Writing Craft Club

Join us on an inquiry-based, rules-averse hunt for craft understanding that digs into nuance and goes beyond the typical overly-generalized advice.

What's Included?

Monthly Craft Topic(s)

Each month, we'll pool our collective wonderings and challenges and decide on one or two areas of study for the next four weeks or so. We'll also address some smaller issues as they arise.

Readings

Based on our choice of craft topic(s), and using our collective wisdom, we'll examine some select readings nominated by the group and selected by Tim.

Zoom Discussion

We'll convene in at least one Zoom meeting to share observations about the readings and the craft topic. We may have other, more casual office hours meetings if needed.

Follow-up Lessons/ Q&A 

Questions that remain after our Zoom meeting will be addressed in a supplemental video put together by Tim, which may also include a distillation of our Zoom discussion.

Community

We'll have the opportunity to interact a bit through the online community here at Storm Writing School, and we can explore creating accountability groups and critique partners. 

Access to Courses

For those who join at the premier level, I'll offer free access to any existing course that is $20 or less. And any new course I create in that price range will also be automatically included.

Questioning

I'll begin with questions participants have about craft to serve as our launching point. These questions come about in one of three ways, typically:

  • You read a story and think, How did they do that? 
  • You discover some craft advice and you think, Really? Is that the case?
  • You come to a roadblock in your own writing and you think, How do I handle this? 

Reading

Once we've pinpointed our craft emphases for the month, we'll search for some exemplar texts that illustrate what works or what doesn't work with respect to the craft issue in question. I'll then pass those on to the group.

This is not a book club, so I will not load you up with pages. But close examination of work is where meaningful craft study begins. 

Naming

Sometimes the most helpful thing you can do for your writing is to name the problems and solutions. That's a big part of what I do as a writing teacher and editor. I find use cases for challenges like omniscient POV or orienting the reader or romantic tension, and I name the nuanced techniques that make for the most effective means of addressing such challenges.  

This writing craft club will provide a behind-the-scenes glimpse into how I do that and will push you to do it for yourself.

Communing

What role will the social element play here? And how much communication can you expect? Though we'll have a forum of sorts, I don't intend for it to stray too far away from topics and ideas related to Writing Craft Club.  

Nor do I wish to bombard you with more than a handful of emails each month, mostly just alerting you to our goings-on and resources. I would like to make each month somewhat patterned and predictable with the approach.

Access Courses

The courses listed here will be immediately available to those in the premier level, and you'll get access to any new course that is $20 or less. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it worth it? 

The craft topics will accrue, and after a year, you'll have access to notes, readings, recorded discussions, and Q&A sessions for 10-12 different craft topics, which should be a pretty robust offering. And I'll be working to add a few more pre-recorded short courses to the school here (some of which may arise from the craft club investigations), which will be available to you for free (in addition to the courses that already are available). 

What if I don't find every craft topic useful? 

You likely won't. But my hope is that any month's topic that you do find useful will be worth much more than $25 to you. Plus, you'll have access to past topics and classes, which may be useful. But beyond the direct application of any one craft topic, we'll be discussing how to study craft for yourself.  

What if I can't make live meetings?

I want to make this friendly both for people who can show up for live interaction and for those who cannot or prefer not to. We'll have at least two live events each month, but they'll be recorded and posted into the Craft Club Notes Course for you to look at later. So your participation can be as visible or invisible as you'd like it to be. I will try to vary our meeting times so as not to leave out participants in Europe or Australian time zones.

What level of writer do I need to be? 

If you've followed my articles or course, you know that I'm a pretty academic guy. So we'll definitely be digging deep on occasion, but a big part of the point here is to demystify craft and create some practical solutions to real (not theoretical) problems. So I think this should appeal to a wide variety of writers. If you're just at the beginning of your writing journey, read through some of my articles first to make sure they're not going over your head. 

Does it matter what I write? 

We will mostly be examining prose storytelling. That's my area of expertise. If you're writing short stories, novels, or narrative memoir, this may be a good fit for you. If you write other nonfiction or poetry, this may not be a good fit. If you write screenplays or scripts, this may not be the best fit either since we will probably examine narration pretty often. 

What's the schedule?

At the beginning of every month, I'll send out a poll asking for topic proposals. Then, having decided on a topic, I'll go about gathering readings from my own library and via suggestions from the group. Next, we'll take 7-10 days to read a little and study the texts (usually totalling about 20 pages). I'll figure out a date for our two-hour Zoom discussion, which will mix small-group and whole-group conversation. In the follow-up, I'll host an hour-long Q&A. Rinse and repeat.

Approximate Monthly Schedule

Week 01

Decide on craft topic(s) for the month; select readings. Possible Zoom meeting to float ideas.

Week 02

Study readings and prepare to discuss. You can be as active or passive as you'd like in this process. 

Week 03

Zoom discussion of readings and lessons they carry for our craft emphasis. Time and date TBD.

Week 04

Follow-up lesson office hours Q&A for remaining questions and miscellaneous craft issues.

Our Monthly Workflow

Topic Poll

Each month will begin with a questionnaire about the craft topics and questions that you're most interested in digging into.

Call for Readings

Based on the topic poll, I'll select the topic for the month and send out a call for reading selections that exemplify successful or unsuccessful execution of the craft topic we're studying.

Reading Selections

I'll cull through reading suggestions and put together a group of selections (3-8 excerpts; 5000-7500 words total) that I'll make available to all. 

Discussion

Once we've had a chance to consider our discussion question and read the packet, we'll get together over Zoom and talk it over. These meetings usually go for two hours and are recorded.

Q&A / Office Hours

About a week after our discussion, I'll hold an hour-long office hours session to address lingering questions from our topic discussion and other small craft questions that may not be worthy of a full month's investigation.

Join the Writing Craft Club

With both plans, you get stimulating craft exploration, reading recommendations, immersion in a community of like-minded craft enthusiasts, discussion of craft challenges, and practical approaches to help you meet your writing goals. 
You get the same thing with both plans: stimulating craft exploration, reading recommendations, immersion in a community of like-minded craft enthusiasts, discussion of craft challenges, and practical approaches to help you meet your writing goals. 

The Minimalist

$25/mo
Partake in our monthly examinations of craft. With this subscription, you get access to our community, topic polls, reading selections, discussions and recordings, and Q&A sessions each month. You'll be able to watch recordings of any discussion or Q&A you've missed from 2023.

The Maximalist

$35/mo
With this subscription, you get access to our community, topic polls, reading selections, discussions and recordings, and Q&A sessions each month. You'll be able to watch recordings of any discussion or Q&A you've missed from 2023.

In addition, you'll have access to all discussions and Q&A sessions from 2022 as well as the following courses from Storm Writing School: Writing Toward Instinct, Creating Romantic/Sexual Tension, Strengthen Your Story with a Revision Outline, A Guide to Interiority, and The Gold Standard Scene. Any new course priced at $20 or lower will also be available to you for free. 
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