Instructor: Maryann Miller
Maximum Enrollment: 10
Class Term: 07/19/2021 - 08/16/2021
SCN Member: $120.00
Class synopsisThis is a class for beginner and intermediate writers, offering ways to self-edit to produce a clean, tightly-written book. Over the course of four classes, participants will sharpen their skills in some of the basics of characterization, dialogue, and clear, concise narrative. Included is a free edit of ten pages of a participant's current work in progress, fiction or nonfiction.
Specific elements of the classes include:
Characters: Are multi-layered. Do you need a bio of each character? Avoid the grocery-list type of description.
Make the Dialogue Shine - Making it real, but not boring.
The Fish-Cleaning Approach to Editing: Cutting unnecessary wordage.
Little Fixes: Spotting Improper word usage and more.
Participants will receive written instruction at the start of each class, and they can e-mail questions pertaining to that class. Their assignment will be to apply that lesson to their current work, and I will review samples of the before and after if the participants wish to send that.
Strengthen their craft. Send clean manuscripts to prospective publishers. Avoid making common mistakes in future.
Class communication methodMy preferred method of communicating is via e-mail.
Unit One: A look at characters. Participants will receive my instruction via e-mail and can apply the points to a character in their WIP. They can then send me a rewrite comprised of a page or two of a character introduction.
Unit Two: Cleaning up Dialogue. Participants will receive a page of instruction to apply to a conversation in their book. Rewrites can be sent back to me for comments.
Unit Three: Cleaning up Narrative. Participants will receive a page of instruction to apply to their current work in progress. Returning the rewrite for comment is optional but encouraged.
Unit Four: Little Fixes. A final page of instruction will be sent. Participants can self-edit a few pages to send back for review.
Class time commitmentThree hours.
Maryann Miller is an award-winning author of numerous books, screenplays, and stage plays. She started her professional career as a journalist, writing columns, feature stories, and short fiction for regional and national publications. As a Public Relations consultant, she designed and wrote brochures, annual reports, and marketing material for a large financial institution.
In association with Stephen Marro Productions in New York, Miller has done script editing and doctoring and has co-authored three screenplays; “Holding Point,” “Canned Goods,” and “It Doesn’t Take a Hero.” She was the script doctor for “Broadway’s Finest”, which released in 2012. Her original screenplays include an adaptation of her mystery novel, “Open Season,” “A Question Of Honor,” “Making It Home,” and “Eternal Affair.”
Having a long-time love affair with live theatre, Ms. Miller has been associated with high school drama departments as a production assistant and advisor for stage productions and student films. For fifteen years she was the Theatre Director at the Winnsboro Center for the Arts, where she worked with actors young and young at heart.
She primarily writes mysteries, including the critically-acclaimed Seasons Mystery Series that features two women homicide detectives. Think “Lethal Weapon” set in Dallas with female leads. The first two books in the series, Open Season and Stalking Season have received starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus, and Library Journal. Stalking Season was chosen for the John E. Weaver Excellence in Reading award for Police Procedural Mysteries. The third book, Desperate Season, was released in October, 2020
Her novel, Evelyn Evolving, published by Next Chapter Publishing, debuted as a number one best-seller at Amazon in May 2019.
Among the awards Miller has received for her writing are the Page Edwards Short Story Award, the New York Library Best Books for Teens Award, first place in the screenwriting competition at the Houston Writer’s Conference, placing as a semi-finalist at Sundance, and placing as a semi-finalist in the Chesterfield Screenwriting Competition. She was named The Trails Country Treasure in 2011 by the Winnsboro Center for the Arts, and Woman of the Year in 2014 by the Winnsboro Area Chamber of Commerce.