewhere in the pre-class assignment that I felt the onset of a purposeful build up of skills, skills that developed into the ability to analyze the artistic yet mathematical structure behind stories. Understanding strengths and weaknesses of structures including my own; a new way of reading stories to learn from them; resources to improve my writing; a new group of people to belong to, one that shares the same passion yet provides different strengths; viewpoint and expert advice of a great teacher on my work; all do their part in making this experience a huge leap forward in my writing. I am looking forward to being in future Odyssey classes."
Worldbuilding in Fantastic Fiction, 2011
"For those who lack the time or resources to attend the full six-week Odyssey Writing Workshop in New Hampshire, Odyssey Online is a cost-effective way to explore specific writing topics in an environment of peers and professionals."
"Odyssey's Worldbuilding in Fantastic Fiction gave me the tools to transform a set of disjointed notes & ideas into a coherent & engaging 'world' for my story. And, it was great fun into the bargain!"
"Odyssey Online is a fantastic way to learn for all those writers who live outside the US."
"After completing Odyssey's Worldbuilding course, I have realized my world needs a backstory as much as my characters do. The lecturer presented material and exercises which immersed me in the job of creating a world and society with internal integrity, rich with possibilities for storytelling. I highly recommend this course to any writer of speculative fiction."
Writing in Scenes, 2011
"Nancy Kress is not only a brilliant author, but a fantastic instructor. I can't recommend this course more highly. It is an aspiring writer's goldmine. Where else but Odyssey can you find this kind of knowledge sharing with such a global reach?"
"A fantastic course from a top-notch professional writer who gave information and ideas with wonderful, inspiring generosity."
"Writing in Scenes gave me the tools to take a step back and analyze and improve my scenes — excellent course!"
"I was thrilled by the level of care, thoroughness, and honesty my classmates showed in their critiques. As a result of this course, I'm more attentive than ever to providing clarity, interest, and enjoyment for my audience."
"The Odyssey Online Class not only changed the way I tackle my writing, but also taught me to read others' work more closely. What you learn here will help you continue to improve long after the last session."
"The Odyssey Online Classes provide an exceptional evaluation of your skills as a writer as well as the tools to advance them to the next level. The instructors are beyond compare, the lectures are insightful and thought-provoking, and the assignments will challenge students to exceed their own expectations."
Showing versus Telling in Fantastic Fiction, 2010
"Every single part of this course was invaluable. I have never before enjoyed working so incredibly hard at my craft while thinking that I was having the time of my life!"
"This course really does teach how to makes settings vivid, bring characters to life, and put the reader right into the story through the skillful manipulation of showing and telling."
"Fun, dynamic, a great class for brushing up on your skills and learning new ones."
"Odyssey Online can help anyone who is serious about improving his or her fiction writing. You get in-depth lectures, detailed critiques, tools to make your writing stronger, talented classmates, and Jeanne's expertise and individualized attention, while you work in your home office."
"The Odyssey Online workshop far exceeded my hopes. As a developing fantasy writer living in a small town, I was at a loss to find mentoring and fellowship in my genre. Jeanne's expert, engaging lectures and thorough critiques made every moment spent on the work worthwhile. Now I have tools to take my writing to the next level and a budding community of fellow writers with whom to grow."
"Odyssey Online changed the way I write and read. It is a great opportunity for all those who cannot participate in the 'real' workshop due to family, day job, distance, etc. issues. For me the online form of Odyssey was a blessing: despite living in Japan, I could participate in this excellent class, which took my writing to the next level."
"This class exceeded my highest expectations. Excellent barely begins to describe the quality and quantity of learning in this class for writers. The instructor was caring, enthusiastic, and recognized us as individuals. She knew us and our writing. That is unbelievable in today's world of college classes of hundreds of students."
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