***Attention: for 2013, I am re-vamping all of my presentations. This means recreating all of my handouts. I will have them back up soon. Thanks, Drake***
Plot Structure – Building the Foundation to a Page-Turning Story (Part 1 of Plotting)
Before you start writing your story, you need a clear idea of where your story is going. Join award-winning author Maxwell Alexander Drake as he presents his class, "Plot Structure – Building the Foundation to a Page-Turning Story." This class will give you insight into how to create a structure that will become the foundation for your story, as well as providing you with several tools to help you stay organized. From plotting in reverse, to a three-act play, this class will help you understand how to set the "beats" of your story and how to insure that you hit them, leaving your readers hungry for more.
Download the Handout for Plot Structure
Download the Tension Ramp-up Graph / Three Act Play
Download a Blank Chapter Breakdown Sheet (PDF)
Download a Blank Chapter Breakdown Sheet (MS Word Doc)
Download a Sample Chapter Breakdown Sheet (PDF)
Heroes & Villains – Creating a Character Driven Story (Part 2 of Plotting)
All great stories need both a hero and a villain. Join award-winning author Maxwell Alexander Drake as he presents his class, "Heroes and Villains – Creating a Character Driven Story." This class will give you the tools you need to create both sides of this opposing force. You will learn to create each in a dynamic way that will capture the hearts of your readers, making them cheer for their triumphs and commiserate their losses.
Download the Handout for Plot Development Part 2 here
How to Create a More Realistic Fictitious World
Have you ever wondered how sci-fi and fantasy authors create such vibrant, detailed worlds that suck their readers in and wrap them in a blanket so real, you question why our own world is not more like theirs? Join award-winning author Maxwell Alexander Drake as he lets you in on some of the secrets he uses to create worlds during his seminar "How to Create a More Realistic Fictitious World."
Download the Handout for Creating a More Realistic World here
Character Creation – Who is that masked man anyway?
Great stories need great characters. But how do you go about creating the back-story for them? A back-story that will capture the reader's hearts and have them hoping that the characters succeed. Join award-winning author Maxwell Alexander Drake as he helps you answer this very question in his seminar "Character Creation – Who is that masked man anyway?"
Download the Handout for Character Creation session here
Download Drake's Character Background and Info Sheet here
Point of View – What is the point?
With so many terms and styles, diving into the mechanics of the craft of writing can be scary. And Point of View (POV) can be one of the toughest to tackle. Yet, if used correctly, POV is a wonderful and powerful tool that is the backbone of your story. Join award-winning author Maxwell Alexander Drake as he helps break this piece of the writing puzzle down into something you can use to enhance your writing style.
Download the handout for Point of View here (updated 7-22-14)
Don't Tell Your Story, Show It!
Ever wonder how the really good books suck a reader in and hold their attention page after page. It's not the characters, nor the plot of the book. It is the way in which the author writes that separates their story from the pack. Join award-winning author Maxwell Alexander Drake as he presents his class "Don't Tell Your Story, Show It!" During this class, you will gain insight into how to put your story together in a compelling way that will have your readers turning page after page to see what happens next.
Download the handout for Show Vs. Tell here (updated 7-22-14)
Dialogue, it is not just people talking!
Dialogue - that is, well written dialogue in fiction - is one of the hardest things to master. That's because dialogue in fiction is not really people talking to each other. It is conversation with drama that also needs to move the plot of the story while giving the reader insight into the inner workings of your characters. Sounds like a lot? It is. Join award-winning author Maxwell Alexander Drake as he gives you some insights on how to craft dialogue that will not only sound realistic, but be relevant to your story.
Download the handout for Dialogue here
The Anatomy of a Fight Scene. (Part One – The Craft of Storytelling)
Stories are about conflict. And there is no purer form of conflict than a good ole fisticuffs-style brawl. Or sword fight, laser battle, western shootout, and even two chicks pulling each other's hair. Yet, how to put that much action down on paper and not only make it believable, but enjoyable and exciting to read? Join award-winning author Maxwell Alexander Drake as he brings you deep inside the violence, breaking it down piece by piece, and giving you some tricks you can use to create more realistic and exciting fights.
Download the handout for Anatomy of a Fight Scene Part 1 here (updated 7-22-14)
The Anatomy of a Fight Scene. (Part Two – The Craft of Writing)
Understanding when and how to use physical conflict in your story is all well and good. But, how to write it? How do authors paint such a vivid, action-packed fight scene that readers can "see" in their mind using only the written word? Join award-winning author Maxwell Alexander Drake as he peels back the mystery and looks at using words to craft action. Action that your readers will not simply read, but experience.
Download the handout for Anatomy of a Fight Scene Part 2 here (updated 7-22-14)
Making Magic Believable.
Magic, by definition, is fake. It’s an illusion. However, in fantasy novel it is supposed to be more than that – it is a fact of the world as much as gravity or physics. But how to make it feel real to the reader? Join award-winning author and lead fiction writer for EverQuest Next Maxwell Alexander Drake as he delves into the mystical topic of weaving Magic into your story.
Download the handout for Making Magic Believable here (updated 8-18-15)
The Publishing Industry... What is it and how do I break into it? (Part One – From Manuscript to Industry)
So you have the desire to write a book and get it published. But, what does that really mean? Agents, Editors, Publishers, Reviewers, Book Doctors, Social Marketing, Retailers, Acquisitions, Contracts, Literary Attorneys, Fans, Self-Publishing, Traditional Publishing, Print On Demand, eBooks, Foreign Language, and the list goes on. What does it mean to "write for profit" and what are the pitfalls you should watch out for? Join award-winning author Maxwell Alexander Drake as he gives you some insights into the real world that is the Publishing Industry. Warning: this class is not for the weak of spirit.
Download the handout for The Publishing Industry Part One here
The Publishing Industry... What is it and how do I break into it? (Part Two – From Your Book in Print to Your Book in a Reader's Hands)
The worst thing about how difficult it is to get a book published is that, once you have a published book, you realize that that was the easy part. The hard part is getting your book into the hands of readers. Book Signings, Fan Conventions, Libraries, Conferences, Reviewers, Critiques, Blogs, Social Marketing, Retail Stores, Interviews… are any of them worth the time, money and effort? Join award-winning author Maxwell Alexander Drake as he takes you on the journey into the true job of an author – marketing and selling books.
Download the handout for The Publishing Industry Part Two here
The digital age has caught up to the publishing industry with a vengeance and it is changing things at an alarming rate. But, what are eBooks, really? Join award-winning author Maxwell Alexander Drake as he breaks down the basics of what eBooks are, the different types of reader platforms available, and what all the techno-babble means.
Sorry, there is no handout for this class
Everyone is talking about eBooks. "It is the way of reading in the future," people say. But, as an author, how does it affect you? Join award-winning author Maxwell Alexander Drake as explains what the digital age is doing to the publishing industry from a business perspective, and what the authors of today need to change so they will fit into this strange new world of digital books.
Sorry, there is no handout for this class
Maxwell Alexander Drake was not always an author. For eighteen years, he was a network engineer and programmer. Join him as he pops the hood on all the technology that makes up the digital book revolution and gives you a better understanding of what is going on "behind the scenes." Warning: If techno-babble makes your eyes gloss over, do not take this class.
Sorry, there is no handout for this class
Adverbs, Adverbs, Everywhere!
Class is in session – Why you should learn the "Craft" of writing.
Writing with Confidence.
What do Publishers really do for an author?
More will be listed as they are available.