SAMPLE REVIEWS OF THE ALGONKIAN NOVEL WRITING COURSE PROGRAM
"Through the work involved in ACT ZERO, I've become a believer in backstory. The going has been challenging--at first, I worried that I didn't have time to write anecdotes that may or may not come into the book. But then the effort paid in spades when I saw a significant opportunity (through one of those anecdotes) to deepen the inner conflict of the main character and allow for a link to the antagonist that I would never have imagined without this intense groundwork.
The Sympathetic Character Factors in the Hook, forced me to more closely examine my protagonist. She was/is a sympathetic character to me, but the assignment requires that I articulate and then give evidence that reflects sympathetic character traits. Again, that work resulted in a richer grab; this facet of the program has helped me create stronger main and supporting characters."
- Janet Zupan - Algonkian Novel Writing Courses and Program Reviews
"Learning and practicing the four levels of third person narrative POV had the biggest impact on my writing. The zoom lens effect of author POV/distant/close/first-close gives the narrative more depth and energy, allowing the reader to not only see what a character sees, but to get right inside their head and hear their inner thoughts--perhaps the ultimate show-don't-tell technique."
- Lois Gordon - Algonkian Novel Writing Courses and Program Reviews
"I had not expected that strengthening the depth of my characters' lives both past and present would so naturally work to form plot. Module 6-8 (6-Act) then created a visual image of my novel as a whole that helped me ensure I had the necessary elements for a publishable novel. I was also surprised how helpful Module 2 (Antagonist) was in developing strong plot line. By fleshing out an antagonist, and an in-depth backstory, the overall plot was transformed."
"The Algonkian course directs focus on specifics in each character's backstory, a technique that helped make the characters become more vivid, taking substantive form in my mind's eye. As a result, as I lay relaxing in a hot bath or driving to get groceries, scenes would pop into my mind which, while dictated by the constraints of story, were fully driven by character."
"Sincerely, every module was very helpful. I could write a case for each one. Detailing the climax gave me a window in to how to seed foreshadowing throughout the novel. I love the way subtle foreshadowing is a gift for astute readers--I want to give that gift. Too often foreshadowing is heavy-handed or non-existent. If I didn't know exactly where I was headed (climax) then I wouldn't have the intimacy with the overall plotline necessary to plant these little gems."
- Sela Gaglia - Algonkian Novel Writing Courses and Program Reviews
"The Algonkian program has forced me to more carefully consider the vital details of the novel writing process as a whole. The emphasis on backstory and the development of theme, scene creation in the context of the six act plot structure, and of course, the module on the antagonist. The course has also helped me to be more aware of marketability."
- John Loving - Algonkian Novel Writing Courses and Program Reviews
"Algonkian's writing program modules have strengthened my novel. The most surprising was the section concerning the antagonist. I realized the character I'd identified as the antagonist was insufficiently dimensional. He was mostly off-stage, and questions pertaining to his actions and motivation revealed his lack of importance. I could have created content, but strangely enough, he was not a pivotal point. After second and third thoughts, I identified the true villain. Once I worked through the assignment, she became a fascinating creature intimately related to the theme.
Another assignment was to describe the history of a setting. I chose the novel's Texas ranch, which had been merely a literary device. After researching and considering this locale, I found it to have a rich component that added depth to the story. The discovery was thrilling."
- Chance Maree - Algonkian Novel Writing Courses and Program Reviews